It may be a new year, but event organizers are still dealing with the same issues they grappled with in 2018.

Eventbrite polled 1,200 event creators on its platform on industry trends and their experiences managing events in 2018. The respondents were primarily from small organizations that run six or more events annually aimed at education or community building.

While half of those polled said they expect their budget for 2019 to remain the same as the previous year, 49 percent also said they are expecting to be responsible for holding more events than in 2018. Meanwhile, 41 percent said they expect spending on marketing and promotion to increase for their events.

“The biggest driver of budget growth is marketing and promotion,” the report found. “Forty-one percent say they will be increasing spending in this area — notable given that marketing and promotion is already tied for the top spend category (alongside food and beverage).”

Four out of 10 polled said that dealing with stretching their budgets is an issue even if their overall budgets for the year are expected to increase. Despite budgetary limitations, the sign of a successful event is considered strong attendance and positive feedback rather than a strong return on investment.

Top Three Metrics for Event Success
Overall Attendance Rate84%
Verbal Feedback48%
Profitability41%

Source: Eventbrite

There remains a gap between performance and the data that is actually captured by organizations, though.

“While these metrics are important, you might be surprised by how little else event creators measure to track success,” reads the report. “Only 23 percent collect post-event surveys. Just 36 percent do any type of social media monitoring during or after their event. These are big opportunities to develop and improve.”

The report also delves into which marketing techniques are proving most effective for Eventbrite customers. Word of mouth is the most valuable marketing according to event professionals, followed by social media marketing and email marketing.

Some of the more complex techniques used to publicize an event, though, are seen as less effective.

Least Effective Marketing Tactics in 2018
Search Engine Optimization21%
Search Engine Marketing27%
Webinars25%

Source: Eventbrite

Sustainability, too, seems to remain as a fringe issue for those polled, with just 5 percent saying sustainability will have a big impact in 2019. Similarly, just 7 percent said data security will have a big impact.

You can check out the full report from Eventbrite here.

Photo Credit: Registration at a TED event in Turkey. tedxankara / Flickr