Event Retargeting: Everything You Need to Know



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If you want your event to be successful, event retargeting is a must. It helps you:

➡️ Increase the number of attendees

➡️ Reduce no-shows

➡️ Get more exhibitors

➡️ Secure more sponsors

➡️ Boost brand awareness

But what exactly is event retargeting, how does it work, and how can you use it effectively?

Well, that's exactly what we'll be covering in this article.

We'll go over everything you need to know about event retargeting so you can make the most of it for your events.


Let's get into it.

What is Event Retargeting and How Does It Work?

Event retargeting is a form of online advertising that allows you to target and reach people who have interacted with your event website, app, social media, or other digital channels but haven't taken the desired action.

This action could be registering for your event, purchasing a ticket, or applying to be a sponsor or exhibitor.

While retargeting isn't new, it remains one of the best strategies for event marketing.

Originally popular with retailers, it's now used across all sectors, including the event industry.

However, fortunately for you, many of the retargeting campaigns event planners run today are poorly optimized and just a few are running truly effective campaigns. This means there is a big opportunity for those who do it right. And, If you take the time to read through this article and put things you learn here into action, that could be you!

Retargeting vs. Remarketing: The Difference

If you read about retargeting online, you'll often see retargeting and remarketing used interchangeably. In fact, when you type "retargeting" into Google, the first thing you'll see is a snippet saying retargeting and remarketing are the same:

On top of this, you'll also see a bunch of other nonsense. So, before we move forward, it's important to make the distinction.

Retargeting, as we said, is used to target and reach potential customers who have interacted with your digital channels but haven't taken the desired action. The goal is to encourage them to complete that action and move further down the sales funnel.

On the other hand, remarketing is used to reach existing, past, or inactive customers to re-engage them and make them purchase again, renew their subscriptions, or upgrade to a higher package.

In a nutshell, retargeting is about getting new customers, and remarketing is about getting more from your existing customers.

It's as simple as that, and it's surprising why there's so much confusion between the two.

Now that you understand what retargeting is, let's see how retargeting works.

How Retargeting Technology Functions

There are two different types of retargeting: pixel-based and list-based.

➡️ Pixel-Based Retargeting

Pixel-based retargeting as the name says relies on tracking pixels (referred to as ‘tags’ by Google), a tiny piece of JavaScript code provided by ad platforms, that you embed in your site.

Once you have tracking pixels on your site, when someone visits your site, this pixel places a cookie in their browser. This allows the ad platform to recognize the user on other websites or social media platforms and display ads to them.

Here's how it works step-by-step:

  1. A first-time visitor browses your site.
  2. The pixel places a cookie in their browser.
  3. As the visitor continues browsing other sites, the pixel signals ad platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads to display ads based on their activity on your site.

This method is immediate, meaning you can reconnect with visitors almost as soon as they leave your site. The ads are highly relevant, reflecting the specific pages the visitors viewed, and are targeted based on their behavior.

➡️ List-Based Retargeting

List-based retargeting uses contact details you already have to target users.

Here’s the process:

1. You upload a list of email addresses to a platform like Facebook or Twitter.
2. The platform matches these emails with user accounts and shows them your ads.

List-based retargeting is particularly effective for targeting previous event attendees.

This helps maximize the number of registered attendees for your next event.

While less common, this method allows for highly personalized ads since you choose who goes on the list.

Now, which retargeting type should you go with?

Well, it depends.

If you have high traffic to your event website, pixel-based retargeting is likely your best option. It lets you target a large number of visitors quickly and efficiently. This method usually results in more conversions because it reaches users right after they've shown interest in your site (first visit).

On the other hand, if you have a solid list of contacts from past events, list-based retargeting can be very effective. It allows for highly personalized and targeted ads, which can help re-engage past attendees and encourage them to sign up for your next event.

In many cases, the best approach is to use a combination of both methods.

Note: To get the most ROI, it’s paramount to analyze your event data and understand your audience. Event management software can be a great tool for this, offering the data you need. More on this in a bit.

Examples of Event Retargeting in Practice

To understand how event retargeting works in action, let’s look at Google Display Ads as an example.

Imagine you’re hosting a big conference.

You have a website where potential attendees can learn about the event, see the agenda, and register.

And, let’s say Sarah visits your site and browses the agenda but doesn’t sign up.

Now, when Sarah landed on your event website, the tracking pixel placed a cookie in her browser.

This cookie tracks her journey across the web, and as she browses other websites or uses social media, the ad platform recognizes her and displays your event ads.

These ads might highlight key speakers, special sessions, or early bird discounts, nudging her to return and register.

This prompt might be just what she needs to complete her registration.

And, just like that, you reminded Sarah of your event and got a new attendee.

Why is Retargeting Effective for Events?

Before we dive into why retargeting is so effective for events, let’s first understand why retargeting works in general.

You see, there’s a psychological phenomenon called the ‘mere exposure effect’ by which people tend to develop liking and preference for things just because they are familiar with them.

If we look at things with this in mind, it's easy to see why retargeting works.

When people see your ad multiple times, it reminds them of your brand and builds familiarity and trust. The more they see it, the more they'll like it, and the bigger chance they'll buy your product or service.  

There’s even a marketing rule that was built on this principle: Rule of 7.

This states that a prospect needs to hear about your offer seven times before they take action.

