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Event budget growth comes despite Brexit concern, says latest IPA report

Event budgets have been revised upwards by an average of 6 per cent in the first three months of 2016

Pictured: Paul Smith, economist and author of the Bellwhether report

Event budgets have been revised upwards by an average of 6 per cent in the first three months of 2016, according to the latest Bellwether Report from the Institute of Practitioners in Marketing (IPA).

The quarterly Bellwether Report analyses marketing spend by surveying more than 300 UK corporates. And although it noted financial concerns, particularly relating to the uncertainty caused by the UK’s upcoming referendum on European Union membership, the amount of marketing budget allocated to event spend had increased by an average of 6.3 per cent. The Bellwether arrives at nett figures by subtracting those noting downward revision, from those who say budgets are increased.

Report authors found that optimism had slumped, to a nett balance of just 13 per cent of those surveyed responding that they were confident for the future.

Patrick Reid, CEO EMEA of creative and events agency Imagination, said the conditions are ripe for experiential events to take centre stage.

“We believe that the strong growth in this category signals that experiences are becoming increasingly powerful; meaningfully reaching more people than ever before, as well as being truly measurable, through social media and smart technology,” he added. “This combination means marketers are turning to experiences to deliver the results they want.”

Economist Paul Smith, author of the Bellwether Report: “On the one hand, economic and financial prospects have taken somewhat of a nosedive – probably not helped by uncertainty around EU membership – and that’s led to those holding company purse strings to adopt ongoing prudence and caution when committing funds to areas such as marketing.
“While this inevitably has led to downward pressure on budgets, steady sales flows are encouraging new product development and enabling marketing executives to eke out some modest growth in funds.”

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