Bellwether: Event budgets rise by +5.7%

Event marketing budgets rose from +2.4% to +5.7% over the first quarter of 2015, extending its period of growth to a year-and-a-half, according to the latest report from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

Event marketing spend rose by +5.7% in Q1 2015
Event marketing spend rose by +5.7% in Q1 2015

The report found overall marketing budgets for the 2014/15 were the best recorded since 2004/05, with a net balance of +21.8% of companies indicating that budgets had risen over the period. 

Furthermore, a net balance of +11.8% of companies registered an increase in budgets in Q1 2015, up markedly from +6.1% in Q4 2014.

Looking to the future, the survey uncovered a net balance of +28.0% of panellists plan to increase their marketing budgets in 2015/16.

While the data reveals all Bellwether categories are forecast to benefit from the predicted upward revision to marketing budgets, its expected events and main media advertising in particular will fare well, as companies opt to maintain spending on high-level campaigns and head online for cost-efficient marketing.

The Bellwether survey predicts a real-term increase in UK adspend of +4.2% in 2015 before growth cools slightly in 2016 to +3.6%.

Overall +37.8% of companies are more optimistic about their own financial prospects, which signals a rise from +30.7 in Q4 2014.

Sector-wise, in Q1 2015 the Internet saw the biggest increase in marketing budget at +8.4%.

For the fifth consecutive quarter, main media advertising budgets were revised up, this time by +2.9%. Sales promotions recorded growth of +0.6%, meanwhile PR (-1.8%) and market research (-1.3%) recorded downward revisions.

Paul Simonet, creative strategy director, Imagination said: "The increasing demand for events and experiences really only bears out what we have been seeing commercially for some time. You cannot be a modern brand without a digitally enabled experience strategy. Welcome to the experience economy."

Paul Bainsfair, director general, IPA added: "With over 10 successive quarters of growth in marketing budgets and the best budget year for marketing spend in a decade, this latest Bellwether provides welcome evidence of the extent to which clients recognise and value the significant contribution marketing communications makes to their business success. This stands us in good stead for what is set to be an unsettled few months politically."

More: Bellwether: Event spend slows down to +2.4%

Bellwether industry reaction: maximum reach needed to justify event spend

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