Now, let’s see why retargeting is so effective for events:

1. Increased Engagement and Conversion Rates

The first reason why retargeting is effective for events is because it increases engagement and conversion rates.


That can easily be seen by looking at the stats:

Retargeting has a click-through rate (CTR) 10x higher than traditional display ads.

What this means is that people are three times more likely to click on a retargeted ad.

Now add logic to that: More clicks = more conversions.

Stats also support this: retargeting increases conversion rates by 150%.

Jonathan Kazarian, our CEO, recently shared valuable insights on this topic:

Check out his post on LinkedIn.

All in all, by keeping your event top of mind, retargeting significantly boosts your engagement and conversion metrics, driving more successful outcomes for your event.

2. Cost-Effective Advertising

Another reason retargeting is effective for events is that it’s cost-effective, but… only if highly targeted.

Check this out: compared to search ads, retargeting ads have a significantly lower cost-per-click (CPC) almost by half.

And it’s no wonder why.

You’re reaching people who have already shown interest in your event, so they’re cheaper to convert.

But that’s not all.

This also translates into a better ROI, making retargeting a budget-friendly powerhouse.

However, this only applies if your retargeting campaigns are highly targeted.

To achieve this, use layering of segmentation criteria.

By narrowing down your audience based on specific behaviors and interests, you can ensure that your ads reach the people most likely to convert.

For instance, if someone checks the agenda page on your site, you can show them ads highlighting key sessions or special events. If someone looks at the speakers' page, you can target them with ads featuring your top speakers and their topics.

3. Reduced No-Show Rates

In the world of events, no-shows are event organizers' worst nightmare.

For free events, no-show rates can be as high as 50%, and even for paid events, the average is around 10%.

Pretty depressing numbers, right?

However, retargeting helps reduce these no-show rates by showing ads to people who have already registered, reminding them about the event as it approaches.

These reminders can highlight important details such as event dates, times, and locations, or even offer last-minute updates and incentives to attend.

For example, you can target registrants with ads featuring exclusive content, special sessions, or networking opportunities they won't want to miss.

This helps maintain their interest and increases the likelihood they will attend.

4. More Exhibitors and Sponsors

Retargeting isn't just for getting more attendees; it's also highly effective for attracting exhibitors and sponsors.

By targeting individuals who visited your sponsorship or exhibitor pages but didn’t commit, you can re-engage them with tailored ads.

These ads can highlight the benefits of participating in your event, such as increased visibility, networking opportunities, and potential ROI.

For instance, if someone viewed your sponsor packages but didn’t sign up, you can show them ads emphasizing the unique advantages of becoming a sponsor, such as exposure to a targeted audience or exclusive branding opportunities.

Similarly, if a potential exhibitor browsed your site but didn’t register, you can use retargeting ads to showcase success stories from previous exhibitors or offer early-bird discounts.

By continuously reminding these potential sponsors and exhibitors of the value your event provides, retargeting helps convert their initial interest into a commitment.

This targeted approach ensures that your event attracts not only attendees but also a strong lineup of exhibitors and sponsors, contributing to the overall success and profitability of your event.

5. Increased Brand Awareness

Retargeting also boosts brand awareness.

Even if someone doesn’t immediately register for your event, repeated exposure to your ads helps build familiarity and recognition.

Over time, this can lead to increased trust and a stronger brand presence in your industry.

By consistently displaying your event ads to potential attendees, you keep your event and brand top-of-mind. This constant visibility helps potential attendees remember your event when they’re ready to make a decision.

Additionally, retargeting ads can reinforce your brand's message and values. By showing ads that highlight your event's unique aspects, such as keynote speakers, innovative sessions, or networking opportunities, you reinforce what makes your event stand out.

Even if a user doesn’t convert right away, this continuous exposure builds a connection with your brand. This familiarity makes it more likely that they will engage with your event in the future, whether by attending, sponsoring, or recommending it to others.

Ultimately, increased brand awareness through retargeting strengthens your market position and drives long-term success for your events.

Audiences for Event Retargeting Ads

Okay, now that you understand how retargeting works and why it's so effective for your events, it's time to see who you should target with it.

There are two main groups to focus on:

  1. event attendees
  2. exhibitors or sponsors.

Each group has different needs, wants, goals, and fears so tailoring your retargeting strategy to address these specific aspects will maximize your campaign's effectiveness.

Let’s take a better look at each group and explore how to reach them best.

Event Attendees

Attendees are the heart of any event.

They are the ones who fill your sessions, network in your halls, and drive the buzz around your event.

But what do they care about? What do they need? What are their goals, and which ads should you use to reach them and make them register for your event?

Well, most of all event attendees want to know what's in it for them.

They are looking for value (experiences and opportunities) and they want to see if your event can provide them that and if it’s worth taking time out of their busy schedules to attend.

Here are some retargeting ads that could resonate with them:

  • Keynote Speaker Highlights: Showcase your top speakers and the valuable insights they’ll share.
  • Exclusive Sessions: Promote unique sessions or workshops that offer something special.
  • Networking Opportunities: Emphasize the chance to connect with industry leaders and peers.
  • Special Offers: Provide early-bird discounts or limited-time promotions.
  • Success Stories: Share testimonials or case studies from past attendees about the benefits they gained.

Also, attendees need convenience and reminders.

