Like many live-event organizers this year, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) were faced with the difficult decision to move their annual in-person experience to a virtual platform. Although this transition presented its challenges, our team at CSG was able to work with AFPM to develop a digital marketing strategy for the 2020 AFPM Virtual Summit designed to engage and incentivize their audience of loyal attendees, members, as well as new prospects.

Crossing the finish line:

The 2020 AFPM Virtual Summit was attended by 3,605 registrants, surpassing the organization’s initial goal of 1,200. We would like to attribute this exciting turnout to a few key takeaways:

1. Mix it Up!

While we are big believers in multichannel campaigns, it is important to be strategic with which channels are being utilized, as well as how they’re leveraged. With many prospects shifting from working in an office to working from home, we were cognizant of the fact the direct mail and telemarketing tactics we would typically use would not have the same reach as they had in pre-pandemic times. Instead, we developed a varied digital marketing campaign.

We were able to tailor a robust marketing plan that worked with AFPM’s audience, goals, and budget. It featured:

  • Email marketing
  • Google search engine marketing
  • Display campaigns
  • Geofencing
  • Facebook awareness and remarketing campaigns
  • A LinkedIn display campaign
  • Gmail remarketing campaign

Sample Banner

2. Expand Your Audience!

The event’s migration to a virtual platform immediately eliminated travel time and costs for attendees. With this in mind, international prospects became a larger focus for the 2020 AFPM Virtual Summit. With roughly four weeks until the start of the event, our team expanded the reach of our Google display and Facebook campaigns to include specific countries that AFPM helped identify as key targets. This approach was considered a success as roughly 15% of the total registrations came from areas outside of the U.S.

3. Don’t Take Your Foot Off the Gas.

Marketing a live event and marketing a virtual event are very different experiences. We have found that if engagements and impressions are not tracking in the way an organizer is accustomed to, it can be discouraging. However, since prospects are as easily able to register the day-of, as they are six weeks prior, it’s crucial that you do not lose steam with your marketing efforts! For the 2020 AFPM Virtual Summit, we continued to see a significant amount of registrations take place in the week leading up to the event.

Need help navigating your upcoming virtual event?

There are unique challenges, benchmarks, and questions that come with marketing a virtual event. Our team at CSG does more than just advertise—we advise and collaborate with organizations looking to pivot to an online venue. Visit our Virtual Conference Services page to learn more about how we can work with you on your upcoming virtual venture.

Interested in working with us? Drop us a note! We’d love to hear from you — contact us.