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100 Event Statistics (2018 edition)

By EventMB Team

event statistics

Do you know all the key statistics that will affect the way you create events? Here is a comprehensive collection of 100 key statistics for the event industry in 2018.

The event industry is living a second life. As more brands prefer live experiences as the best way to engage with audiences, here are some of the impressive and surprising statistics defining the industry in 2018.

For quick reference, the facts and figures have been broken down to cover the following 10 essential sections: 

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Event Industry Statistics

Event Industry Statistics

THE VALUE OF EVENTS

  • On average, meetings generated $1,294 of spending per participant. (Oxford Economics and Events Industry Council, 2018)
  • Six million international participants generated $38 billion of meetings direct spending, representing 11.5% of the sector total. (Oxford Economics and Events Industry Council, 2018)
  • International visitors generated a disproportionate share of travel spending (21.8%), including shopping (24.6%), recreation and entertainment (26.5%). (Oxford Economics and Events Industry Council, 2018)
  • In-person events are the most effective form of content marketing for B2B marketers. (Content Marketing Institute, 2016)
  • 81% use in-person events in their B2B marketing strategy. (Content Marketing Institute, 2016)
  • Trade shows and conferences are one of the top-3 sources buyers turn to when researching a vendor’s products and services. (Marketing Charts, 2015)

WORKING IN THE EVENT INDUSTRY

  • The projected growth for meeting, convention and event planners is expected to increase 11% in the USA between 2016-2026, faster than average. (The Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018)
  • The events industry in the USA provides over 5.9 million jobs. (Oxford Economics and Events Industry Council, 2018)
  • The UK events sector employs over 530,000 people in 25,000 events businesses. (Business Visits & Events Partnership, 2014)
  • The outlook for the global event industry is positive, with 85% of event planners being optimistic about the future and only 15% expressing concern or worry. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • Most event planners (89%) love their career in the event industry. Less than 10% felt indifferent and less than 2% said they didn’t love their career. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • $65,160 is the average event planner salary in New York City, USA (EventMB, 2018).
  • £26,107 is the average salary for event planners in London, UK (EventMB, 2018).
  • The majority of eventprofs (51%) feel that their salary will stay the same in 2018. 43% think salaries will rise and only 6% believe they will fall, indicating a generally positive outlook. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • People skills and organization are the essential skills every event professional needs, 81% agreed. Around three quarters also agreed that time management, flexibility and passion were important skills. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • Almost half (47%) of those surveyed said having more clients would help them advance their event planning career. Almost equally important were better personal branding (47%), better technical knowledge (46%) and better use of social media (44%). (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • Shrinking budget is of the biggest immediate concern to event planners, affecting 56% Long hours were cited as an issue by 30% and mentioned third was unethical behavior (29%). 28% are concerned with their lack of career progression. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • Budgets are one of the biggest challenges currently for event planners, followed by finding sponsors and attendee numbers. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
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EVENT BUDGETS

  • Events occupy the largest part of budgets, at 14% of total budget, on average. (Forrester Research Inc., 2015)
  • The majority of event planners (65%) feel that event budgets will remain the same. 26% expect an increased budget for the next 12 months. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

TYPES OF EVENTS

  • In North America Conferences and Tradeshows are the most common meeting activity type, with 23% of the market in 2018. Conferences and Tradeshows represent 20% for Europe, 17% for Asia Pacific and 10% for Central/South America. (Global Meetings and Events Forecast, 2018)
  • In the US, 53% of attendees participate in corporate and business meetings, 18% in conventions, conferences and congresses without an exhibition floor and 16% in trade shows or conferences with an exhibiting component. 6% participated in incentive meetings and 6% in other meetings. (Oxford Economics and Events Industry Council, 2018)
  • When listed by host classification, 43% were corporate events, 34% were association/membership events, 14% were non-government, not-for-profit events and 4% were government events in the US in 2016. (Oxford Economics and Events Industry Council, 2018)

CORPORATE EVENTS

  • For corporate event planners, budget is their biggest concern (82%), followed by new ideas (62%) and Return on Investment, or ROI, at 54% (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • When planning corporate events, planners are most concerned about finding innovative ideas (81%), good venues (65%) and marketing their event effectively (48%). (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • The priority of attendees attending corporate events in 2018 is networking (82%), learning (71%) and entertainment (38%). Self-improvement is important to 37% and time out of the office is appealing to 16% (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

