Events are an important part of the marketing mix but I was unaware of the sheer scale of the B2B spend on events. Here are a few of the more surprising statistics about the US industry in a report by the Events Industry Council and Oxford Economics:

  • $325 billion is spent each year on B2B events
  • 1.9 million meetings
  • 251 million participants

To put this spend in proportion, the industry it supports employs more people than the Oil and Gas extraction industry. Or looked at from another point of view, it is 10x the CRM software market (the largest single software sector) and 60x the market for Marketing Automation. 

What's most interesting though is that many of the biggest events are for software services, often run directly by vendors; Dreamforce and Oracle OpenWorld being two that jump to mind. 

It is strange that physical marketplaces were more often than not disrupted by technology but now, many of the biggest physical meetings are run by the very companies that disrupted.

It would appear that although buyer's behaviours have changed, as yet seller's behaviours have not for complex B2B transactions.