We’ve created this blog as a resource to the entire meetings and events ecosystem. Both event and hospitality professionals will find valuable tips, best practices and insightful data to help you stay ahead of trends in our industry. From business strategy to how-to tactics, our goal is deliver useful content that will make the Cvent Blog your go-to online resource for the latest meeting and..
We are always amazed and inspired by the way our customers use our products to drive success in new, innovative ways at their respective organizations. That’s why it’s always such a great pleasure to recognize and reward these efforts through the Cvent Excellence Awards, held annually at Cvent CONNECT.
The Cvent Excellence Awards feature 12 unique categories which reflect the wide impact technology has on the meetings, events, and hospitality ecosystem. The winners were announced at a live ceremony at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The 2019 winners include:
Meetings and Events
Best Return on Event
Morningstar Winner: Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area
Best Event Marketing Strategy
USC – Cultural Relations & University Events Winner: BlackRock
Best Use of Mobile Event Technology
Gore & Associates
One10 Winner: MDVIP
Best Onsite Attendee Experience
New York Presbyterian
Sensus, a Xylem Brand Winner: University of Rochester
Merck & Co.
Pearson Winner: Lincoln Financial Group
The Best in the U.S.
Cvent’s Top Meetings Destination
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Winner: Visit Orlando
The Block Buster
Excellence and Ingenuity with Room-Block Bookings
Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa
Portola Hotel and Spa Winner: MGM Resorts International
The Business Intelligencer
Outstanding Achievement in Analytics
Melia Barcelona Sarria Winner: Visit Dallas
The Group Game Changer
Best Group Sales and Marketing Strategy
Paradisus Playa del Carmen
Kimpton EPIC Hotel Winner: IHG
Since 2013, Cvent has been celebrating their customers through an awards program at their annual user conference, Cvent CONNECT. The organizations, event planning teams, and hospitality professionals recognized have established themselves as thought-leaders within the events and hospitality space. Winners are recognized in front of thousands of industry professionals each year, and their work is highlighted through case studies and thought leadership content.
Is your organization’s events program at “expert” level or does it need a little work? Brooke and Cody sit down with Cvent’s Mike Dietrich to discuss how to measure the success of your events program and provide tips to reach the next level(s) of success.
What to Listen for:
What is the Event Maturity Model?
Comparison isn’t always a bad thing…
What myth got busted?
There’s always room for improvement
24% of a marketing budget is spent on meetings and events aka the stakes are high
You’re 34x more likely to get a yes if you do this
Where can you find the right resources?
How has the job description of an event planner changed?
The Event Evolution Model looks at 4 Centers of Performance
Deliver 2,000 individual experiences within an event
Mike is currently the Senior Director for Platform Marketing at Cvent, responsible for marketing Cvent’s Event, CrowdCompass, and Onsite Solutions portfolio. Mike brings to Cvent 15+ years of Marketing and Product Management experience in subscription-based technology businesses. Mike honed his product and marketing experience with diverse operating roles at some of the nation’s largest technology media, telecommunications, and education technology companies.
In today’s digital world, the power of connecting face-to-face to build business relationships is undeniable. Yet, many marketing organizations struggle with the time and effort it takes to execute compelling events because they’re using old-school methods to plan and manage them. With the right tools, it’s easier than ever to plan events. Register now.
Hear how real-life marketers leverage cutting-edge technology to free their teams of hours spent on event logistics. From check-in to lead capture, technology can cut down time and increase pipeline.
In this webinar, we’ll cover how you can use event tech to:
Drive the right audience to your events
Save hours of time on sourcing compelling venues and activities
Easily track all event details and results in one place
As one of the largest healthcare staffing providers in the U.S., CHG Healthcare works to put people first. Manager of Corporate Events Annie Gingrich needed to find a technology solution without sacrificing culture. “One of the things we battled was choosing technology in lieu of another really engaged employee. That was something that we had to sell to our stakeholders, because CHG feels very strongly about taking care of their people,” she explains.
