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CTBUH expands community and conference attendees with Feathr

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
4 min read
Jul 24, 2023




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The Challenge

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) effectively engaged their loyal base of members and regular conference attendees. But with a strong growth mindset, they felt there were audiences that still needed an invitation. To get where they wanted to go, they needed a new strategy for reaching and engaging these new people.


With Feathr, CTBUH’s first ad campaign generated 340% ROI. And this year, they have the time and budget to blow that campaign out of the water. By partnering with Feathr, CTBUH has been able to find new attendees, better serve event partners, and generate big returns.

There’s enough work in the day to distract from the question, “is this working?” But the most effective marketers build time to lean into, “what’s our next best step?”

Charles Mutscheller is the director of marketing & communications at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). And he’s the type of leader that can’t stomach the idea of standing still.

He says, “When we talk about expanding our audience, we're being very thoughtful. We want to become the National Geographic of the built environment, but to get there, we need to take a measured, incremental approach. We’ll continue to serve our members. We'll continue to publish thoughtful research. But we want to start tapping into people who are in these adjacent fields, who I think wouldn't be very hard to bring in.”

Starting with the question of how they could expand their audience, but then keeping their community first, Charles knew that CTBUH needed to start with the right software. 

He says, “In the process we were equipping ourselves with the right tools to engage our current audience, and new audiences — a broader audience in a more fruitful and viable way.”

Charles began the search, but it didn’t take long before he found an answer: “I started talking to some people and everyone was telling me, ‘you’ve got to get this. It's so great.’ I even had one person walk me through their Feathr account, showing me how they had spent $500 and got $10k back in conference registrations. So I bit, and it’s been mind-bogglingly successful for us.”

Setting a flight path toward success

When CTBUH decided to partner with Feathr as their marketing platform, Charles and his team jumped in feet first. With a short timeline before their next event, CTBUH focused on retargeting campaigns, reaching out to people who had visited their website already, encouraging them to register.

Charles says about his first campaign in Feathr: “Tall Excellence 2022 was our international conference, and I remember doing the calculation, and even if you took the expense of our license and everything into account, I mean, the ROI was 340%.”

Despite these incredible initial results, Charles still believes there’s so much more he could do on the platform. 

He says, “One of the things that's been great about Feathr is it's a tool that works really well. But we also understand that we can't go from zero to 60 the first year.”

But that isn’t stopping him from trying!

CTBUH received a grant from the Singapore Tourism Board for their upcoming international conference. So with the added budget they decided to invest in a longer timeline and additional ad spend. 

He said, “As opposed to maybe just a retargeting campaign, what we've come up with is a really robust combination of campaigns that's already bearing fruit. During our early bird component, we dedicated $500 and we've already seen 24 conversions, which adds up to about $25,000. And the conference is still three months out. So it's been really successful.”

This type of success is a game-changer for a mid-sized nonprofit. When you see how one campaign can tip the scales for your organization, it’s hard not to start dreaming about the next one: “We've had success. I think it's a little addictive, it's kind of like, wow, let's do this again.”

It's not only about ads

While their Feathr Ad campaigns have been highly successful, they’ve also used Feathr to better serve their exhibitors and speakers with additional influencer tools.

He says, “We also try to equip our conference speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors with assets that they can use to promote their involvement among their networks. This is something that we had done internally in the past, and it was very time consuming. And now with Feathr, through their Invites campaigns, we have these beautiful, customized dashboards that we can send to our partners. I mean, our investment in Feathr just keeps paying us back in spades!”

The sky's the limit in Feathr. From digital advertising to email marketing — and paid social and data in between — Feathr has everything nonprofit and associations need to take their marketing efforts to the next level. And by putting it all in one place, teams are able to gather greater insights into what’s working, and what isn’t.

Data you can really work with

A marketing campaign is far from over when the last impression comes in or the last email’s sent. This is when Charles and his team dig into the numbers and create a plan to make the next campaign even more successful than the last.

Talking about the reporting features within Feathr, Charles says, “By default the dashboards tell a really compelling story…I can see how much I've invested, impressions, clicks, conversion value, and stuff like that. I get to see a map of where the activity is coming from. I get to see kind of the funnel of impressions too, I get to see the sources.”

With these numbers in mind, CTBUH can build a growth strategy that’s based on real numbers instead of intuitions. And instead of needing to rely on other people to interpret the results for them, Charles and his team can jump right into Feathr to get clarity on their best next step.

Talking about the ease of use of the platform, he says, “It's ridiculously easy. The interface is very user friendly. In part because it's incredibly intuitive, it's also fun.”

It’s not every day that you hear about someone having fun on a marketing platform! But success really is addictive, and it really is fun!

“During our early bird component, we dedicated $500 and we've already seen 24 conversions, which adds up to about $25,000. And the conference is still three months out. So it's been really successful.”
Charles Mutscheller

Director of Marketing & Communications, CTBUH



The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is the world’s leading nonprofit organization for all those interested in the future of cities. It explores how increased urban density and vertical growth can support more sustainable and healthy cities, especially in the face of mass urbanization and the increasing effects of climate change worldwide. The relationship between policy, buildings, people, urban density, urban space, interior space, and infrastructure is key. Learn more at https://www.ctbuh.org/


Chicago, IL


Attendee acquisition

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