Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Event Strategies Differ Based on Size: "It Is a Mistake to Think of 'Business Events' as a Monolith."

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Event Strategies Differ Based on Size: "It Is a Mistake to Think of 'Business Events' as a Monolith."

Article excerpt

As print advertising dries up and digital revenue struggles to move from dimes to dollars, events have been an area of sustained growth for b-to-b media.

Companies are using face-to-face in very different ways though, according to a recent study by ABM's Events Council.

Overall, events drive 45 percent of the industry's total revenue, with trade shows--both with and without conference components--accounting for 55 percent of that. The picture changes dramatically when broken down by company size though.

MID-SIZED B-TO-B PUBLISHERS WAY BEHIND IN EVENTS

While businesses with more than $25 million in event revenue are in line with the overall industry figures, midsized companies (those with event revenue between $5 and $25 million) only generate about 14 percent of their earnings from trade shows. Companies falling under the $5 million threshold go in the opposite direction--almost two-thirds of their revenue comes from trade shows.

"It is a mistake to think of "business events" as a monolith," the report says. "Even a broad characterization of events as 'conferences' and 'trade shows' fails to distinguish among the many kinds of events."

Hybrid conferences are next on the list for both large and mid-sized companies; hosted buyer events play a central role for small businesses.

REVENUE SHARE BY TYPE OF CONFERENCE--ALL COMPANIES

Hybrid conferences--attendee and sponsor revenue     18%
Award programs with face-to-face presentations        4%
Pure conferences--all revenue from attendees          3%
Trade shows with paid-attendance conference          14%
Trade shows without paid-attendance conference       41%
Sponsored buyers events (aka Hosted Buyer events)     3%
Pure training/educational events                      5%
Single-sponsor custom events                          5%
Other                                                 8%

Note: Table made from pie chart. … 
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