Case Study: International Wire and Cable Symposium – Association Marketing Services
Case Study: Case Study: International Wire and Cable Symposium – Association Marketing Services
Sector: Professional Association Project: Social Media Strategy, Social Media Management, Social Media Event Marketing
We partnered with IWCS to promote their annual Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum and keep audiences engaged beyond the event. SBS provided association marketing services that included social media strategy, social media management, and live event marketing. Over the course of our work together, we achieved 1.3M impressions, 32K engagements, and 22K video views—while also shifting their audience demographic of attendees to include more young professionals.
The International Wire and Cable Symposium (IWCS) was established in 1952 and organizes the Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum as the premiere technology event for a global audience. This annual event is designed to provide a space and platform for industry leaders from Europe, Asian, South America and the U.S. to exchange information about emerging innovations in cable and connectivity products, materials, and processes. In addition, they offer development opportunities for industry professionals through education and scholarships.
Although long-established in the field and known for their annual forum, IWCS had no social media accounts set up for the organization, preventing them from reaching younger professionals who were more likely to read social media posts than website information or print brochures.
IWCS reached out to SBS to collaborate on establishing a social media presence and strategy that could build greater brand awareness with a wider demographic, as well as boost attendance at their annual event and off-season educational offerings.
Primary goals for our work together included:
Using social media to attract younger professionals in the field to their annual event
Promoting registration for their annual event through social media, as well as use of their event app during the event
Taking advantage of the annual forum to build brand awareness and boost audience attendance over time using social media
Finding ways to keep audiences engaged beyond their once-yearly event so that attendees would stay connected and get involved in other offerings over the course of a full year
Our first step with IWCS involved a Social Media Strategy process to determine which social media platforms would best align with their overall mission and goals. This meant we needed to establish their presence on key social media platforms and determine where and when to post content in order to reach their target audiences. To accomplish this, we:
Launched a YouTube channel and Instagram account for IWCS so they could share more types of content with followers
Designed and set up a company page on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
We also began managing a LinkedIn group where attendees could exchange information, ideas, and questions both during and beyond the forum
Our next step was providing ongoing, retainer-based Social Media Management services for IWCS's newly established Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to grow followers and track engagement, as well as an executive LinkedIn account for IWCS's president.
To ensure each platform was meeting our intended goals, audience demographics, and benchmark metrics, our social media management plan included:
Ongoing social media management at three levels: 1) maintenance during offseason level, 2) ramp up for annual event; 3) live coverage on the ground at the forum
Offseason social media management focused on association marketing services designed to promote webinars and utilize key messages to reinforce brand recognition and raise awareness
Influencer outreach, which involved finding Suppliers Exhibition participants, speakers and the corporations they represent, corporate sponsors, and partners on Twitter so that IWCS could follow them and achieve significant interaction from corporate partners, trade publications, and exhibitors during the event
Community management throughout the year for social media platforms and the LinkedIn group, which enabled IWCS to monitor their social media feeds and respond quickly to questions, concerns, or accolades
Our final step was to provide live Social Media Event Marketing for the IWCS Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum to build brand awareness and boost audience engagement ahead of, during, and after the event. This included:
Creation of extra content ahead of the event designed to tease what's new and different each year, promote plenary keynotes session, and drive registrations through the IWCS website
Live coverage during the event, which involved writing and posting live quotes from the annual executive session and plenary keynote
Brand monitoring during the event to capture any post that mentioned the IWCS brand, the event location, or the hashtag for the conference
Daily posts of photos of industry leaders from technical sessions, the exhibition hall, and any social or networking events
Live coverage of awards, with announcements of the winners in real time
Posts from the exhibition floor to recognize exhibitors and add value to the work they were doing in the hall; this typically involved posting photos of the people at each booth with their "pitch" and encouraging others to stop by and interact
Sponsor acknowledgements spread throughout each day of the event
Content designed to be reposted by corporate stakeholders (e.g., Dow, Corning) on their own social media accounts featuring professional-level photography of the event
Used the IWCS event app to push notifications and help promote its use
To help build audience growth both for the event and in the off-season, we utilized page like ads and account-based marketing (ABM) strategies to target people at industry-related companies to grow their base of potential and actual attendees.
In the off-season, we were able to use social media management content planning to promote calls for papers and highlight scholarship recipients. We also promoted past webinars as on-demand video content viewable through IWCS's YouTube channel.
Over 6 years, the platforms we managed received 1.3M impressions, nearly 32K engagements, and 22K video views—all of which started from zero—using a combination of paid and organic tactics.
We were able to grow IWCS's social media audience from 0 to 3,123 across all of the organization's primary platforms.
IWCS saw the demographic age of attendees shift over time, with our efforts yielding an increase in attendees 45 and under.
Our live social media event marketing led to increased activity during the forum on social media, which enabled IWCS to utilize opportunities to be retweeted by members or sponsors and boost brand awareness.
Our social media strategy to promote IWCS webinars in the forum's off-season encouraged registrations of over 100 attendees for some sessions, which helped IWCS maintain awareness throughout the entire year.
"Sarah Best is simply terrific at what she and her company do. As a client of hers, the International Wire & Cable Symposium (IWCS) needed a formal social media strategy to grow as an organization, particularly to attract more attendees and participants who were new to the wire and cable industry. With Sarah’s great ideas for communications on the various relevant platforms, we were able to not only evolve in our social media participation, but with her expert reporting and data analysis, we were able to quickly set the stage for real organizational growth. In particular, IWCS has grown significantly due to the social media-driven publicity of our webinar series and the noticeably enhanced attendance of younger industry members to our annual events."