It may be an increasingly digital marketing world, but face-to-face events marketing is now the tactic brands are most planning for, with spending on events due to surge.

That finding was revealed in the Q1 2023 edition of IPA's Bellwether Report, a survey capturing companies' marketing intentions and financial confidence.

A net balance of +6.3% of companies reported they had increased events marketing spend in the quarter. But the full 2023/24 outlook is even stronger.

"Firms’ appetite to engage in face-to-face marketing activities remained strong," according to the IPA. "A net balance of +14.5% of companies expect events marketing spend to rise in 2023/24, the greatest level of optimism among the seven categories where budget plans are monitored."

While some budgets have decreased, it is excellent to see that event spending has increased for the fifth consecutive quarter, as marketing executives look to re-engage with new and prospective clients face-to-face.

From our own experience, we’ve seen this is pertinent for B2B events, as advertisers are wanting to deliver more innovative and relevant events that are closely aligned with what’s going on in the world today.

The event opportunities for advertisers are ripe. Events marketing is no longer simply about buying an exhibition stand or a conference sponsorship. Real-world, content-driven gatherings that bring a story to life can complement and enhance tactics like webinars or advertising buys.

News Live is the specialist events division of News UK. We create live experiences like Times Tech Summit, Times Earth Business Summit, talkSPORT Fan Zone and The Sun's Who Cares Wins Awards, many of which include brand partnership opportunities.

We organise more than 200 events each year and have developed formats from concerts and conferences through to roundtables and roadshows, with audiences of 10 to 10,000 people.

Despite the opportunities, to succeed, marketers need to ensure their events are aligned with their brand messaging and audience interest to be able to deliver authentic and creative experiences.

Even more so, with budgets being constantly scrutinised, it will be imperative to collect as much data as possible to get that all-important insight into how successful an event was.