Balancing Culture and Technology at CHG Healthcare
With an astounding 33% growth across eight offices in just two years, CHG needed a single platform that could handle all of their events. They also needed seamless travel integrations with the ability to better manage spend. “Before Cvent, we were spreadsheet-y. There’s really no other way to describe it,” Annie admits. “There weren’t clear metrics. That’s one thing we really wanted to define…how could we benchmark? How could we show value for the event planning profession?”
Like many organizations struggling with unexpected growth, Annies’ team lost valuable time, revenue, and trust from other teams in using manual processes. “We were planning over 250 events a year, and we knew that we needed a technology partner we could grow with. Cvent was the answer,” explains Annie. Discovering Cvent allowed her team to streamline and scale with unexpected success. In the first 10 months, her team managed more than 30 events through Cvent. “We started off with a small package. In our first year, we’ve added on a PNR integration. We’re adding on Cvent payment services, we’re moving to a Concur integration, and we have done 7,500 registrations within less than a year,” she explains.
“We were planning over 250 events a year, and we knew that we needed a technology partner we could grow with. Cvent was the answer.”
Empowering the Presidents Club Experience
The annual Presidents Club incentive trip became the first event entirely managed on the Cvent platform. “From the get-go, we created an event that had seven different registrations paths, a PNR integration, and the CrowdCompass mobile app,” explains Annie. Cvent’s automated email capabilities helped target specific attendees. She adds, “In order to get the right message at the right time, we had to know what our people were doing. There are a lot of ways to do that through Cvent. We could see how they were responding to HTML clicks within an email or when we had peak registrations. We could learn their behaviors to really tailor and customize.”
To ensure a longstanding solution, integrations were key. “It doesn’t make sense to bring in a new system every few years,” Annie explains. “If we can have our existing systems integrate with Cvent, it’s a cost-savings and ultimately a convenience.” The PNR integration alone has saved the Travel team hundreds of hours in not having to manually enter thousands of itineraries for the incentive trip.
Mobile was also key to their success. Using the CrowdCompass mobile app for their events, Annie’s team was able to leverage Live Polling, push notifications, Q&A, and session feedback to keep users engaged. CrowdCompass also helped the team save on printing costs and labor. “It was new to our attendees, and it was completely new to our team. It was an absolute massive success. Our post-event survey results were very clear that it was the best President’s Club that they had ever been to,” adds Annie.
“It doesn’t make sense to bring in a new system every few years. If we can have our existing systems integrate with Cvent, it’s a cost-savings and ultimately a convenience.”
Using Event Technology for Good
“One of CHG’s core values is putting people first. Our people are very passionate about giving back to the communities in which they live and work,” adds Annie. For the annual “Making a Difference” volunteer week, the team was able to leverage Cvent to gauge the voice of the community. “Engagement is a metric that we track at CHG, and it directly correlates with our growth in business. The higher our engagement scores are, the higher our revenues have been,” she adds. Using Cvent’s Event Management platform and CrowdCompass, Annie’s team was able to connect with employees to create a powerful giving experience. Ultimately, CHG was able to donate an incredible $647,000 directly back to the community as a result.
Ensuring People Stay at the Forefront of CHG Healthcare
Not only did implementing Cvent create a successful process for their events program, but it also elevated the team’s profile within the organization. “One of the things that our stakeholders really liked was that it wasn’t just for the Events team. It bridged all of these different areas, including our Corporation Communications, Training, Learning and Development, and our Culture teams,” says Annie. For example, CHG’s annual humanitarian trips bring together highly-engaged employees to build schools in Kenya. However, the Culture team struggled with overwhelming logistics. “We went through a full day workshop where they mapped out of all of the pain points. Four hours in, I finally had to blurt out, ‘Cvent can solve all these problems!’” laughs Annie.
Want to hear CHG’s story in Annie’s own words? Check out the video below!
Got a spare 20 minutes or so? We know that’s a loaded question for meetings and events professionals. In fact, our mission at Cvent is to help you get those 15 minutes (and more) back in your day! So, when we decided to launch our new podcast, How Great Events Happen, the plan was to keep these episodes brief, chock-full of relevant information, so that they are “snackable,” sharable, and will contribute to the success of your events and career. Something you can listen to on your way to or from work, on the plane, or during a lunch break.
