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Event budget rise shows importance of live events: FreemanXP

FreemanXP EMEA MD Kim Myhre says live events more than just 'a nice thing to have' as IPA releases Q2 update

Pictured: Kim Myhre, senior vice president and MD at FreemanXP EMEA

A 13.4 per cent rise in event marketing budgets during Q2 shows that live events are the 'bedrock' of brand marketing strategy, says FreemanXP.

Speaking in response to the latest findings from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), Kim Myhre, senior vice president and MD at FreemanXP EMEA, says brands are recognising the importance of brand experience in creating loyalty and advocacy.

The second quarterly update from IPA's Bellwether Report revealed a resurgence in spending, with  23 per cent of the survey’s 300 panellists indicating that event-related budgets were revised upwards during the period. Just one in 10 signalled a decline in the size of their event budgets, generating a net balance of 13.4 per cent growth – compared to 6 per cent in the first quarter of 2016. Yet, the Bellwether has downgraded spending forecasts due to economic uncertainty in the wake of the EU referendum. 

Myhre said: "Live event experiences are no longer a nice thing to have, they are becoming the bedrock of brand marketing strategy."

Although responses were gathered before the vote, the Bellwether indicated that 68 per cent of marketing budgets had been frozen, and spend had been shifted between sectors.

In line with economic uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote, the IPA has downgraded its forecast for total ad spend to -0.2 per cent for 2016 and -1.3 per cent for 2017.

The report also found internet and main media advertising grew 11 per cent and 9 per cent respectively, which Myhre said showed the value of multi-channel approaches.

He added: "The lines between live and online experience have blurred and successful brands now need to tap into the value of this approach to provide more seamless, consistent and sharable experiences.  This is particularly true as mobile becomes the prevalent media platform for audience engagement and a critical interface for both live and online experience."

Report author Paul Smith, a senior economist at financial information analyst Markit, said: "An increased proportion of panellists indicated a freeze in budgets over the past three months.

"This observation gives credence to the notion that Brexit uncertainty was already impacting on decision-making, with an increased number of companies taking a cautious approach to budget setting, pushing marketing departments to utilise existing resources but concurrently asking them to meet goals of raising brand awareness and sales in an increasingly competitive environment.

"Marketing executives, their budgets and the wider industry inevitably seem set for a challenging period in the months ahead."

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