The Power Of Event-Led Growth In 2024

Published: May 3, 2024

Business today primarily happens in a digital environment, leaving people hungry for authentic, in-person experiences. Event marketers have the unique opportunity to capitalize on this appetite for human interaction, make their brand stand out from the crowd and create engaging, memorable moments for buyers.

When done right, events make a significant difference for an organization’s bottom line: A recent survey of event marketers in the U.S. and U.K. found that 78% of respondents claim events are the most effective marketing channel for their company.

But despite the proven benefits of thoughtful event programming, many businesses fall short when it comes to scaling their strategies and measuring ROI. More than half of marketers (53%) shared that they don’t track opportunities created to measure event effectiveness, which means the most impactful revenue-driving tactics also have the potential to waste the most money.

Marketers are turning to an event-led growth (ELG) go-to-market (GTM) motion to scale their experiential programming and capture data-backed insights on their prospect and customer base. Let’s explore the challenges average event marketers are facing, what’s preventing them from driving meaningful revenue growth and how event-led growth can help them thrive.

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Enter: Event-Led Growth

Event-led growth is a GTM approach where events are the primary channel for acquiring and retaining customers. ELG strategies help marketers create data-driven programs that integrate their efforts across multiple channels, including social media and content marketing. As marketers look to boost engagement and improve the efficacy of their events, a data-driven strategy will be key.

Marketers who incorporate ELG strategies are already deriving impactful ROI from their events, as this approach is leads to better brand visibility (63%), stronger customer relationships (63%) and stronger or new partnerships (52%). U.S.-based marketers that adopted ELG were also 75% more likely than those who didn’t to see a growth rate of over 50% in 2023.

What’s more, U.S.-based respondents who use ELG were more likely to state that they are consistently meeting their revenue and/or pipeline goals and can directly attribute events to company revenue. Meanwhile, 53% of companies that haven’t incorporated ELG strategies yet said their company’s events are underperforming as a result.

Barriers To Success

Marketers on both sides of the pond listed the same top two challenges they face when developing successful and scalable programs: A lack of event data to prove impact on goals and misalignment between marketing and business goals. Other obstacles that emerged were a lack of budget to plan the right events and inconsistent or undefined customer journeys.

Companies are also struggling to surface and interpret the metrics they need to improve programming over time. U.S.-based marketers are failing to track event registrations (54%), opportunities created (53%) and attendance rates (40%) to determine the effectiveness of their events. Without this information:

  • 26% cannot accurately predict progress toward event goals;
  • 21% have trouble reporting on event program performance; and
  • 20% cannot directly attribute events to company revenue.

Flying blind when it comes to event programming leads to missed opportunities for growth. To scale their programs in 2024, marketers urgently need to get the right tools in place to make data-driven decisions to inform and improve upon event effectiveness.

Looking Ahead

In 2024, events will continue to be an effective channel for marketers looking to create opportunities for meaningful engagement — and ultimately generate revenue. Whether they’re virtual, in-person or hybrid, 69% of marketers expect to plan more events this year, with ELG adopters 43% more likely than average to increase programming.

Eighty percent of marketers agree their company would benefit from event-led growth, and the results are undeniable: ELG gives marketers the insights they need to create events that resonate with their chosen audience and lead to valuable conversions and retention. With seven in 10 companies planning to increase their total marketing budgets this year, prioritizing tools and tactics that empower teams to incorporate ELG strategies will give adopters a competitive advantage.

Kate Hammitt is the Chief Marketing Officer of Splash, an event marketing platform.

Posted in: Demanding Views

Tagged with: splash

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