Which would you prefer: an unsolicited LinkedIn message or handshake over coffee and pamphlets?
Social media continues its rapid, upward expansion and targeted ads are getting smarter. But nothing beats a face-to-face connection in the B2B world.
Events hold an important place in nearly any advertising budget — not the least of which are those within the hospitality market.
Trade shows provide new opportunities for supplier relationships and events across the board facilitate networking for everyone from attendees to sponsors to host publications or associations. In fact, Bizzabo found that most marketers believe that “event marketing is the single-most effective marketing channel for achieving business goals.” This makes event marketing an essential channel in B2B going into 2020.
Now, new data from MediaRadar supports the idea that events contribute in no small way to the marketing environment within the hospitality market. Not only that, but spending on events is up within the industry, when looking at the five biggest hospitality events. These run the gamut of interests and specializations, from technology and design to investments. They include:
- The American Lodging Investment Summit
- Hospitality Design Expo
- Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
- International SPA Association Conference & Expo
The Shape of Hospitality Event Spending
Spending on these top five hospitality events went up 17 percent between 2017 and 2018. The highest grossing event (HD Expo) brought in $26 million across those two years. Attendee fees play a part, but the lion’s share of revenue comes from event marketing in the form of sponsorship packages, booths, placements and more.
Events are a particularly good fit for the hospitality market: hotels have a constant need for consistent suppliers, and suppliers can grow their business both buy expanding into new markets and upselling current customers. HD Expo, for example, pitched their exhibitor package by reporting that companies that purchased “enhanced marketing opportunities” at the event increased their leads by 140% in 2018.
Hospitality groups have to source everything, so the product categories within the market span everything from furnishings to food and beverage.
The top five product categories for 2018 were:
- Furniture: Big advertisers included RH Contract and Charter Furniture.
- Software: Oracle Hospitality and Protel made up a significant portion of software advertisers.
- Lighting: Currey & Company, Daniolite and Pacific Coast were all among major advertisers.
- Hair Care: Rusk and Redken were among the top spenders in this product category.
- Wall Covering: Two of the top advertisers here included Koroseal Interior and TRI-KES.
Event marketing includes everything from program sponsorships to paid keynote addresses. But the hallmark of any exposition or conference is the vendor booth. In 2018, the most common booth size was a 10×10, followed closely by a 10×20 size booth.
Clearly, event organizers are focused on getting as many vendors participating as possible. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use a hospitality event to build long lasting advertiser or vendor relationships.
To learn more about event marketing done right, download our recent webinar with MediaRadar CEO Todd Krizelman and Bizzabo VP of Marketing Alon Waks.