How do you generate buzz and engagement for a 150-year-old trade show?

The Chicago Dental Society’s (CDS) annual Midwinter Meeting is a nationally recognized dental convention that draws more than 30,000 dentists, hygienists, lab technicians and other dental professionals to Chicago each year. CDS turned to Grisko for healthcare public relations to help generate publicity for the meeting, bringing local recognition for the Society and boosting CDS member engagement during the event.

CDS was looking for ways to broaden its reach, elevate awareness of the convention and foster deeper connections with participants before, during and after the meeting.

Think outside the convention.

We developed a communications strategy that tied together public relations, paid media partnerships, special events and, for the first time, social media.

Media outreach focused on the interesting and quirky results of a CDS survey of dentists and patients, along with the release of a white paper about access to local dental care. Grisko also coordinated public engagement partnerships with the Chicago Wolves hockey team and RedEye in order to reach two key audiences: families and young professionals.

A robust digital presence was the cornerstone of our efforts, connecting CDS to dentists from around the country via YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and the CDS “Open Wide” blog. Content featured key dental trends and a preview of new exhibits to build excitement leading up to the Midwinter Meeting.

During the meeting, Grisko served as CDS’ on-site social media team, generating real-time content for its platforms, including dynamic videos and photos from the exhibit floor. Attendees were encouraged to share their experiences through a unique hashtag and short interviews. CDS and Grisko also hosted two meet-up sessions to train dentists on how to use social media in their practices.

A new community in the digital space.

Our work drove substantial buzz around the Midwinter Meeting in both the dentistry community and general market with media placements in the Chicago Tribune, RedEye, Associated Press and Chicago Sun-Times. Participation on CDS’ Facebook and Twitter tripled. Ongoing digital dialogue with dentists, dental professionals and vendors continued long beyond the Midwinter Meeting.