The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Social Media Campaign category evaluates the collective use of social media channels to effectively promote a show before, during and after the event. Judging criteria includes: content appeal and usefulness; effectiveness of distribution and target audience engagement; target audience response; how well the campaign correlates with the overall “theme” of the show; how well the social media campaign met its intended goals; and how well the social media drove attendance, general show awareness and overall brand awareness.
In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Social Media Campaign category:
Under 75,000 nsf
Ontario Hospital Association
The signature conference and exhibition of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) for over 90 years, HealthAchieve is an award-winning event that has long been one of the largest and most respected health care events in North America – the preeminent gathering place for health care and business leaders. HealthAchieve continues to inspire ideas and innovation by providing global health care and business leaders with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from each other, share their ideas and evolve their perspectives.
Read the complete case study about how OHA won not only in this category, but took the overall Best of Show prize for last year’s Art of the Show Competition with this entry here.
Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf
SuperZoo is the largest pet industry trade show in North America, with a more than 60-year history of helping pet retailers and service professionals discover new products, find amazing deals, learn how to build their businesses and connect with others who share their passion for pets. SuperZoo started out as a modest, regional trade show but has grown tremendously over the past decade, since moving to Las Vegas in 2004. SuperZoo 2016 marked the biggest SuperZoo in history, with the most exhibitors, buyers and education hours of any pet industry event in North America. SuperZoo has long been known as the event for the independent pet retailer, but it is also well-attended by pet service professionals and groomers, international buyers and corporate buyers interested in expanding their presence in the consumer pet market. SuperZoo exhibitors include distributors and manufacturers of products for cats, dogs, reptiles, aquatic animals, birds and more, as well as companies offering retail-specific services.
SuperZoo’s audience is highly social, therefore a variety of tactics was used to encourage them to engage before and during the show. The primary goals were to increase followers, and drive registrations and onsite verification. With audience acquisition in mind, mdg developed a paid Facebook campaign that mixed boosted posts and events with targeted ads to build SuperZoo’s follower base and drive attendance. Recognizing the importance of Instagram as a platform, they also sought to build this audience.
The 2016 social media campaign was a huge success, with a 23 percent increase in Facebook likes, a 58 percent increase in Twitter followers and a 106 percent increase in Instagram followers. Facebook remained the most popular platform and views and engagement peaked during the show, with users frequenting the page multiple times per day to see what was going on onsite and what they should make time to see. The efforts to build the Instagram audience also paid off with a 151 percent increase in likes over 2015.
The campaign also went to great lengths to get the sort of exclusive, visual content that drives engagement. In the weeks leading up to SuperZoo, a hashtag campaign was run asking people to download a #SZ16 sign and share photos for a repost which featured big-name speakers on successive “takeover Mondays.” This takeover campaign resulted in 68 clicks to registration and had a reach of 33,725 people. They also promoted a #WPAGoodWorks photo contest where followers posted photos of their business doing good works in their community for a chance to win a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice.
Once onsite, SuperZoo utilized Facebook Live and the new Instagram Stories feature (which came out while the show was happening!) to provide relatable, unscheduled content at exciting moments – show floor pan from a cherry picker, anyone? A Facebook Live post featuring a birds-eye view of the show floor was the campaign’s most successful piece of content, organically reaching 45,617 people, resulting in 1,780 likes, comments and shares and 3,931 post clicks.
The paid advertising campaign had a combined reach of more than 150,000. Facebook’s robust audience-building parameters allowed the campaign to target a highly qualified group of prospects (the difference between dog walker and dog lover is huge for SuperZoo!) and drove nearly 140 registrations at a cost less than one-third the industry average.
According to mdg president, Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, “Our digital team took SuperZoo’s social to a fun new place, not typically seen in B2B marketing. We used Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to leverage the power of social influence, drive engagement through highly visual posts, AND get the community excited about the charitable initiatives being doing by and for the communities served.”
Account Director Elena Lien echoed those sentiments, adding, “I take great pride in these IAEE awards and even greater pride in the results we’ve achieved by serving as an extension of World Pet Association’s marketing team.”
The 2017 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 31 August 2017 to submit your entries! You can also view all of last year’s winners and honorable mentions here.