generated in revenue
Virtual conference sessions coordinated and recorded in just weeks
Increase in attendance (and a new record)
Of attendees were satisfied with the virtual conference and ON24 Engagement Hub
would recommend a virtual ACFE event to their colleagues
would attend another virtual ACFE event
Headquarters: Austin, TX
Employees: 51-100 (LinkedIn)
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. Together with more than 85,000 members, the ACFE is reducing business fraud worldwide and inspiring public confidence in the integrity and objectivity within the profession.
ACFE delivers professional development for Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE) through its CFE Exam. The association sets high standards for admission, such as demonstrated competence through mandatory continued professional education.
ACFE’s members span a range of professions and include auditors, fraud investigators and examiners, and law enforcement officials, who are all trying to reduce and stop fraud.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, ACFE held seven major conferences on six continents and 40 to 50 additional in-person training events with smaller groups of people focused on a particular topic.
A quick pivot of multiple in-person events to online.
“Things changed quickly for us when the pandemic hit,” said John Loftis, Event Marketing Manager at ACFE. “We had under three months to convert our big annual conference to a digital experience.”
ACFE had been using ON24® Webcast Elite for over a year to create digital experiences. However, the association was now in uncharted territory because some of the features it wanted to add to the conference experience were new.
“We wanted to have eight sessions going on at once, which is pretty challenging,” Loftis said.
ACFE decided that because it was providing professional education, the registration fees should remain the same as they would have been for its in-person conference. This created an additional challenge for the association to retain the event’s value for both attendees and sponsors.
Keeping attendees engaged at a computer screen for two-and-a-half days was yet another issue. ACFE found that the robust ON24 Engagement Hub was the perfect solution.
“Thanks in part to the features that ON24 provides, our engagement score throughout the whole conference was about 8 out of 10, which is really high. With ON24, you get these really cool analytics so you can understand a lot more from a virtual event than you do at an in-person event.”
E-LEARNING SPECIALIST, ACFE
A dynamic, live digital conference that served attendees’ and sponsors’ needs.
ACFE chose the ON24 Engagement Hub for its user-friendly navigation and robust branding capabilities. With the ON24 platform, ACFE ran 92 customizable virtual conference sessions ranging from 50 to 75 minutes. The association had the flexibility to update its conference agenda in real time within the Engagement Hub.
“There aren’t a lot of conferences running that many sessions,” Loftis said.
ACFE also used the ON24 Target product to create personalized landing pages that would act as virtual booths to deliver value to the conference’s sponsors. As soon as an attendee clicked on one of these personalized landing pages, they would see the sponsor’s information and have the opportunity to watch a demo.
“We looked at the analytics on the Engagement Hub, and if we didn’t feel like a sponsor page was getting enough traffic, we’d boost it to the top,” Loftis said.
ON24 also helped ACFE infuse an in-person feel into its virtual conference. While the association did run simulive sessions, it kept as much of the conference live as possible.
To keep attendees engaged at their computer screens, ACFE used the ON24 live chat feature within the conference sessions that had under 500 attendees. In one session, the speaker used the live chat to call out individuals by name, addressing their comments in the Q&A module. The association also facilitated networking opportunities during the conference by linking out to chat groups via the third-party application Discord.
Another way ON24 enabled ACFE to add value to the event was by giving attendees access to the conference content on-demand for one year. Attendees could also take an exam after a session to get a certificate.
“We downloaded all of the participation data from ON24 and uploaded it into our own system to create a single certificate for live event attendees,” Loftis said.
ACFE coordinated and recorded 92 virtual conference sessions in just 10 weeks with the ON24 platform. The conference drew in 4,400+ attendees— an increase of 29% over the previous in-person event—and exceeded ACFE’s expected registration numbers.
Nearly 95% of conference attendees were satisfied with the event and the dynamic, content-rich ON24 Engagement Hub. In addition, 98% reported that they’d recommend an ACFE conference to their colleagues. Almost 90% said they’d attend another virtual ACFE event because of the quality of the experience, made possible by ON24.
Offering on-demand sessions after the conference allowed ACFE to set its event apart from others. By making sessions available on-demand for attendees who weren’t able to attend the live event or did not have time to watch every session, ACFE was able to continue driving engagement after the live event date and reach a much wider audience. The conference, including the on-demand sessions, earned them $250K in revenue.
“Our platinum sponsor tweeted about how wonderful the conference was and told us internally we built an event that was head and shoulders above other events in the same space,” Loftis said. “One survey response said, ‘I’m never going back to the old way. Virtual conferences forever.’ I don’t know of a better quote to sum up how fantastic our conference was, and a lot of that had to do with the ON24 Engagement Hub and ON24 Target pages.”
“Our platinum sponsor tweeted about how wonderful the conference was and told us internally that we built an event that was head and shoulders above other events in the same space. ON24 was instrumental in this process.”
EVENT MARKETING MANAGER, ACFE