Case Studies: Stockholm International Fairs

Established in 1941, Stockholm International Fairs is the leading exhibition and congress center in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea region. Each year Stockholm International Fairs has more than 1 million visitors, distributed among over 80 fairs and almost 1,000 congresses, conferences and seminars. The company is continuously on the lookout to find ways to improve its events. As a result, they decided to increase communication using email to provide exhibitors and attendees with improved services and information.

Improved Customer Communication

Stockholm International Fairs

In August 2002, Stockholm International Fairs started a project with the goal of significantly improving communication with its visitors and making sure their experiences would be as fulfilling as possible. The mission of the project team was to examine how visitors utilize information and to develop new tools for visitors to schedule their attendance at the events more effectively. For many visitors the exhibition begins weeks before the doors are even opened.

"Today our database contains over half a million registered email addresses of visitors who receive their exhibition tickets and other information via the Internet," explains Kinna Jonsson, project manager at Stockholm International Fairs. "By using email we are able to deliver customized information and new services to optimize visitors' experiences."

Better Service with Email Marketing

"LISTSERV Maestro's response tracking provides us with unique information. With the help of this information, we are able to analyze our campaigns and develop them further. We already see results in cost savings and an increased number of pre-registrations."

To be able to reach out with interesting and personalized information to visitors efficiently, Stockholm International Fairs invested in LISTSERV® Maestro, an advanced software application for managing and tracking opt-in email marketing campaigns.

"It is now much easier to administer a large number of messages, specifically targeted towards complex customer groups where we offer interactive exhibit guides and the possibility to pre-register," Kinna Jonsson says.

The work of reaching all contacts usually starts two to three months before an exhibition. The first message that is sent offers registry in advance and information about the exhibition program. Thereafter, three or four more messages are sent out with reminders and more details about the seminar program, registration and the final hall plan.

"We want to develop traditional email deliveries and find new ways to communicate with both exhibitors and attendees," Kinna Jonsson says. "Email is an important part of marketing activities."

Beneficial Information Becomes Useful

Stockholm International Fairs is using LISTSERV Maestro's tracking and reporting capabilities, which make it possible to analyze email campaign deliveries in detail. By tagging different parts of the message, they are able to collect information about how many recipients opened up the message, which Web links were most popular and many other details.

"We analyze our email campaigns and learned much about how the deliveries should look to appeal to the recipients. We know which parts of the messages are the most clicked and place the most important Web links there," Kinna Jonsson explains. "This is invaluable information that we can utilize."

Stockholm International Fairs works in specific groups using the team collaboration feature of LISTSERV Maestro. They have also developed templates for content to allow individuals and groups to produce their own messages. Everybody who works in marketing is able to put together a campaign for delivery, and the templates ensure that a professional unified look is maintained for each event. This saves time when the workload is not put on the IT department.

Stockholm International Fairs sends out many different types of mailings to the different target groups:

Reaching Exhibitors

This twice-annual event has been around for more than 40 years and has become the ideal meeting place for the Scandinavian design, handicraft, folk arts, decorating and gift industries. Approximately 650 exhibitors display their products at each fair and have the opportunity to meet 20,000 visitors, of which 400 are media representatives.

Stockholm International Fairs sent important exhibitor notifications, including catalog information and advertising opportunities via email campaigns. The mailings are customized by including information such as user name and login to the exhibitor pages.

Exhibitors received a survey regarding the hours that the event was open to attendees. 35% of the exhibitors responded; these responses will be analyzed, and the results will be used to plan the next conference.

Email announcement sent to exhibitors before the show and post-show survey distributed to exhibitors

Reaching Attendees

Future Design Days
This is an annual international design festival where business, industry, students, designers, architects, politicians and anyone else with an interest in the design process can come together. Since it started in 2001, it has been ongoing throughout every year and culminates in a November festival.

Email marketing with visitors as the target group:
The visitors receive information about the next fair and its themes well in advance as a first step. Information about the exhibitors, seminar programs, interesting speakers and other activities during the fair follows. The goal of the campaigns is to ensure that the visitors have information regarding the fairs and also to encourage them to pre-register for the fair. After the fair the visitors receive a thank you message.

The target group of the Future Design Days email campaign was individuals who had previously visited design-related events organized by Stockholm International Fairs. Future Design Days is the largest design festival in the Nordic Countries. The goal of the campaign was to acquire subscribers to the email newsletters of the design festival. The campaign was formulated as a competition: Those who subscribed to the newsletter had a chance to win a two-day entry pass to the festival including a ticket to the design party.

A good subject line formulation resulted in an astonishing open-up rate of 121%. This indicated that many of the recipients had opened the message several times. Thanks to the email campaign, Stockholm International Fairs signed up 700 new subscribers to the Future Design Days newsletter.

Email sent to visitors of Future Design Days

Reaching the Press

Networks Telecom
Networks Telecom is one of the largest annual business-to-business IT conferences in Scandinavia.

Press information and invitations via email:
Stockholm International Fairs also sends press releases and invitations to the press via email. Networks Telecom, one of the largest business-to-business IT conferences in Scandinavia, had the Swedish IT Minister, Ulrica Messing as the opening keynote speaker. Stockholm International Fairs announced this important information to journalists using an email campaign. The message itself included a form that enabled members of the press to receive special entry to the show.

Email press invitation to Networks Telecom


Email is a part of an overall communications strategy for Stockholm International Fairs. Campaigns are planned carefully and implemented with very specific goals in mind. The results are measured against the goals of the campaigns in order to gauge success and learn more about how recipients interact with their email messages.

"We have lowered our marketing costs. However, the email campaigns have resulted in more pre-registrations than ever before," Kinna Jonsson says. "Therefore, it's also about increasing revenues through email marketing."

Stockholm International Fairs continues to develop new services for its visitors. The email deliveries will be analyzed even further, and the results will be used to improve the overall experience for exhibitors, attendees and the press.

Case study written in January 2005 with Kinna Jonsson, Project Manager at Stockholm International Fairs.

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