Event marketing is an opportunity for you to get up close and personal with your audience, engaging them in a more intimate way than most other communication channels. But you need more than an “if you build it, they will come” approach to your efforts to achieve a positive return on your investment.

Our client, Dave & Adam’s Card World, wanted to translate the energy of their retail store to their second annual Nickel City Con, Buffalo’s premier comic and pop culture convention. Our challenge was to help them drive more than 5,000 attendees to the weekend event, in addition to promoting their celebrity special guest VIP packages. With a measurable goal in place, we began crafting the strategy to help Dave & Adam’s extend their reach to a broader segment of sports fans, gamers, and comic enthusiasts.

Initially, Dave & Adam’s entire budget was allocated to broadcast television advertising—a sensible direction if that’s how their audience consumed the majority of their information. However, our research indicated that our client’s primary customers were more likely to be online than watching local TV programming. At FARM, we always make media recommendations that speak to audiences with a high propensity to buy, with as little waste as possible. For Dave & Adam’s, that meant shifting their investment to targeted digital advertising and paid social media posts. Specifically, we developed contextual and behavioral display ads—both animated and static—for American and Canadian audiences. Interest-specific social ads supplemented the campaign.

The results dwarfed our client’s expectations with over 12,000 total convention attendees—more than doubling the previous year’s benchmark. The campaign’s performance also set the bar at lofty new heights for 2018 event planning.

What Dave & Adam’s saw as a business challenge, we viewed as a growth opportunity. It’s how we treat all our marketing partnerships, regardless of the industry. In all cases, thoughtful planning and deliberate execution are the keys to achieving your definition of success—whether your customers are right here at home, or in a galaxy far, far away.

By Matt Cascarino, Executive Creative Director and Nate West, Project Manager