The City of Chicago – Department of Cultural Affairs and Events (DCASE)

Largest Recorded Turnout of All Time

URL: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca.html 

Target:Chicago Suburbs and Surrounding Areas

Profile Background:

The City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, promoting Chicago’s Spring/Summer/Fall events, promoting independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses. The City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events provides a framework to guide Chicago’s future cultural and economic growth via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan. They market the city’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience and present high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

Challenge:

Unfortunately, the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events was relying on traditional methods of advertising. They lacked the knowledge and ability to properly promote their events effectively through digital and social media. With almost three million people living in Cook County, their in-house promotional messages weren’t cutting through the noise among advertisements. After years of using traditional advertising methods to promote events, art, venues and museums in Chicago, they aspired to venture into Digital Marketing to expand their reach to promote the events and venues. Main Challenges Were:
  • Declining Event Attendance
  • Lack of Engagement on Facebook
  • Little to No Online Presence

Solution:

The overall goal was to boost attendance of the major events in Chicago and the affiliated museums. Those affiliated were The Taste of Chicago, Millennium Park Theatre Series, Maxwell Street Market, Chicago Jazz Festival, World Music Festival, Clarke House Museum, Chicago Cultural Center and Chicago Art Sites including museums, shows and plays. Members at the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events researched social media ad companies and came upon eBizUniverse, a reputable company in Schaumburg, IL in Cook County. After competing with several other agencies, eBizUniverse was selected in 2019 to execute their Digital Marketing Campaign. Communication between the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and eBizUniverse was frequent as dozens of social media ads needed to be published on a strict schedule. eBizUniverse provided guidance throughout the camping to launch and monitor ads. This was their golden opportunity to reach more people than they ever thought possible through Facebook ads. eBizUniverse:
  • Increased Facebook Posts Views
  • Increased Facebook User Engagement
  • Created & Abided by Strict Ad Schedule
  • Retargeted Facebook Traffic

Results:

By the end of December 2019, eBizUniverse successfully launched over four dozen Facebook ad campaigns for the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The majority of the Facebook ads were traffic – to attract more people. Some were re-targeting – to bring back people who had previously visited or expressed interest. The targeted ads ensured the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events reached a wider audience that had not been reached yet. In turn, the events were more attended than in previous years. In fact, the campaign resulted in the largest turnout recorded ever for the major events such as:
  • The Taste of Chicago (largest outdoor food festival in the world)
  • Blues Festival
  • Gospel Fest
  • Museums
  • Millennium Park
  • Clarke House Museum
  • Chicago Cultural Center Shows
  • Several Other Events
According to the Data:
  • Facebook Audience Engagement Increased by Over 400%
  • Facebook Traffic Boosted by Over 280%
  • Website Clicks Increased by Over 6,100%
  • 7 Million Overall Impressions
The Taste of Chicago:
  • Over 1 Million Attendees
  • $106 Million = Economic Impact to the City of Chicago
  • 300 Menu Items from 82 Eateries Including 36 New Vendors
Most Consumed Food:
  • 35,000 Slices of Eli’s Cheesecake
  • 15,000 lbs of Rib Tips
  • 14,500 Pizza Slices
  • 12,300 Servings of Italian Ice
  • 10,000 Cheeseburgers ((“Cheezborgers”!)) served by Billy Goat Tavern & Grill
  • 8,300 lbs of Jerk Chicken & Goat Meat by Vee Vee’s African Restaurant
  • 7,500 Servings of Empanadas
  • 5,000 Beef & Chicken Bowls
  • 3,300 Servings of Phad Thai by Arun’s Thai Restaurant
  • 3,000 lbs of Frannie’s Italian Beef
  • 3,000 Pieces of Fried Wontons
  • 2,000 Turkey Legs
  • 1,000 Ears of Corn on the Cob
Chicagoans Most Popular Eats:
  • Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls from Egg Rolls
  • Chicken Tamales at Yvolina’s Tamales
  • Gator Bites at Chicago’s Dog House
  • Gelato Donuts on a Stick from Black Dog Gelato
  • Kimchi Cheese Fries at Yum Dum
  • Lao Sze Chuan
  • Spicy Fried Pickles from Doom Street Eats
  • Szechuan Cold Noodle Salad
  • Vada Pav Indian Fried Potato Dumplings from Hakka Bakka

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