Marketers “get it” when it comes to the power of events to meet their goals and they are willing to put their budgets where their meetings are according to a new survey by Bizzaboo. The poll of more than 400 mid- to senior -level marketers was included in the company’s 2018 Event Marketing Benchmarks and Trends Report and it showed that marketers overwhelmingly see events as an essential part of their marketing pipeline. The majority plan to invest even more in collective gatherings next year. Here are the details:

1. Human Connections Rock

Almost every respondent (95 percent) agreed with the statement that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world. While the primary reason for wanting to connect varied (half were split between lead generation and community building with others citing brand awareness and customer relations), live events (31 percent) beat out every other marketing channel as being rated most effective compared to content marketing (27 percent), email marketing (25 percent) and organic social media (6 percent).

2. Play to Your Strengths

As a result of this perceived success, three out of five (63 percent) said they planned to increase their investment in live events, and increase the number of events. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of businesses classified as overperforming their goal said they planned to grow their event marketing budgets—by a margin of $4,500 more.

3. Support from the Top

A supermajority of executives (87 percent) agreed with the statement “In the coming years, live events will become increasingly important to my organization’s success.” And four out of five (84 percent) c-suite executives polled said they planned to increase the number of events in the coming year. That message may be taking time to trickle down. Only 70 percent of those in non-executive roles said they felt that the leadership team at their company supports a live event strategy.

The authors concluded that “The internet is not and will never be enough. People crave in-person experiences. The opportunity to travel somewhere else, meet someone new, learn something different is an irreplaceable experience…We fully expect that in-person live events will continue to reign as the single-most effective marketing channel in 2018 and beyond.”