5 Key Takeaways From EXHIBITOR Magazines Marketing Tech Survey

read time

While most corporate marketers see value in event technology and plan to spend more on it this year, their specific objectives and priorities vary widely. 

Those are among the key findings from EXHIBITOR's most recent Marketing Technology Survey report. Respondents plan to invest more this year across a range of technologies from geofencing/RFID to digital signage (the survey didn't inquire about core event management platforms but rather focused on ancillary technologies that expand upon those).

Here are five key conclusions from the report, with supporting statistics, on topics from objectives to spending priorities to ROI measurement. 


Number One: Lead Generation and Brand AwarenessTop Event Tech Objectives (What a Shock) 


 Given that year after year, in survey after survey, generating more leads and increasing brand awareness consistently rank as the top challenges and priorities for B2B marketers, it's no surprise they lead the list of corporate objectives event tech can help with. But that technology can do much more as well. The top corporate objectives that event technology helps marketers achieve ar

  • Increased brand awareness (64%)
  • Increased leads (57%) 
  • Increased booth traffic (52%) 
  • Improved relationships (41%) 
  • Increased staffer/attendee interaction (30%) 
  • Increase sales (27%) 


Number Two: RFID and Streaming Video Lead Technology Spending Priorities 


Specific technology spending plans are all over the board, with no single area being cited as most important by more than one out of eight marketers. At the top of the list are RFID technology (a combination of reader devices and event credentials like a badge or wristband produced by the event management software) and streaming video / webinars. But lots of other tech made the list as well. Here are the technologies that survey respondents said have the most potential as marketing tools: 

  • Geofencing/RFID/NFC (13%) 
  • Streaming video/webinars (13%) 
  • Augmented reality (12%) 
  • Touchscreens/interactive kiosks (11%)
  • Digital signage/multimedia (10%)
  • Ten other technologies scored single-digit percentage mentions. 


Number Three: Marketers See Value in Event Tech, and Spending Plans Reflect That 


When asked if they see the value and importance of technology as a marketing tool increasing or decreasing in the coming year, a whopping 85% said "increasing." More than half of marketers plan to spend more on event technology this year. Just 1% saw less value, and only 5% plan to cut tech budgets. 

 The typical corporate marketing team devotes about 22% of its total marketing budget to live events. Of that allocation, most marketers spend at least 5% on event marketing technology; 8% invest 20% or more of their total events budget on tech. 


Number Four: Event Technology has "Limitless Potential" to Most Marketers 


Asked "How do you personally view technology in the context of exhibit and event marketing?," an astounding 68% of marketing professionals said it has "limitless potential." 30% said it has moderate potential. Just 2% thought it has "little potential." 


And NUMBER 5...Most Marketers Don't Measure Results 


Per the report, only 24% "of exhibit managers using technology...set measurable goals to gauge its effectiveness." That's surprising, as there dozens of metrics for measuring event value across operational performance, soft benefits, and financial return. Virtually all involve the use of different types of event technology, ranging from survey apps to online registration tools, web and apps analytics tools, social media monitoring toolsCRM systems ,and event management platforms. 

 What's clear is that marketing teams see the value in event technology tools and will increase spending this year on tools that improve attendee engagement and help achieve other event marketing objectives.

 Visit the EXHIBITOR website to see all the results from the Marketing Technology Survey and the accompanying infographic.