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5 Event Marketing Pros Tell Us Which Attendee Acquisition Strategies Actually Work

5 min read
Jun 25, 2018

When it comes to marketing, hype is just part of the game. The latest. The greatest. The best. The most. Everyone claims to have all the answers because, let's face it, hype sells. 

But hype won't be there for you when it's time to hit your event marketing goals. Results always speak louder. 

We asked five Feathr customers (who happen to market some of the world's best events) which acquisition channels and strategies actually perform best for them. Read on to learn from the trenches about which strategies actually work. You may be surprised.


Damaris Duarte, Manager of Industrial and International Marketing at National Association of Home Builders

NAHB is the largest American association of home builders. A federation of more than 700 state and local associations, NAHB represents more than 140,000 members. Each year, NAHB’s members construct about 80% of the new homes built in the United States, both single-family and multifamily. NAHB puts on multiple meetings and conferences each year, but its biggest show is the NAHB International Builders' Show, which welcomed approximately 85,000 attendees in 2018. We asked Damaris which attendee acquisition strategies work for her events.

"Targeted special event marketing and exhibitor landing pages. We’re currently focused on promoting our special events, so when people register for the show they also sign up for other ticketed events. Getting people registered for the show is great, but having people register AND purchase tickets is even better. The attendee gets a personalized recommendation and we meet our revenue and attendee goals.

As for the landing pages, with 1,400+ exhibitors these seem to be a natural fit for us. If every exhibitor invites one person, that’s a win. Last year we started using Feathr two months before the Builders’ Show, and in those two months we had 414 conversions and a 14.06% conversion rate."



Jessie Wolfe, Marketing Manager at ASIS International

ASIS International is the world's largest membership organization for security management professionals. ASIS, with Jessie's hard work, puts on the Global Security Exchange (GSX), one of the world's most prominent trade shows for security professionals. ASIS 2018 is expected to attract over 22,000 attendees and 550+ exhibitors. We asked Jessie how she earns those numbers.

"Our exhibitor invites program has been our strongest tool for attendee acquisition year-over-year. We have had huge success in that arena.

This past year, we also deployed some new tools that had strong outcomes, and I think these tools will only get stronger as we learn to use them smarter. For example, we had strong conversion rates for our Feathr exhibitor pages, but because it was a new marketing tool that didn’t get implemented/marketed until later in the show cycle, we did not have maximum participation. I am confident we can see that increase next year."



Dana Hamer, Marketing Manager at American Urological Association

The American Urological Association is America's oldest and largest urologic association, supporting 21,000 members and organizing 15+ annual conferences and meetings. AUA2018, the world's largest urological conference, gathered over 11,000 attendees from across the globe. Dana, true to the role of a care team member, credited her colleagues as the greatest source of attendee acquisition.

"I have to give a lot of credit to my colleagues outside of the Marketing & Communications team for their work in engaging—and more importantly, retaining—new audiences. For us, a great example of this is our work with advanced practice professionals. As urologists face a workforce shortage, advanced practice professionals like physician assistants and nurse practitioners have become critical members of the urologic care team. Our Education and Membership teams have done a tremendous job engaging these groups and developing programs that meet their unique educational needs. We can do all the marketing in the world to these groups, but we have to understand their unique needs, and deliver on those needs, to be successful."



Holly Abrams, Director of Marketing at Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy

AMCP is the nation’s leading professional association dedicated to increasing patient access to affordable medicines, improving health outcomes and ensuring the wise use of health care dollars. With nearly 10,000 members, AMCP's annual meeting draws between 3,000-5,000 attendees. AMCP attendees must be on the ball, because Holly says her early bird campaigns performed the best! Click here to read more about the success AMCP had in its first year using Feathr.

"Honestly, the one that really moved the needle was one we did early on—the early-bird gets the ROOM. This is our second meeting in a row where we have run short of hotel rooms in our original hotel blocks and our people are beginning to respond to that prompt to ensure themselves the hotel of their choice. The other big draw is the early-bird discount cut-off. Even though most of our attendees’ registration and travel fees are paid by their company, they do try to get the best deal."



Shana Thomas, Senior Manager of Conference and Event Marketing at PRSM

PRSM, the Professional Retail Store Management Association, empowers retail facilities management professionals to make informed business decisions, enhance their company’s brand, and advance their careers. With 5000 members and several events, including a large annual event that gathers almost 3000 attendees and 300+ exhibitors, Shana has her work cut out for her. Luckily for her (and us) she can describe her best attendee acquisition channel in one word: Feathr.

"I was not paid to say this, but honestly Feathr has had a tremendous impact on our reach to current and new audiences, along with being that constant reminder to register or finish registrations. Now that we are getting into landing pages, influencer/referral campaigns… the sky is the limit and with every event I geek out with our data points."


It's true, we didn't pay Shana to say that but we're certainly glad she did. If you'd like to learn how Feathr can do for your organization what we do for PRSM and all of our customers, visit feathr.co/demo today to set up a personalized run-through of the Feathr platform.

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