Life gets busy, and most of us forget things.

That’s why retargeting ads that remind them of registration deadlines, special offers, or event updates are crucial.

For example, you can use:

  • Countdowns: Use countdown ads to create a sense of urgency as the event date approaches.
  • Event Details: Provide updates about new speakers, sessions, or changes to the schedule.
  • Logistics: Provide important info about venue, parking, or accommodation to ease their planning.
  • Exclusive Content Alerts: Remind them about exclusive content or special sessions that require pre-registration.

For best results, make sure to target your audience based on their actions.

For example, if someone visited your website and stayed only on the landing page, they aren’t as close to conversion as someone who visited multiple pages. They might respond best to ads that provide general event highlights or introductory offers that encourage them to learn more.

If someone took a look at your event agenda, they are likely interested in the content of your event. Ads that focus on speakers, sessions, and workshops will resonate well with them.

For cart abandonment, special offers, discounts, or bonuses can be very effective. These ads can remind them of the benefits of registering now and provide that extra nudge to complete their registration.

By tailoring your retargeting ads to the specific actions your audience has taken, you can increase the relevance and effectiveness of your campaigns, driving more conversions and boosting your event's success.

Exhibitors and Sponsors

Exhibitors and sponsors are essential for the success of any event.

They bring financial support, industry credibility, and added value to your attendees.

But how do you attract and engage them effectively with retargeting ads?

First, understand what exhibitors and sponsors care about.

They want to know if participating in your event will offer them visibility, lead generation, and a good return on investment. Your retargeting ads should highlight these benefits to capture their interest.

Here are some retargeting ad ideas that could resonate with exhibitors and sponsors:

  • Visibility and Exposure: Highlight the benefits of participating in your event, such as high attendee numbers, targeted audience demographics, and engagement levels.
  • Lead Generation Opportunities: Emphasize the chance to connect with industry leaders and potential clients. Show them the caliber of attendees they can expect to meet.
  • Success Stories: Share testimonials from past exhibitors and sponsors who benefited from participating in your event. Highlight their success stories and the ROI they achieved.
  • Special Packages: Offer special sponsorship packages or early-bird discounts to entice them to commit. These could include premium booth locations, exclusive branding opportunities, or speaking slots.
  • Exclusive Benefits: Promote the unique benefits of being an exhibitor or sponsor at your event. This could include access to VIP networking events, exclusive lounges, or additional marketing support like post-even exposure through recordings, articles, and ads.
  • Post-Event Benefits: Highlight long-term benefits such as post-event exposure through event recordings, articles, and continued engagement with attendees.

For best results, tailor your retargeting ads based on the actions these potential exhibitors and sponsors have taken:

➡️ If someone visited your sponsorship page but didn’t commit, retarget them with ads emphasizing the unique advantages of becoming a sponsor, such as increased visibility or exclusive branding opportunities.

➡️ If a potential exhibitor browsed your site but didn’t register, use retargeting ads to showcase success stories from previous exhibitors or offer early-bird discounts.

➡️ For those who showed interest in specific sponsorship packages, create ads highlighting the benefits of those packages and the potential ROI they can expect.

Look, getting attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors for your events isn't easy.

We know that very well.

However, using hyper-targeted audience lists can make this much more easier, efficient, and cost-effective.

With a hyper-targeted audience list, you focus your efforts on those most likely to convert, reducing wasted ad spend and improving results. You can use ⤵️

1️⃣ Existing Lists: Use the audience list you already have, such as past attendees, exhibitors, or sponsors.

2️⃣ New Lists: Create a new list based on specific criteria, such as interests, behaviors, or demographics relevant to your event.

3️⃣ Purchased Lists: If you lack sufficient data, consider buying targeted lists from reputable sources to expand your reach.

By leveraging hyper-targeted audience lists, especially existing ones, you ensure that every dollar spent on retargeting ads goes towards reaching people with a genuine interest in your event, leading to better results and a higher ROI.

Types of Event Retargeting Ads

Now that we’ve covered the importance of retargeting and who you should target, let’s explore the different types of event retargeting ads. Understanding these types will help you choose the best approach for your specific needs.

1. Display Retargeting Ads

Display retargeting ads, Google Display Ads are one of the most popular forms of retargeting.

These ads appear on websites across the internet that are part of Google’s Display Network.

Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) function on pixel-based technology and as we explained at the beginning of this article: when someone visits your event website but doesn’t register, the tracking pixel you’ve placed on your site drops a cookie into their browser. As they continue browsing other sites, they’ll see your display ads reminding them of your event.

These ads are highly visual and can include images, videos, or interactive elements, making them perfect for grabbing attention.

Google Display Ads are best used to;

  • remind visitors of your event,
  • showcase highlights like keynote speakers or special sessions,
  • and offer limited-time discounts to encourage registrations.

2. Search Retargeting Ads

Search retargeting functions similarly to display retargeting but uses paid advertising on search engine results pages (SERPs).

In Google Ads, this feature is known as remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA). It targets users based on their past interactions with your site and displays ads when they search for related terms on Google.

For example, if someone previously visited your event website and later searches for “upcoming tech conferences,” your ad can appear at the top of their search results.

This method is great for capturing high-intent users who are actively looking for events like yours and is highly effective at drawing clicks and driving conversions.

