Mainstreet Australia provides information, networking and professional development support to main streets, and the people who support them, Australia-wide. They carry out research and are heavily involved in lobbying and advocating for their members.
Assemblo has been involved with Mainstreet Australia as a paid member and event sponsor. Assemblo Director, James McInerney, is currently a committee member of Mainstreet Australia, leveraging his vast experience in business and marketing main streets to help Australian retail.
Putting placemaking and main streets on the map
The business challenge
Attract a diverse audience to Hobart for a world-class conference
Mainstreet Australia’s annual conference for 2023 was focused on thinking big and acting local, and this focus extended to their first event outside of Victoria, which took place in the charming city of Hobart. The event attracts retail managers, placemakers, local councils and supporters from all over Australia and New Zealand to discuss everything to do with open air and street retail.
With two months until the event, Mainstreet Australia were looking to actively attract as many delegates as possible to ensure a vibrant and successful conference in Hobart.
The Mainstreet Australia Conference provides unparalleled access to amazing speakers and networking opportunities
With rising costs of living and tighter budgets, 2023 presented a unique challenge in the event space. With the bulk of the delegates coming from outside of Hobart, the three-day event also had to account for travel and accommodation costs impacting the decision to attend. Mainstreet Australia needed to position the annual conference as the leading event in placemaking and main streets.
Working closely with Mainstreet Australia, we identified the exceptional line up of speakers and unique networking possibilities as the key selling points of the event. Providing opportunities for delegates to meet other people in their field and enable cross-communication at a national level helps to raise the national standard for placemaking in Australia and abroad, and positions Mainstreet Australia as a crucial player in the industry.
Emphasise the value and quality of the conference with high frequency
Working to a tight timeframe, Assemblo developed a custom landing page for the conference, placing a strong emphasis on translating the captivating visuals of the conference’s branding. The site included features on key speakers, a breakdown of the three-day schedule, as well as photography and video from past events to promote the vibrant atmosphere and networking.
The pricing structure was simplified into a three-tier table format, presenting ticket prices in a straightforward manner, making it easy to understand the various options available to both members and non-members at a glance. This microsite replaced the existing article on the Mainstreet Australia website, and redirects were implemented to seamlessly transition all traffic to the new landing page.
The website was also integrated with MailChimp to automatically capture email sign-ups, which were directly added to their database. Emails were subsequently sent to this list, including existing members, providing timely updates such as notifications about impending early bird pricing deadlines.
To direct individuals to the conference landing page, a meticulously targeted digital marketing campaign was executed across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google Ads. This encompassed more than 100 ad variations, with split-tested headlines and messages. The dual-tier campaign strategy emphasised heightened awareness by highlighting benefits and speaker details. This was coupled with a robust re-marketing effort and a late-stage campaign push featuring strong calls to action, particularly focusing on last chance ticket sales. These campaigns were specifically targeted at audiences in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
A comprehensive approach involving weekly snapshot reporting, heatmaps, on-page recordings, and split testing was adopted. Continual adjustments were made to the campaigns to ensure their ongoing effectiveness.
The Mainstreet Australia Conference 2023 campaign ran for two months between June 5 and July 30 in 2023, and achieved the following results:
- 146 ticket sales
- More than 1.57 million ad impressions served
- $5.02 return for every dollar spent on advertising
In addition to achieving the primary objective of a well-attended and vibrant conference, the campaign reached potential attendees for future events, grew prospects for future membership, and expanded the Mainstreet Australia database beyond attendees.
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