Experiential marketing -- including sponsorships and live event marketing -- is rebounding from the devastating toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While this year still won't reach the record levels of pre-pandemic spending in 2019, both U.S. and worldwide experiential marketing spending has risen at healthy double-digit percent gains in both 2021 and 2022, according to PQ Media's just-released "Global Experiential Marketing Forecast."
“Experiential marketing has steadily become more important to brands over the past decade because live experiences, such as major music festivals and global sporting events, provide excellent opportunities to engage more elusive and fickle younger demographics," notes PQ CEO Patrick Quinn, adding: “Several instances of these evolving tactics emerged in the past two years, including music events that went virtual through online videogame platforms, such as Roblox and Fortnite; NASCAR races that took place in e-sports leagues; hybrid media experiences at the Beijing Winter Olympics; and the return of lucrative political fundraising events.”
In the U.S., total experiential marketing spending is projected to rise 13.7% to $35.65 billion this year, while worldwide spending is forecast to rise 11.1% to $75.16 billion.
While those totals are still down 9.2% and 10.6% respectively from 2019's record spending, PQ notes that the tailwinds favor sustained ongoing growth for the rapidly rising category, noting that "secular trends driving brand marketer investments in experiential marketing for decades are expected to accelerate in the years ahead, as branded entertainment and marketing have increasingly become more important components of successful cross-channel marketing campaigns."