3. Social Media Retargeting Ads

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer robust retargeting options.

When someone visits your event website, a Facebook pixel tracks their activity.

This allows you to serve ads to these users when they browse Facebook or Instagram.

These ads can be highly personalized and visually appealing, using images, videos, carousels, or stories.

Facebook/Instagram retargeting ads are great for engaging users with:

  • updates about your event,
  • sharing exclusive content,
  • or promoting special offers.

Social media retargeting is particularly effective for creating a sense of community and excitement around your event.

4. Video Remarketing

Video retargeting involves using video content to re-engage potential attendees. YouTube is a common platform for this type of ad.

In Google Ads, you can set up video ads that play before, during, or after other videos.

You can use these ads to share highlights from past events, introduce key speakers, or give a sneak peek of what attendees can expect.

For example, if someone watched your event trailer but didn’t register, a follow-up video ad showcasing exclusive content or behind-the-scenes footage could prompt them to sign up.

5. Email Retargeting

Email retargeting doesn’t involve paid advertising but is a powerful retargeting tool and because of that, it’s very important to mention it.

Email retargeting involves sending personalized emails to individuals who you know might have an interest in your event.

This can include visitors who abandoned the registration process or past attendees.

Email retargeting works because it lands directly in the user’s inbox, a place they check regularly.

You can use it to:

  • remind potential attendees about the event,
  • offer special discounts,
  • or provide additional information that might encourage them to register.

This type of retargeting is best used when you have a robust list of contacts and want to engage them with personalized messages. It’s particularly effective for reaching individuals who are already familiar with your event and just need a little nudge to commit.

By leveraging these different types of retargeting ads, you can ensure that your event remains top-of-mind for potential attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors.

Each type of ad serves a unique purpose and can be used to address different stages of the decision-making process, ultimately driving more successful outcomes for your event.

How to Set Up an Effective Paid Media Retargeting Campaign

So, you've learned about the power of retargeting and the types of ads you can use.

Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty of setting up an effective paid media retargeting campaign.

This isn't nuclear physics, but creating a successful campaign involves a few key steps, the right tools, and an eye on essential metrics.

Let’s go through each one of these, one by one.

Steps to Create a Retargeting Campaign

Creating a successful retargeting campaign involves a clear plan and execution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

1. Define Your Goals

As with everything, before you start, you want to know what you want to accomplish.

Are you looking to increase event registrations, reduce no-shows, or attract more exhibitors and sponsors?

If your goal is to increase event registrations, your retargeting ads should focus on the unique value your event offers.

Highlight keynote speakers, exclusive sessions, and networking opportunities.

Showcase what attendees will gain by registering, and consider offering early-bird discounts or special promotions to drive sign-ups.

If reducing no-shows is a priority, your retargeting efforts should include reminders about the event date, time, and location, as well as exciting updates and incentives to attend.

For example, highlight new speakers, exclusive content, or special activities that will take place at the event.

These reminders keep your event top-of-mind and build anticipation.

Attracting more exhibitors and sponsors might be your main objective.

In this case, tailor your retargeting ads to showcase the benefits of participating in your event.

Emphasize the visibility and exposure they will receive, the networking opportunities available, and the potential return on investment.

Share success stories and testimonials from past exhibitors and sponsors to build credibility and interest.

Additionally, you might have secondary goals such as boosting brand awareness, increasing engagement on your event website, or growing your email subscriber list. Each goal will require a slightly different approach and may involve using different retargeting platforms and ad formats.

By clearly defining your goals at the outset, you can create a focused and effective retargeting campaign.

Your goals will inform every decision you make, from the design of your ads to the targeting criteria you use, ensuring that your campaign is cohesive and aligned with your overall event marketing strategy.

With well-defined goals, you can track your progress, make data-driven adjustments, and ultimately achieve the outcomes you desire.

2. Identify and Segment Your Audience

When you know what you want to achieve, it's time to see who you need to target to achieve it.

Understanding your audience is crucial for creating effective retargeting ads.

Different segments of your audience will have different needs and behaviors, so identifying these segments will help you tailor your approach and maximize your campaign’s impact.

Start by looking at your event website’s analytics to understand visitor behavior. Identify key actions that indicate interest, such as visiting the registration page, viewing the agenda, or spending a significant amount of time on the site. Use this data to create specific audience segments based on their interactions.

Here are some common audience segments for event retargeting:

  • Website Visitors: These are people who have visited your event website but didn’t take further action. They might have browsed a few pages or shown initial interest. Retargeting this segment can help convert casual visitors into engaged prospects.
  • Registration Page Abandoners: This group includes visitors who reached the registration page but didn’t complete the process. They showed a high level of interest but need an extra push to finalize their registration. Ads highlighting special offers or limited-time discounts can be effective here.
  • Past Attendees: These individuals already have a connection to your event, so targeting them with ads about new features, updates, or special offers for returning attendees can be very effective. Remind them of the positive experiences they had at your previous events and encourage them to register again.
  • Agenda Viewers: Visitors who spent time looking at the event agenda are likely interested in the event content. Retarget them with ads that emphasize the key sessions, speakers, and topics they showed interest in.
  • Speaker Page Viewers: Those who viewed the speaker bios are particularly interested in who will be presenting. Use ads that highlight these speakers and their expertise to entice them to register.
  • Exhibitors and Sponsors: For these groups, focus on those who visited your sponsorship or exhibitor pages. Tailor your ads to emphasize the benefits of participating in your event, such as audience demographics, lead generating opportunities, and potential ROI. Success stories and testimonials from past exhibitors and sponsors can be particularly persuasive.

