GAINESVILLE, FL — It goes without saying that COVID-19 has brought the events industry to a screeching halt. And for many event organizers, discovering a new revenue stream in this new normal sounds about as likely as finding buried treasure or thousands of rapid PCR tests on Amazon.com. Fortunately for all of us, without forewarning of an industry shutdown, some event companies built paths to earn revenue outside of events.
When Clarion’s gaming division sold out of sponsored ad placements on all three of their highly trafficked industry websites, they recognized the need to expand their digital sponsorship opportunities.
Having seen great results from programmatic retargeting advertisements for their own promotions, Clarion Gaming’s Senior Marketing Manager, Haydn Williams, was quick to offer it to their partners. “We wanted something new that our clients could benefit from that didn’t necessarily have a limit on how many we could sell,” he explained.
By offering sponsored retargeting packages, Clarion not only diversified its revenue streams but simultaneously supported its partners who, without their in-person events, needed a way to access their audience more than ever.
So, what exactly are programmatic retargeting ads? In this context, programmatic refers to the method of buying and selling digital ads through an automated system. Retargeting, on the other hand, is the practice of serving ads to a targeted audience (most commonly, website visitors), wherever they are online: reading the news, browsing social media or using apps on mobile devices. While that might sound extremely complicated, software companies like Feathr do most of the heavy lifting.
As an event organizer, your greatest treasure is your audience: the audience that registers and attends an event, website visitors, email lists and so on. Any business that has ever sponsored an event did so to reach a specific group of people. “Naturally, industry-specific trade shows and conferences bring together valuable, highly-qualified audiences,” said Aidan Augustin, President and Co-Founder of Feathr. “We help organizers monetize their audiences through selling retargeting packages to their sponsors and exhibitors and running ad campaigns on their behalf. This is both a clever way to create new revenue and a novel way to provide value to supplier partners, especially following a canceled event or as an enhancement to a virtual or hybrid event,” Augustin added.
In addition, retargeting enables engagement and reach throughout the year. “We don’t just focus on selling this around events; it’s a year-round thing,” Williams said. “It allows clients to reach our audience 12 months of the year instead of two days of the year. And this has been particularly significant in the very changed world we are currently living in.”
According to Feathr’s recently published case study, Clarion Gaming saw a return on investment (ROI) of 1,446% from Feathr Monetization and is glad to have an offering with a high margin. “Feathr Monetization helped us create an entirely new revenue stream that was relatively low cost and that gave us and our clients real results,” Williams said. “The interest in our digital products is booming and we are restructuring our business to make sure that when things return to some normalcy, we are able to continue this meteoric rise in digital.”
According to Feathr’s CEO and Co-Founder, Aleksander Levental, “The events industry has had over a decade to evolve its digital and non-endemic sponsorship offerings and largely hasn’t. Companies like Clarion, that actually expanded their business models and diversified revenue streams with digital products — before the pandemic — are reaping the benefits and deserve credit.”