With their annual flagship event, IFT FIRST Annual Event & Expo, just months away, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) was looking for an innovative way to boost early bird registrations and drive attendance.

IFT is an international, non-profit scientific society of professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related areas in academia, government, and industry. 

IFT FIRST is the leading global science of food event focused on innovation, thought leadership, and intentional networking. Scheduled for July 2023, the event brought together professionals from across job fields and disciplines to collaborate on science-based solutions that transform and innovate the food industry.

How They Did It: Campaigns Targeting Engaged Readers in Real-Time

To capture the attention of their most engaged audience, IFT launched a series of Live Engagement campaigns in Hum, designed to target readers while they were actively consuming IFT content. The first campaign promoted the upcoming early bird registration deadline, using timely pop-ups to encourage visitors to take advantage of the discounted rate.

"These campaigns were simple for us to set up and manage in Hum, and we were able to get the right messaging in front of the right readers in a way that was more personal and effective than just sending another email." - Lori Conley, Senior Director of Digital Experiences at IFT.

In a subsequent campaign, IFT targeted non-members with a tailored message promoting the significant savings IFT members receive on FIRST registration fees. By leveraging Hum's first-party data capabilities, this campaign was dynamically shown only to anonymous readers and non-members actively engaging with content related to the event or membership.

Because Hum is constantly collecting and connecting first-party data about who is visiting and what content or topics they're engaging with, IFT can personalize who campaigns are shown to and where they are shown onsite based on a mix of demographic, transactional & behavioral data.

Results: $15K in Event Registration Revenue

After just eight days, IFT’s early bird campaign had been shown over 24,000 times, driving more than 1,000 clicks to the registration page. The membership promotion campaign generated an additional 250 clicks from non-members.

Together, these two campaigns generated approximately $15,000 in event attendee registration revenue within a matter of weeks!

"It was exciting to see the impact these campaigns had on the overall success of our 2023 event in less than two weeks," said Leisha Nicol, Senior Director of Integrated Marketing & Brand Strategy at IFT. "We've set plans in motion to run a more robust campaign in the months leading up to FIRST 2024, and we're anticipating even greater returns."

Motivated by their initial success, IFT continued to leverage Live Engagement campaigns to share additional conference details and promote hotel room blocks with registered attendees. As they prepare for IFT FIRST 2024, the team is already strategizing how to take their real-time engagement strategy to new heights.


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