Water Environment Federation's Technical Exhibition and Conference


WEFTEC Connect




As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) made the decision to shift their annual WEFTEC meeting to an all-virtual event, named WEFTEC Connect. There were concerns that the audience would not find the same value in an online event, or that virtual meeting fatigue would lead to lower registration and attendance numbers.


With less than 12 weeks to the start of the conference, CSG provided strategic recommendations and developed a robust multi-channel digital advertising plan consisting of 30 campaign tactics and 8 advertising channels to support WEF’s objectives.

The plan included both awareness and conversion tactics, and targeted past attendees by utilizing WEFTEC’s internal database. It also focused on reaching new prospects in the water quality industry — specifically domestic and international professionals who have never attended WEFTEC, wastewater plant operators, and young professionals.
In addition to very detailed, vertical retargeting and email targeting plans through the Feathr platform, the plan included prospecting and retargeting campaigns on Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. It consisted of display ads, search ads, native ads, video ads, lead-gen forms and InMail.

CSG also worked with WEF to identify key locations for display and video addressable geofencing ad campaigns, with the goal to reach and convert wastewater operators. Although most of the US was working remotely during the pandemic, this group was considered “essential” and was working on-site, providing an additional opportunity to reach them at their place of business.

Lastly, with the shift to a virtual event and the elimination of travel time and costs, international prospects became a larger focus for the 2020 meeting. To reach and convert more international attendees, 23 of the 30 campaigns included an international targeting component. In the final week, CSG launched 3 dedicated Feathr campaigns with translated ad creative to target prospects in key Spanish, Portuguese and French speaking countries.


Overall, the WEFTEC Connect digital campaigns performed very well. They delivered 9.3 million impressions, 75K clicks (0.84% CTR), 133 leads, and 718 conversions, which was 31% of the total attendance. Additionally, the Facebook and LinkedIn campaigns generated 2,761 reactions, indicating strong ad engagement. While Google Search and Facebook drove a combined 106 conversions, the Feathr campaigns drove 549, which was 82% of the total campaign conversions.

WEFTEC Connect reached its goal with a total of 2,307 attendees. 839 (36%) were from outside of the US. Canada, Peru, Mexico, Singapore and India accounted for 78% of the international attendance, and it is worth noting that these countries were included in targeted campaign tactics through Google ads, Facebook and Feathr.