IFT Expo’s Widget Builds Customized Attendee Agendas
For the Institute of Food Technologists 2012 Annual Meeting and Food Expo, the IFT wanted to expand its attendee base and help exhibitors boost ROI, so it deployed the ChirpE attendee acquisition widget. The widget was posted on exhibitors’ listing pages and home websites and allowed attendees to find and meet exhibitors that they were interested in and those whom they might not have found otherwise.
Specific goals were to encourage attendees to visit the event website and the exhibitor listings, and for attendees to build their personalized plans by adding exhibitors as favorites using the widget, in addition to pushing live attendance. To introduce the widget to the exhibitors, the IFT sent two marketing emails to promote it and to educate them on the benefits of embedding it on their websites.
More than 100 exhibitors displayed the widget on their websites, resulting in 315,000 views, 691 visits to the Expo website and 276 clicks to the registration site. In addition, exhibitors were added to attendees’ personalized plans more than 350 times. The ChirpE Mobile and Social Media platform is powered by a .net framework, and provided each exhibitor with the embed code for a dynamic, personalized version of the widget. All they had to do was copy the code and drop it in their websites. The exhibitor’s information, including booth number and location on the floor plan, was published and updated in the widget automatically. When an attendee, or prospective attendee, clicked on the widget, it directed them to the IFT 2012 registration site and event website and the exhibitor’s eBooth profile.
The attendees also could click and add the exhibitor to their own personalized schedules without leaving the exhibitor’s website. The widget’s functions made it easy for attendees to build personalized agendas and helped encourage new registrations. In the past, each individual exhibitor had to create its own promotional content, but for the 2012 event, the IFT needed to be able to better prove the ROI. The ChirpE attendee acquisition widget filled that gap, and because it’s a plug-and-play tool and exhibitors did not need special programming or design skills to display a fully functional and well-designed widget to their audience, it dramatically increased the adoption rates, and therefore success rates. Also, for the first time, exhibitors got data about the number of visitors who added them to their expo plan, both known and anonymous.
The ChirpE attendee acquisition program brought more attendees to the show, made exhibitors’ experiences easier and more productive, while increasing brand recognition for them. The IFT hit a homerun, and the partners on the expo floor reaped the rewards.