Association Forum of Chicagoland
IAEE marketing partner, Feathr, has published a series of case studies examining the unique challenges companies in the exhibitions and events industry are facing and offering solutions they discovered. In this feature, learn how Association Forum worked with Feathr to increase the attendance and ROI for its Holiday Showcase.
In hopes of making their annual event the best one yet — Association Forum wanted to diversify its marketing campaigns, continue to grow its membership, and increase the number of attendees at the Holiday Showcase event.
The Solution Association Forum leveraged Feathr’s digital marketing tools and services to grow their audience by 35k and drive new registrations for its annual event with a 652% return on ad spend.
About Association Forum
Association Forum is the hub for the large, close-knit Chicagoland association industry. The organization provides its members with resources, education, and networking opportunities that enhance and elevate the association management profession. Learn more at associationforum.org.
Feathr Ads, Flights, Invites, and Services
Founded in 1916, Association Forum (AF) has nearly 4,000 members representing more than 44,000 association professionals from nearly 1,600 Chicago-area organizations. The organization strives to be the definitive resource for learning opportunities that advance the professional practice of association management. To help achieve this mission, AF wanted to diversify its marketing campaigns, continue to grow its membership, and increase the number of attendees at its annual Holiday Showcase event.
“We were very much interested in reaching new audiences and getting the word out about some of our programs, especially the 2021 Holiday Showcase,” said Monica Linders, manager of marketing and communications at AF. “This is a great event where we feature industry vendors and educational activities as well as networking and engagement opportunities that help participants supercharge their plans for the new year.”
The Holiday Showcase routinely exceeds expectations. But in 2021, Linders wanted the event to be the most successful to date.
Leveraging Feathr Services
The Feathr Services team helped AF promote its 2021 Holiday Showcase event with an advertising Flight that included a total of five ad campaigns along with Feathr’s Invites tool.
“Using Feathr’s in-house team and their tools was a smart decision,” said Linders. “They basically did everything. We’re a seven-person team, so having Feathr handle the marketing aspects was super helpful as we planned such a huge event.”
After an in-depth discovery call that uncovered the target audience and identified the best ways to reach that audience, the Feathr Services team formulated a campaign for Linder’s review and approval.
“They put together all of the creative materials and launched the campaigns,” said Linders. “Then, they monitored the campaigns and gave us weekly reports that allowed us to keep track and make adjustments as necessary. They even gave us suggestions about how we should reallocate our ad spend to get the best results. Their support was extremely comprehensive and incredibly helpful during a crucial and hectic time.”
Example: This ad reminds previous registration page visitors to finish registering, by urging them not to “Miss Out on Reuniting in Strength.”
Planning for Future Growth
If it weren’t for the Feathr Services team, AF would have probably run a generic Google Ads campaign or boosted a handful of social media posts. Instead, they launched a professionally coordinated initiative that had a massive impact.
According to Erin Ford, a digital campaign strategist at Feathr, their “campaigns ran for a little over a month and saw great success largely due to the compelling messaging of their ads. Their average click-through rate held steady at 0.51% — double the average benchmark for display — indicating healthy engagement levels with their target audiences.”
“We are so pleased with what the Feathr team has done for us that we plan to continue working with them,” said Linders. “Next time, we want to focus on kicking off a campaign for membership acquisition with the hopes of expanding our reach and bringing new members into our community.”