How to Keep Your Virtual Event Sponsors Happy and Coming Back for More

Inside NJCPA’s digital strategy to attract sponsors and overdeliver on their goals.

When events were suddenly forced to change from in-person to virtual last year, planners were able to offer attendees interactive content, online breakout rooms, and informative speaker lineups to still ensure a positive, engaging experience. But what could associations offer event sponsors who saw their usual activation and signage opportunities disappear?

That is the question that Eileen Proven, Business Development Specialist at the New Jersey Society of Public Accountants (NJCPA), needed to answer following the COVID-19 lockdown. “Our premier sponsors agree to a yearly spend with us, and we were at a loss of what to offer them when we canceled a large convention last year,” she explains.

This problem was compounded by the fact that advertising on NJCPA’s website had taken a significant hit during the pandemic and sponsored placements in its biweekly newsletter were sold out for the year. So Proven had to act fast to find a way to replace lost revenue.

After an exhaustive search for solutions, she landed on the perfect tool to offer sponsors to help them meet their sales goals: Feathr, a digital marketing platform that allows organizations to quickly and effectively target a specific audience. In the case of NJCPA, that audience is more than 14,000 CPAs working in private and corporate practices.

Through a combination of instructional videos and one-on-one training with the pros at Feathr, Proven quickly got up to speed on learning how to use the platform and how best to explain its capabilities to prospective clients. “Advertisers needed some assistance to understand that if they are buying Facebook ads, yes, they are hitting the masses, but they are not hitting their target market.” In other words, you’re not going to get a huge ROI on an ad for discounted business insurance if you aren’t getting that ad in front of a lot of people who are, in fact, business owners.

At first, Proven says she was unsure how NJCPA’s audience would react to retargeting campaigns (i.e., ads that follow you anywhere you go on the internet). “We’re a CPA organization and our members tend to skew conservative,” Proven explains, noting that they are not hesitant to give negative feedback. But her worries were for naught. The initial retargeting campaigns Proven launched on behalf of sponsors were successes right out of the gate—resulting in more than $30,000 in total sales and 10 out of 11 clients immediately re-upping for more.

To Proven, results like this signify success on both sides of the campaigns. “My counterpart and I are focused on making sure that every sponsor we work with is satisfying a need for our particular members.” Sponsors gain customers, and association members get exposure to products and resources they actually need—the definition of a win-win. “We just renewed our partnership with Feathr,” says Proven, “so I’m just going to keep working and selling. No plans to stop!”


Feathr has thought of everything to help get associations up and running with digital advertising. Its dedicated flock of experts advises on unique revenue-generating campaigns and provides graphic design and implementation services to ensure successful marketing campaigns. Partnering with Feathr ensures your association’s success for years to come.