Camp eBay Features Online Marketplace Education
In its first major event platform, eBay pulled a summer promotion down from cyberspace and scored a direct hit on the ground.
It began with a Camp eBay sweeps developed to generate new users by rewarding members with online camp “badges” they could decode for a chance to win prizes. “[That] was a great idea in itself, but we needed to take it a step further,” says Carolyn Pollock, eBay’s senior manager-consumer marketing. “So we added the event component.”
With the goals of engaging new users and reengaging lapsed members, the company converted a school bus into a classroom on wheels and ordered a custom collapsible mobile camp cabin. The bus and cabin were set up at major events such as the Indy 500 and Taste of Chicago. “We used the schedule to test different types of events,” says Bill FitzGerald, managing director with Ignition, Atlanta. “We wanted to know which types were more conducive to conversations.”
The cabin was used for an eBay 101 of sorts, serving as the informational hub of the on-site presence and greeting attendees. Six kiosks complemented a team of staffers teaching people about the online marketplace. People asked questions while staffers helped folks navigate ebay.com and disseminated information about the site.
The bus, meanwhile, had been refurbed with video screens and comfy chairs, and was used as a classroom for an eBay 301, rotating separate half-hour classes on buying and selling every 30 minutes.
When overlaid with a supporting summer flight that set up mini Camp eBay interactives at ClearChannel summer concert venues, the program touched 300,000 users, triple the original goal. More than 48 percent of the connections were made with lapsed users, and 45 percent of that group increased their eBay activity as a result. Event participants who engaged in Camp eBay ended up buying nine percent more online after the program ended, and some 5,200 people attended the 30-minute Camp eBay classes.