Annual Meeting Registration Success Story

Client

The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) is an association of more than 3,000 surgeons and other healthcare professionals dedicated to assuring high-quality patient treatment through research and education for prevention and management of disorders of the colon, rectum and anus. ASCRS was an EAI client from 1988-2018.

Challenge

The Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting, and the corporate sponsorship that comes along with it, provides key revenues to the Society that ensure it is able to continue offering new and innovative programs to its members.

However, with so many demands on physicians’ time and attention, along with the increasing popularity of virtual meetings and competitors’ offerings, there are increasing challenges to attracting attendees to these annual meetings.

Action

EAI developed an effective promotional strategy for the Society’s annual meeting, which included not only the standard print mailers, blast email messages and journal ads; but also a variety of digital messaging including an impactful social media campaign across three platforms, custom-designed annual meeting webpages, targeted emails, video interviews with Society leaders and a high energy video promoting the host city and the excitement associated with the meeting.

Communications staff also increased outreach to nonmembers by utilizing the Society’s email database and reaching out directly to surgical training program directors, encouraging them and their residents to attend. Staff also worked with the Society’s sister organizations in Europe, Australia and New Zealand to promote international attendance

On-site, a new member benefit was added for registrants: ASCRS members attending the meeting would have an opportunity to have professional headshots taken during the meeting and receive the digital files for their own use, all at no charge. These headshots were then added to the Society’s “Find-a-Surgeon” webpage, which was developed to help patients locate colorectal surgeons in their area.

Results

ASCRS experienced record-high annual meeting registration in 2017, with more than 2,000 physicians taking part in the five-day scientific program. The meeting also generated more than $1.3 million in industry sponsorships and exhibit income.

In addition, attendees were highly engaged. The exhibitors were thrilled with the high volume of booth traffic, and more than 300 members took advantage of the free headshot service. The meeting hashtag, #ASCRS17, received 15.7 million impressions, with over 7,400 tweets by 1,000 unique participants during the meeting.

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