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Case Study: Emerald Expositions' HD Expo + Feathr
Value of Feathr-driven registrations
Registrations driven by Feathr referral pages
Fast-growing trade show
HD Expo, run by Emerald Expositions, is the country’s largest hospitality design event. And 25 years into the life of the event, HD Expo was still seeing impressive growth – their attendance increased by 10% from 2014 to 2015. That growth earned them the title of one of TSNN’s 50 fastest growing shows. But success doesn’t happen by accident, so when their 2016 event rolled around, Jennifer Yarber, HD Expo’s Marketing Director, was looking to further optimize attendee acquisition strategy and growth.
Jennifer had a strong pulse on her event, and understood the best performing acquisition channel was exhibitor referrals. But she could see that referrals still had plenty of room for improvement.
Feathr demonstrated a willingness to create the exhibitor invite program using their current layout, with minor revisions we required. The program was better than any we had seen up to that point, and the pricing was at a good ‘discovery’ investment level, which allowed us to explore the program with them for a show cycle.
Jennifer Yarber, HD Expo
HD Expo’s referral program began as paper postcard invites, but now, a decade and half into the 21st century, people are not responding to direct mail as once before. Not only that, traditional referral marketing programs are cumbersome to manage for the organizer and a headache to participate in for exhibitors. “Share these paper passes? Upload my valuable list of email addresses for you to email?” No thanks. Jennifer needed a better way to generate referrals for HD Expo.
Joanne Wheatley, SVP of Marketing Services at Emerald Expositions, had recently used Feathr for other Emerald events such as PDN Photo Plus International Conference and Expo and Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). So, when she understood Jennifer’s situation, she referred her to Feathr. After learning more about Feathr, Jennifer was excited to transform HD Expo’s referral program from something that was a hassle into something seamless, digital, and trackable.
Feathr allows customers to run referral programs via co-branded landing pages that are elegantly designed micro-sites. 50% of the content is static, such as the background image and organizer info. However, the remaining 50% reflects the individual exhibitor’s branding, info and call to action. Using Feathr’s builder, the organizer can choose to automatically populate an infinite number of landing pages or have the exhibitor easily upload their information at zero marginal costs in real time.
Exhibitors can share co-branded landing pages directly with their audiences via social media, email campaigns, direct links on their website, blogs, and any other digital assets. With a little bit of work on the back-end to load exhibitor information, HD Expo and Feathr leveraged a large amount of idle capacity to produce 619 registrations using unique exhibitor landing pages.
The Feathr platform was up and running for HD Expo in less than a day. Jennifer easily loaded exhibitor information into Feathr and created a beautiful landing page template for HD Expo. Then Feathr’s magic took over and automatically created unique landing pages for 800+ HD Expo exhibitors. Jennifer was able to use Feathr’s email tool to send exhibitors their unique link and encouraged sharing via email, social, etc.
The results started rolling in. Well, it was more like a landslide. By the time the campaign wrapped up, HD Expo had generated 619 registrations, worth $68,000, with Feathr.
In addition to driving 619 registrations, Feathr also tracked each visitor to the exhibitor landing pages. When visitors to landing pages did not convert immediately, HD Expo used Feathr’s retargeting tool to serve targeted ads across the web, which sparked an additional 75 registrations.
Powerful Audience Insights
Organizers can also set-up unique landing pages for speakers, performers, sponsors, and other partners. By empowering exhibitor partners, HD Expo was able to gain new exposure to highly qualified attendee prospects.
Once those new audience members are tracked, organizers can use detailed audience data like website and social behavior to create useful segments: attendees vs. exhibitors, architects vs. developers, hospitality specialists vs. providers.
This in turn gives organizers more opportunities to personalize outreach and attendee conversion—these are attendees that organizers wouldn’t have been able to access without the exposure created via Feathr landing pages.
The longer organizers work with Feathr the more useful data we gather on their audience. This gives organizers powerful audience insights that can be leveraged to create personalized marketing campaigns.
Jennifer sums it up:
Feathr was an incredibly successful program integration for us. Our exhibitors were very happy with the easy-to-use interface, and we were very happy with the documentation and reporting.