Additionally, consider demographic and geographic segmentation.

If your event targets a specific industry or location, make sure your ads are reaching the right audience. Use demographic information like job titles, company size, and industry to refine your targeting further.

This targeted approach ensures that your event marketing efforts are efficient and effective, driving better results for your event.

3. Choose the Right Platforms

Once you have defined your goals and identified your audience segments, it's time to choose the right platforms for your retargeting ads. Selecting the right platform is crucial for reaching your target audience effectively and achieving your campaign goals.

Consider the following popular platforms:

1. Google Ads

2. Facebook Ads

3. Twitter Ads

4. Specialized Retargeting Platforms (Like AdRoll and Criteo)

When choosing a platform, consider the following factors:

  • Audience Reach Ensure the platform can reach your target audience effectively. Look at user demographics and engagement levels on each platform.
  • Ad Formats: Different platforms offer various ad formats, such as display, video, carousel, and dynamic ads. Choose a platform that supports the ad formats best suited to your campaign goals.
  • Budget and Pricing: Evaluate the cost structure of each platform. Some platforms might offer lower cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand-impression (CPM) rates, making them more cost-effective for your campaign.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Good analytics and reporting tools are essential for monitoring your campaign's performance and making data-driven adjustments. Choose a platform that provides comprehensive insights into key metrics.

(more on platforms in a bit)

4. Set Up Tracking Pixels

Now that you've chosen your platforms, it's time to set up tracking pixels. Tracking pixels are small pieces of code that you place on your event website. These retargeting pixels collect data on visitor behavior, allowing you to retarget them with relevant ads later.

Here's a quick overview of how to set up tracking pixels:

  • Generate the Pixel Code: Each advertising platform, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, provides a unique tracking pixel code. You can find this in the platform’s settings or account dashboard.
  • Place the Pixel on Key Pages: Insert the pixel code into the header or footer of key pages on your website. Important pages might include your homepage, registration page, agenda page, and speaker bios. Alternatively, as putting code into each page tends to get out of control pretty quickly, you can use Google Tag Manager. This tool helps manage all your tracking codes in one place, preventing the hassle of placing codes on each page individually. With Google Tag Manager, you can add, update, and manage your tracking pixels through a simple interface without editing your website's code directly.
  • Verify Pixel Installation: Use tools provided by the advertising platforms to ensure the pixels are correctly installed and firing. Platforms like Facebook offer pixel helpers to confirm that the tracking code is working properly.

By accurately setting up tracking pixels, you can collect valuable data that will help you create highly targeted and effective retargeting ads, ensuring your campaign reaches the right audience.

5. Create Compelling Ad Creatives

With your tracking pixels in place, it’s time to create compelling ad creatives that capture attention and drive action. Your ads should be visually appealing and engaging, and clearly communicate the value of your event.

Get them right, and you'll see impressive results; get them wrong, and everything else you did won’t matter.

Here’s how to create effective ad creatives:

1. Highlight Key Aspects
Focus on the most attractive aspects of your event. This could be keynote speakers, unique sessions, networking opportunities, or special offers. Use high-quality images and bold headlines to make these features stand out.

2. Use Strong Call-to-Actions (CTAs)
Your ads should include clear and compelling CTAs that tell viewers exactly what you want them to do. Examples include “Register Now,” “Save Your Spot,” or “Get Your Early-Bird Discount.” Make sure the CTA is prominent and easy to find.

3. Leverage Different Ad Formats
Use a variety of ad formats to keep your audience engaged. This includes static images, carousels, videos, and interactive elements. Videos can be particularly effective for showcasing highlights from past events or giving a sneak peek of what attendees can expect.

4. Personalize Your Ads
Tailor your ads to the specific segments of your audience. For example, create different ads for those who viewed the agenda page versus those who abandoned the registration process. Personalization increases relevance and engagement.

5. Keep It Simple and Clear
Avoid clutter and ensure your message is clear and concise. Use simple language and straightforward design to convey your message quickly. Remember, you only have a few seconds to capture attention.

6. Incorporate Testimonials and Social Proof
Including testimonials from past attendees or showcasing social proof can build trust and credibility. Highlight positive feedback and success stories to show the value of attending your event.

7. Design for Mobile
Ensure your ad creatives are optimized for mobile devices. Many users will see your ads on their smartphones, so make sure they look great on smaller screens and load quickly.

Example Scenarios:

For instance, if you’re targeting past attendees, create an ad that says, “Remember the amazing insights from last year? Join us again for even more valuable sessions and networking opportunities. Register now and get a special returning attendee discount!

If you’re aiming at those who visited the speaker bios, an ad like, “Don’t miss the chance to hear from industry leaders like [Speaker’s Name]. Register today and be part of the conversation,” could be very effective.

6. Set Your Budget and Bidding Strategy

With your ad creatives ready, it’s time to set your budget and bidding strategy.

This step ensures you spend your money wisely and get the most out of your retargeting campaign.

First, determine your overall budget.