EVENT SUCCESS AND ROI

  • The average ROI for events is in the 25-34% range. 19% don’t know their event ROI. (Marketing Charts, 2015)
  • 91% measure the success of their events on attendee satisfaction. 61% measure according to their specific event objectives and 60% determine results based on staying within budget. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 67% measure ROI on attendee satisfaction, 52% determine results based on staying within budget and 51% measure ROI based on the number of registrations. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

MEETING DESIGN

Event Marketing Statistics

Event Marketing Statistics

  • Event planners listed social media as the most effective tool for event marketing (74%), followed by email marketing (66%), their website (60%) and event registration site (26%). (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 65% of event planners have an increased event marketing budget for 2018. 21% have more to spend and 14% have seen a decrease. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • Early bird rates are cited by event planners as the most effective tactic for selling tickets and increasing registration. Almost a quarter state that discount codes are most effective. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

SOCIAL MEDIA - ORGANIC

  • 93% use social media in their 2016 B2B marketing strategy. (Content Marketing Institute, 2016)
  • 58% of marketers use social media for marketing before, during and after their events. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 28% of event marketers spend less than $200 on social media for a average event and 26% spend nothing. 25% spend between $200 and $1,000. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 47% of event planners have a dedicated social media team. 30% have nobody to take the lead on social media. 14% use interns and 10% outsource their social media. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 52% of events engage on social media several times a day. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • Facebook is the most popular channel for event planners to be active on, used by 88%. The next most popular social media channels are LinkedIn (80%), Twitter (60%) and Instagram (58%). (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • Facebook is the most popular channel for event planners to use for event marketing, used by 52%. The next most effective social media channels for promotion are LinkedIn (26%), Twitter (13%) and Instagram (6%). (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • Social media is used for pre-event engagement by 89%. 49% use it to engage attendees during the event and 13% for interaction with speakers during educational sessions. 38% use social media as a feedback mechanism. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • Social media campaigns are important to 53% of event planners. 31% view it as being important and 15% do not see it as important. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • For customer management, Facebook is useful to 57% of event planners, LinkedIn is effective for 21%, Twitter is noted by 16% and 4% list Google+. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • The best social channels to build a community and for year-round engagement are Facebook (57%), LinkedIn (25%), Twitter (7%) and Instagram (7%). (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

PAID SOCIAL MEDIA ADS

EMAIL MARKETING

  • Subject lines under 21 characters generate a 31% higher-than-average open rate, yet shorter subject lines account for less than 5% of all emails sent. (Charity Digital News, 2017)
  • Open rates of between 60-87% often include the company name in the title with straightforward and honest subjects such as [company name] newsletter, Invitation from [company name] or Upcoming Events at [company name] (Mailchimp, 2017)
  • 2% of all emails included personalization in the subject line, however, these emails generated 50% higher open rates than those without personalization. (Mailchimp, 2017)
  • 21% of legitimate permission-based emails can also end up in the spam folder. (ReturnPath, 2014)
  • Research suggests that if you don’t receive a response within 48-hours after an email is issued you are unlikely to receive a reply at all. (Forbes, 2015)
  • Emails in the event and entertainment niche have a 21.21% open rate on average and a 2.33% click-through rate. (Mailchimp, 2017)
  • Other statistics suggest email marketing campaigns within the event industry perform far worse at 9.38%, which puts the event industry in the lower results compared to other sectors. (Smart Insights, 2018)
  • Only 47% of event planners analyze their email or email invitation data. (EventMB Report, 2018). Graph available.

CONTENT MARKETING

  • B2B marketers allocate 28% of their total marketing budget, on average, to content marketing. The most effective allocate between 42% and 46%. (Content Marketing Institute, 2016)
  • 72% of B2B marketers are heavily focused on creating engaging content, listing it as the top priority for their internal content creators. (Content Marketing Institute, 2016)

VIDEO

  • 79% use video as part of their B2B marketing strategy. (Content Marketing Institute, 2016)
  • 66% of event planners are using video as part of their marketing strategy. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 62% rate video as an effective tactic for their B2B marketing strategy. (Content Marketing Institute, 2016)

WORKING WITH INFLUENCERS

  • 84% of companies are working on influencer projects. 81% say that influencer engagement was effective. (eMarketer, 2015)
  • 94% of brands consider working with influencers to be a success but 78% are still working on ways to quantify that success. (Adweek, 2016)
  • 25% of event planners are considering investing in influencer marketing. 43% are not sure and 33% are not. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

