Event budgets cut according to latest Bellwether report

The latest Bellwether report has revealed that despite an increase in marketing budgets in the last quarter of 2011 event budgets suffered.

Event budgets were cut in the final quarter of 2011
Event budgets were cut in the final quarter of 2011

In the sector analysis of marketing budgets by the Bellwether report it revealed that 'other spend', which includes events and PR saw a decline of 7.1% in the final quarter of 2011.

Interestingly the report also revealed that traditional media spend was decreased, while markerters were keen to spend on digital, price discounting and more direct marketing strategies.

Additionally executives reported that financial prospects for their own companies had deteriorated for the first time since Q1 2009.

IPA president, executive chairman and partner Nicola Mendelsohn said: "A further decline in confidence is hardly surprising due to the overriding mood of uncertainty for the year ahead. Yet despite this it’s encouraging that firms are still planning to increase their budgets in 2012. Moreover the impact of key sporting events such as the London 2012 Games and the Euro football championships will likely lead to increased buoyancy in the marketplace with a corresponding boost in marketing expenditure."

Markit chief economist and author of the Bellwether Chris Williamson added: "Companies held their marketing budget broadly unchanged in the final quarter of last year, a flat picture which probably reflects a similar stagnation of the overall economy.

"However, it is encouraging to see that companies are planning to raise their marketing spend in 2012 despite seeing their financial prospects for the next three months falling to the worst since the height of the financial crisis in early 2009. It seems that many companies are looking to fight the prospects of a challenging year ahead with increased promotional activity."

However, the latest corporate hospitality report from Marketing and Consumer Insights predicts an 8% increase in this sector of the event industry.

What do you think? Is this a fair and accurate picture of event budgets? Let us know by commenting on this story.

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