Decide how much you’re willing to spend on your campaign, and allocate funds to different platforms based on where your audience is most active.

Next, choose a bidding strategy that aligns with your campaign goals.

Platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads offer various bidding options:

  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): You pay each time someone clicks on your ad. This is ideal if your goal is to drive traffic to your registration page.
  • Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions (CPM): You pay for every thousand impressions. This is useful for increasing brand awareness and keeping your event top-of-mind.
  • Cost-Per-Action (CPA): You pay when a user takes a specific action, such as registering for your event. This can be effective for maximizing conversions.

By setting a clear budget and choosing the right bidding strategy, you can ensure your retargeting campaign is cost-effective and impactful.

Tools and Platforms to Use

Now, your campaign is almost ready for launch.

Keyword: almost.

Before you do that, there are a couple of things we need to cover.

First, let’s look at the different platforms and tools you can use for your retargeting campaign.

1. Google Ads: Known for its extensive reach through the Google Display Network, Google Ads can help you target users across millions of websites and apps. Google Ads is excellent for both display and search retargeting, giving you flexibility in how you reach your audience.

2. Facebook Ads: Facebook Ads provides robust retargeting options across both Facebook and Instagram. With its detailed targeting capabilities, you can create highly personalized ads that engage users based on their interactions with your event website or social media pages. Facebook’s platform also supports various ad formats, including images, videos, and carousels.

3. Specialized Retargeting Platforms: Platforms like AdRoll and Criteo provide advanced retargeting solutions. These platforms offer features like cross-device tracking, dynamic retargeting, and integration with multiple ad networks. They are excellent for managing complex retargeting campaigns across various platforms and ensuring a cohesive strategy.

4. LinkedIn Ads: For events targeting professionals or B2B audiences, LinkedIn Ads can be particularly effective. LinkedIn allows you to retarget users based on their professional profiles, making it easier to reach decision-makers and industry leaders. Personalize content to your target audience based on actions they’ve taken with your brand.

5. Email Marketing Platforms: Platforms like Mailchimp, HubSpot, and SendGrid offer powerful features for email retargeting. These platforms allow you to create highly personalized email campaigns based on user behavior and interactions. Key features include automated email workflows, A/B testing, detailed analytics, and segmentation tools. These features help you tailor your messages, optimize performance, and engage your audience effectively.

By carefully selecting the right platforms, you can ensure that your retargeting ads are seen by the right people, in the right places, at the right times.

This strategic choice will help you maximize the effectiveness of your ad campaign and achieve your event goals.

Key Metrics to Monitor and Optimize

To ensure your retargeting campaign is effective, you need to monitor and optimize key metrics.

Keeping an eye on these metrics will help you understand what’s working and where you need to make adjustments.

Here are the most important metrics to track and tips on when and how to optimize them:

1. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR measures how often people click on your ads after seeing them.

A high CTR indicates that your ads are engaging and relevant to your audience.

When to Optimize:

❌ If your CTR is consistently low over a period of several days or weeks.

❌ If there is a noticeable drop in CTR after changing your ad creatives or targeting settings.

How to Optimize:

👉 Test different ad creatives to see which ones perform best.

👉 Use clear and compelling calls-to-action (CTAs).

👉 Ensure your ads are visually appealing and relevant to the audience segment.

2. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate tracks the percentage of users who take the desired action after clicking on your ad, such as registering for your event.

When to Optimize:

❌ If your conversion rate remains stagnant despite high traffic to your registration page.

❌ If there is a sudden drop in conversions after implementing changes to your landing page or ad copy.

How to Optimize:

👉 Simplify your registration process to reduce friction.

👉 Use retargeting ads to remind users of the benefits of your event.

👉 Offer incentives like discounts or exclusive content to encourage conversions.

3. Cost Per Click (CPC)

CPC is the amount you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Monitoring this metric helps you manage your budget effectively.

When to Optimize:

❌ If your CPC has been steadily increasing over time.

❌ If your CPC is high but not leading to an increase in conversions.

How to Optimize:

👉 Refine your targeting to reach the most relevant audience.

👉 Use negative keywords to avoid showing ads to users who are unlikely to convert.

👉 Test different bidding strategies to find the most cost-effective approach.

4. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

CPA measures the cost of acquiring a new exhibitor, sponsor, or registrant. It’s a crucial metric for understanding the overall efficiency of your ad campaign.

When to Optimize:

❌ If your CPA is higher than the revenue generated from new registrants.

❌ If your CPA is increasing without a corresponding increase in conversions.

How to Optimize:

👉 Focus on high-converting audience segments.

👉 Continuously test and refine your ad creatives and landing pages.

👉 Use automated bidding strategies that optimize for conversions.

5. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

ROAS calculates the revenue generated for every dollar spent on ads. It helps you assess the profitability of your campaign.

When to Optimize:

❌ If your ROAS is below your target or expected range.

❌ If your ROAS decreases over time, indicating diminishing returns.

How to Optimize:

👉 Track which ads and audience segments generate the highest returns.

👉 Allocate more budget to high-performing ads.

👉 Regularly update your ad creatives to keep them engaging and relevant.

6. Frequency

Frequency indicates how often your ads are shown to the same user. High frequency can lead to ad fatigue, where users start ignoring your ads.

When to Optimize:

❌ If your frequency is higher than 3-4 times per week per user.

