24 May Retargeting for Event Registration

retargeting for event registration


Retargeting for Event Registration

Attendee and exhibitor acquisition is the trade show lifeblood. How can event producers get their message to prospects that are at times tuning out against a sea of noise? Ad retargeting has gained traction with event producers because it keeps the trade show message in front of prospects after they visit the event’s web site.

To find out use and effectiveness of ad retargeting on event registration Event Survey Group invited working trade show managers with real world experience to take part in a short study.

Who completed the ad retargeting for event registration survey?

Fifty two trade show managers completed the short survey on ad retargeting.

  • Two out of three trade show managers who completed the survey represent non-profit organizations (69%).
  • All survey respondents run events with over 5,000 net square feet of exhibit space.
  • The sample of trade show managers is split almost equally among very large events (46% listed on the TSNN 100) and those that are not giants (54%).


Does ad retargeting work for event registration?



Show Manager Use: Ran an ad retargeting campaign


Effectiveness: Ad retargeting is a cost effective tactic to increase event registration


Plan to run ad retargeting campaigns to generate event registration for upcoming events


The topline results favor the use of ad retargeting as a catalyst to increase event registration. There is no discernable different between for-profit and not-for-profit segments in their use and outcome of ad retargeting to push event registration.

Beneath the topline findings there are indicators that trade show managers may need further guidance in implementing campaigns and interpreting their results.

  • A noticeable one-third of event managers (31%) are “not sure” if their campaigns were a cost effective tactic to increase event registration.
  • Among the segment of show producers that have not run ad retargeting campaigns, two out of three (66%) either “Heard of it, but not sure how to implement it” or “Never heard of ad retargeting”.

It’s not surprising that ad retargeting has not been completely mastered by show producers yet. The complexities of the show manager role are evolving rapidly. Ad retargeting is a new tool, in a long list of new tools, for attendee and exhibitor acquisition.


What is Ad Retargeting?

Retargeting is an option for event producers to display their online ads to ONLY those attendee or exhibitor prospects that visited the trade show website, but did not register, i.e. did not convert. The process works by adding a tracking pixel to the event website, so you can follow those visitors who did not register, and display ads to them on other websites.

Below are some best practices stitched together from a collection of websites including wishpond.com, feathr.co and OkDork.


Best Practices:

1 – Segment your audience to create ads relevant based on their interests (ex. Attendees, exhibitors), and show each segment ads with a relevant message.

2 – Do not show ads to prospects that already registered for the event (part of the conversion pixel process is segmenting those who converting and those who did not).

3 – Limit the Frequency you show your ad. Do not become part of the noise.

4 – Change the ad at some point (if the ad does not work day 1 to day 7, serve a different ad with a different message).

5 – The ad should send prospects to a dedicated landing page that has the same colors and look as the ad (prospects comfortable with the ad should feel the same ease on the landing page).