TELEPHONE MARKETING

  • On the phone, tone is 86% of our communication. The words used only represent 14% of our communication. (Tradepress Services, 2017)
  • 78% of decision-makers have taken an appointment or attended an event that came from an email or cold call (Source: DiscoverOrg, via SDM, 2015)

EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING

  • 32% of event planners rate experiential marketing as a priority. 37% are not sure and 32% do not consider it a priority. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 58% of event planners believe that the demand for experiential marketing is increasing. 41% are not sure and 1% do not think it is increasing. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • A experiential campaign will be effective as a result of strong social engagement (76%), a happy client (58%), good turnout (44%), being within budget (34%) and the location (25%). (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

Event Technology Statistics

Event Technology Statistics

  • 85% of event planners use event registration software, 61% use event marketing tools, and 54% use survey tools. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 59% of event planners predict that their use of event technology will increase. 39% thing that it will remain the same and 1% think their event technology usage will decrease. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

EVENT APPS

  • 46% of event planners use event apps in their events. 26% are considering using an event app and 28% are not using them. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 91% of event planners believe event apps are definitely still relevant for their events. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 79% of event planners want an event app that is quick and easy to set up. The next most important considerations are that it works offline (67%) and engagement features such as live polling and Q&A (62%). (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 67% of event planners state that cost has the biggest impact on whether they use an event app. They also consider modern features and technology (60%) and integration (58%). (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

EVENT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

  • 40% of event planners use event management software. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • The most important consideration in event management software is support (79%), followed by the features (78%) and analytics (69%). Value for money is listed by 67% of event planners and for 58% it is important that they are not limited in terms of the number of events or attendees. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 74% of event planners use different event technology providers rather than an all-in-one solution. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

Event Sponsorship Statistics

Event Sponsorship Statistics

THE VALUE OF EVENT SPONSORSHIP

  • Global sponsorship spending was projected to rise 4.5 percent in 2017 to $62.8 billion from the $60.1 billion spent in 2016. (AEG, 2016)
  • 53% of event planners are struggling to find sponsors for their events. 25% do not look for event sponsors and 22% are not having any problems securing sponsorship. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • For 74% of event planners their sponsorship retention rate stays about the same. 10% are finding an increased retention rate and 17% are seeing a decline in their sponsorship agreements. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available

Event Management Company Statistics

Event Management Company Statistics

  • It is estimated that there are over 127,296 event businesses in the USA (IBISWorld, 2017)
  • 45% of event planners report that they have more clients than 12 months ago. 43% have the same and 12% have less clients. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • Networking is the most effective strategy for event planners to find new clients (66%), followed by social media (45%). (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

Event Venue Statistics

Event Venue Statistics

  • Demand for non-traditional meetings facilities is expected to increase by 3.8% in 2018 (Global Meetings and Events Forecast, 2018)
  • 73% of event planners are working with hotels in 2018. 57% are working with conferences centers and 53% are working with unusual venues. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 69% of event planners select venues based on word of mouth recommendations. 58% will use search engines and 34% use online listings and marketplaces. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 79% of event planners state that WiFi availability and performance is still a big issue for the events industry. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 52% of event planners are frustrated by slow responses from venues, as well as prices (47%) and poor WiFi (44%). (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.
  • 50% of event planners negotiate a discount off published rates and early access/late get out. 47% most commonly negotiate on the WiFi and 41% negotiate basic AV and free parking. (EventMB, 2018). Graph available.

Event Destination Statistics

Event Destination Statistics

Virtual Event Statistics

Virtual Event Statistics

  • 50% of marketers have attended a virtual or hybrid event. Those that have attended a virtual event are 51% more likely to attend another one. (Westuc, 2015)
  • 85% said they preferred in-person events and 92% believed they would receive more leads at a physical conference. (Westuc, 2015)
  • Only 33% of marketers surveyed say their company has hosted a virtual event. 70% of marketers who had already hosted virtual events said they plan to host more. (Westuc, 2015)

IN CONCLUSION
Phew! 100 impressive and surprising statistics defining the event industry in 2018. Doesn’t it make you proud and excited to be part of such a valuable sector?

Now onto you:

  • Do you have a tip to make this page better? Send an email to contact@eventmanagerblog.com.
  • Do you have more interesting and surprising statistics about the event industry? Comment below to share more stats with other event planners.
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EventMB Team
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