❌ If you notice a decrease in CTR and an increase in CPC, indicating ad fatigue.

How to Optimize:

👉 Monitor your frequency and keep it at an optimal level.

👉 Rotate your ad creatives to keep them fresh.

👉 Adjust your targeting settings to avoid over-exposure.

7. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate measures the percentage of users who click on your ad but leave your landing page without taking any action. A high bounce rate suggests that your landing page may not be relevant or engaging.

When to Optimize:

❌ If your bounce rate is consistently high over a period of several days or weeks.

❌ If there is a sudden increase in bounce rate after making changes to your ad or landing page.

How to Optimize:

👉 Ensure your landing page matches the ad’s message and CTA.

👉 Improve the design and usability of your landing page.

👉 Test different landing page variations to see what works best.

By monitoring these key metrics and making data-driven adjustments, you can optimize your retargeting campaign for better performance.

Regularly reviewing and tweaking your campaign ensures that you’re getting the most out of your ad spend and driving the desired results for your event.

Retargeting Best Practices

You thought you were ready, haven't you?

Well, we are getting there, just a bit more patience.

Retargeting is not child’s play.

As the event industry becomes more and more competitive, with more events trying to win over the same audience, it’s harder to make your event stand out.

If you were to read this guide 10 years ago, it would be a lot shorter. Back then, you didn’t need to nail everything perfectly; you just had to be good enough. However, now, good enough isn’t enough to stay afloat, let alone thrive.

That's why it's important to cover everything in detail as that's the only way to nail your retargeting strategy and achieve the best possible results.

Now, as with everything else, there are best practices that can make a significant difference in the success of your retargeting campaigns.

Let’s take a look at them 👇

1. Multi-channel Effort

To maximize the effectiveness of your retargeting campaign, adopting a multi-channel approach is essential.

This means reaching your audience across various platforms and touchpoints, ensuring your message is consistently seen and remembered.

Here’s how to execute a successful multi-channel retargeting strategy:

Combine Ad Retargeting with Email Retargeting

Combining ad retargeting with email retargeting can be incredibly effective.

When you retarget someone with an ad, you catch their attention as they browse online.

However, following up with a personalized email can reinforce your message and drive conversions.

Imagine a potential attendee visits your event site and browses the agenda but doesn’t register.

You can serve them a retargeting ad showcasing key speakers and sessions. Then, follow up with an email offering a special discount or highlighting exclusive content.

This one-two punch keeps your event top-of-mind and encourages action.

Use Multiple Platforms

You were probably the target of this multiple times without even realizing it.

Have you ever browsed a product on a website, then seen an ad for it on Facebook, followed by another on Instagram, and then received an email about it?

That’s multi-platform retargeting in action.

Using multiple platforms ensures you reach your audience wherever they are online.

For instance, Google Ads can capture attention across the web, while Facebook and Instagram ads engage users on social media.

By appearing on various platforms, you increase the chances of your message being seen and remembered.

Tailor Content for Each Channel

Different channels work best with different types of content.

What works on one platform might not be effective on another.

That’s why it’s important to tailor your content for each channel.

For example, Facebook ads can be highly visual and interactive, using videos or carousels to engage users.

On the other hand, email retargeting should be more personalized and direct, focusing on delivering a specific message or offer.

Similarly, LinkedIn ads might highlight professional development opportunities or industry-specific content, while Google Display Ads could emphasize broad event features and benefits.

Tailoring your content ensures it resonates with your audience, no matter where they encounter it.

By combining ad retargeting with email retargeting, using multiple platforms, and tailoring content for each channel, you create a comprehensive and effective multi-channel retargeting strategy.

2. ‘Clear Metrics’

Having clear metrics is essential for measuring the success of your retargeting campaigns.

However, it’s equally important to understand the complexities of non-linear customer journeys and be aware of misleading metrics.

For instance, let’s say you’re using a multi-channel retargeting strategy.

Your email retargeting metrics are outstanding, showing high open and click-through rates.

Meanwhile, your Instagram metrics are underwhelming, with low engagement and conversions.

You might be tempted to overhaul your Instagram campaign.

However, after making changes, you notice that while Instagram engagement improves, your email metrics decline.

What’s happening here?

The key lies in understanding the interconnected nature of your channels.

Perhaps your original Instagram ads were effectively driving awareness, leading users to open and engage with your emails later. By changing your Instagram strategy based solely on its direct metrics, you unintentionally disrupted this journey.

Understanding the Bigger Picture

To avoid being misled by individual metrics, consider the overall customer journey and how different channels interact.

Use attribution models to understand how each touchpoint contributes to conversions.

Multi-touch attribution, for example, gives credit to multiple interactions rather than just the last click, providing a more holistic view of your campaign performance.

Setting Clear Metrics and Goals

While it’s crucial to monitor individual channel metrics, set overarching goals that account for the entire customer journey.

Focus on metrics that reflect your main objectives, such as overall conversion rates and overall return on ad spend (ROAS).

These metrics provide a more comprehensive understanding of your campaign’s effectiveness.

Regularly Review and Adjust

Regularly review your metrics across all channels to identify patterns and interactions.

If one channel shows poor performance, consider how it might be impacting other channels before making drastic changes.

Adjust your strategy based on a thorough analysis of how different touchpoints work together to drive conversions.

