The goal for the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference (CIMC) was simple in concept but not in execution: launch a world-class inaugural event from scratch that would educate business leaders (especially the B2B market) and marketers on digital marketing and PR. The event was created by two agencies who noticed that they were often competing with one another for business. Instead of continuing to compete, they chose to collaborate and create what would eventually become the largest digital marketing and PR conference in Western Canada, all while generating additional business for their respective agencies, creating a ton of buzz around the picturesque mountain town of Squamish, an hour’s drive from Vancouver BC, and attracting an A-list speaker roster and eager attendees from across the country.
Social Media and Digital Ads: Our digital presence was the base of our overall strategy, highlighting new speakers, sponsors, early bird sales cut offs and fun facts about Squamish. We used a collaboration of Facebook, YouTube and retargeting ads to target prospective attendees by job title, age and geography.
Email Marketing: In addition to our standard emails that we would send out, we also partnered with 14 B2B brands for cross promotion, sharing discount codes to their targeted audience and thus, extending our reach.
Public Relations: We developed a comprehensive PR strategy that included multiple press releases, influencer partnerships and a kick off party to generate additional excitement. The conference was picked up by numerous publication pre and post event.
World-Class Speakers: In order to attract business leaders and well established marketers, we knew we had to secure the best of the best when it came to speakers and workshops. Speakers included CMOs from Google, Facebook, Pixar, Twitter, WestJet and Adobe. To top it off, we had speakers requesting to be a part of the already maxed out roster year after year.
Workshops: With so many conferences at our fingertips, we knew we had to stand out. Rather than filling our agenda with speaker after speaker, we included numerous workshops that encouraged action items to put into practice after the conference was over and our attendees were back at their desks.
Added Value: We knew that we had to add a few extra carrots to CIMC to really stand out and showcase our personality. We provided prospective attendees with a detailed template that could be emailed to their boss to convince them to pay for their ticket, food trucks for lunch, tokens for the coolest swag items, a marching band welcome, guided stretch breaks by a local health and wellness influencer, and of course, the best after parties. People were always engaged and the speakers before and after the lunch break didn’t have to dread seeing empty seats in the audience!
Keeping Organized: Our goal was a flawless event without any hiccups or bored attendees (ambitious, right?) We hired Vancouver’s top event planner to keep our ducks in a row to ensure that no detail was overlooked. The coffee was always hot and we were never behind schedule, trust us!
Major Sponsorship: Along with a top tier speaker lineup came major sponsorship opportunities. When speakers were confirmed, we encouraged them to consider sponsoring the conference as well. Not only did it increase their overall presence at CIMC, but it also helped us provide our attendees with one of the kind experiences, meet and greet opportunities and giveaways. Local, provincial and national sponsorship was secured helping us create a profitable event each year.
3 back-to-back sold out events
950+ engaged marketers and industry leaders in one room
11 unique PR hits prior to the event
14 PR hits after the event
3 years of conference hashtag trending nation-wide
Grew our email list from 0 to 2,500+