By understanding non-linear customer journeys and being aware of misleading metrics, you can make more informed decisions about your retargeting campaigns.

This holistic approach ensures that you optimize your strategy effectively, maximizing the impact of each touchpoint and ultimately driving better results for your event.

3. Short-Term and Long-Term Efforts

Retargeting isn’t just a quick fix - it’s a strategic approach that requires both short-term and long-term thinking.

Viewing retargeting as a dual-faceted effort can significantly enhance your overall campaign effectiveness and event success.

In the short term, retargeting focuses on immediate results.

This involves driving quick conversions and generating leads for your upcoming event.

Short-term retargeting efforts are designed to capitalize on recent interactions, nudging potential attendees who have shown interest but haven’t yet taken action.

These efforts aim to fill your registration list and ensure a strong turnout.

Long-term retargeting efforts, on the other hand, are about nurturing relationships and building brand loyalty.

This perspective views retargeting as a continuous cycle, where each event feeds into the next.

By consistently engaging past attendees and keeping your brand top-of-mind, you can improve conversion rates for future events.

The main focus of this approach is on creating a lasting connection with your audience, making them more likely to attend your events repeatedly.

To achieve a balanced retargeting strategy, integrate both short-term and long-term efforts.

While it’s essential to drive immediate registrations and engagement, don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

Use short-term tactics to meet your current goals, but also invest in long-term strategies that foster ongoing engagement and loyalty.

Event Software Requirements: How to Choose an Event Platform that Can Track the Success of Your Retargeting Campaign

Choosing the right event software is crucial for tracking the success of your retargeting campaign.

A robust event management platform not only helps you manage the event but also provides the necessary tools to analyze data and optimize your event marketing efforts.

Here’s what to look for:

Importance of Event Platform Tracking and Analytics Module

A comprehensive tracking and analytics module is essential.

This module should provide detailed insights into attendee behavior, registration trends, and engagement levels.

By collecting and analyzing this data, you can gain a deeper understanding of what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to make informed decisions about your retargeting strategy.

Look for features like real-time analytics, customizable dashboards, and detailed reporting tools.

These features enable you to monitor the performance of your retargeting campaigns in real-time, make adjustments on the fly, and generate reports that provide a clear picture of your campaign’s impact.

Importance of UTM Tracking

One specific feature to look for is UTM tracking.

UTM parameters are tags added to your URLs that help you track the effectiveness of your event marketing campaigns across different sources and mediums.

With UTM tracking, you can see exactly where your traffic is coming from and which ads are driving the most engagement.

For example, Accelevents offers robust UTM tracking capabilities that allow you to track the performance of your retargeting campaigns with precision.

By adding UTM parameters to your event URLs, you can track how users interact with your ads, emails, and social media posts, and see which channels are driving the most conversions.

Why This Matters

Having detailed tracking and analytics capabilities is not just about collecting data - it’s about using that data to optimize your retargeting efforts.

By understanding which ads and channels are most effective, you can allocate your budget more efficiently, tailor your messaging to resonate with your audience, and ultimately, drive better results for your event.

Choosing the Right Event Platform

When selecting an event platform, consider the following aspects:

  1. Comprehensive Analytics: Ensure the platform offers in-depth analytics and reporting capabilities. Look for features like real-time data, customizable reports, and detailed attendee insights.
  1. UTM Tracking Support: Make sure the platform supports UTM tracking. This feature is crucial for understanding the source of your traffic and measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
  1. Integration Capabilities: The platform should seamlessly integrate with your existing marketing tools and CRM systems. This ensures a smooth flow of data and enhances your ability to track and analyze information.
  1. User-Friendly Interface: Choose software that is easy to navigate and use. A user-friendly interface makes it easier to set up tracking, generate reports, and access valuable insights.
  1. Scalability: Select a platform that can grow with your needs. Whether you’re hosting a small event or a large conference, the software should be able to handle increasing demands and provide reliable support.
  1. Essential Features: Ensure the platform includes essential features like a registration system, check-in, badge printing, event website and agenda builder, networking features, and white labeling options. These features are crucial for managing the various aspects of your event efficiently.

If you want to see the best event management platforms available today, we've written a bunch of comparisons articles for specific use cases and plenty of alternative pieces, which you can check here:

But if this was enough reading for you today, which we understand, it's a long article, here’s the best event management platform overall: Accelevents.

Accelevents is the only event platform that's easy to set up, customize, and use, and has everything you need to manage an event from start to finish.

But this isn't an event management platform article, so we won't bother you with details.

However, if you want to take Accelevents for a spin, you can sign up for a free trial or, if you prefer to have someone walk you through it, you can schedule a demo here.

Closing thoughts

And there you have it—the most in-depth, fluff-free event retargeting guide available.

Now you know everything you need to create a successful retargeting campaign; it's time to get to work.

If your event is just around the corner, don't close this tab yet. Grab a pen or open a blank document, whichever you prefer, and start planning your next steps.

If your event is still not in the marketing phase, make sure to bookmark this piece—you’ll definitely need it when the time comes.

And, if you still don’t have an event management platform, make sure to check out Accelevents and everything it has to offer. It’s the all-in-one solution that will make managing your event a breeze, from start to finish.

Your next successful event is just around the corner.

Get started now and see the difference retargeting and the right software can make!

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