How Great Events Happen: The Basics
So, what’s this new podcast about? Boring is not an option, so we picked the most interesting thought leaders in the industry to keep it engaging. And our hosts Brooke Gracey and Cody Liskh, like to have fun. We know there are several events podcasts that delve into the minutiae of meetings and events– so we wanted to focus on the big picture.
What are the latest industry trends? What are people doing well? What’s the next “Big Thing” on the horizon? How can you adapt to new industry rules and regulations? We hope you can walk away from these podcast episodes with strategic and insightful ideas that you can implement into your own events –whatever they may be –big or small.
With each episode, you will get access to additional content, tools, and resources to help you grow in your career. We encourage you to subscribe now so you are notified when each new episode drops each week, beginning on May 23, 2019.
We love interacting with our audience so we encourage leaving podcast reviews, emailing us at email@example.com, and learning more about each episode at cvent.com/podcast. We look forward to having you join us!
Your event is almost here, the question is, are you ready with a social media plan? Like all things, social media is better executed when there’s a clear plan to follow. Your event will be crazy. You’ll end up running all over the place and getting pulled every which way. But, the event is the perfect time for promotion. That’s why, in order to succeed, you have to create a plan before the event starts. Ideally, you’ve had a promotion plan in place from before your event launched. Your social media plan during your event will follow in line with this plan but will also capitalize on spontaneity. Here are a few tips on how to do social media during your event.
Start with the Run of Show
What is happening at your event? The run of show will have it all. If you aren’t as involved in planning, then this will be your ultimate guide. You’ll know when speakers are onstage when announcements are being made, when food is served, and more. The run of show outlines the entire event down to the minute. Highlight key events. These could be a keynote, an interactive session, a networking event – anything that could potentially provide a great photo opportunity.
Create a Shot List
From your highlighted list, make a list of must-have shots. The best way to get great onsite shots is to have a photographer – but not all event budgets will be able to afford one. If you do have a photographer, give them your shot list and make a plan to connect and get the pictures. For posts you know you want to push live in real-time, consider taking them yourself, as you’ll control your access. If you have a small team or it’s just you, make a tiered list. Create your must have shot list and your second and third levels in the chance you have more time to move around than expected.
Schedule Posts Ahead of Time
If there are posts you can schedule ahead of time, do it. It will lessen the amount of work you have to do on site. If you need to post about sponsors, notifications or thank you’s, think about doing them before the event. It takes longer
Create a List of Key Hashtags
For Instagram, to make things move more quickly onsite, have a list of hashtags ready to go before the event. You’ll be able to copy and paste them quickly without wasting time figuring out what is or isn’t popular. Make a few different groupings based on the purpose of your event, event planning, and different topics that will be discussed.
Create a Plan for Each Day
If your event is multi-day create a clear plan for each day. Built into your other tasks for the day, set aside time to take photos and post. Whether you’re tweeting, posting on Facebook or Instagram, or creating an amazing Insta-story, build out what you intend to do in your schedule. You might not be able to do all the posts you wanted to, but the schedule will keep you focused.
Allow Time for Flexibility
You have posts you’ve scheduled before the event and shots you plan to get, but what about those magical unplanned moments? Your schedule was created so that you know what you need to get. But in between those outlined times, be open to what’s happening on site. If you see something that looks inspiring or you catch a great quote during a talk, post about it or schedule one for later.
Retweet and Repost
Don’t forget to pay attention to your mentions. The best part of the event is attendee participation and engagement. Make sure that their efforts aren’t going unrewarded! Use great posts on your own feed. You don’t have to be everywhere at all times. Your attendees will capture what’s happening, even if you don’t. Crowdsource your content. You could even create a contest and offer a prize for the best attendee posts.
Social Media During Your Event is Easy…
When you make a plan. Take the time before the event to understand what you hope to get out of posting and what you need to post. This will focus you and allow you to accomplish more onsite.
Your event is a reality. It’s time to start kicking your event marketing into high gear. An email marketing campaign is an effective and inexpensive tool that can increase interest, drive registrations, and share information. It’s hardly a one-and-done endeavor–it’s an actual campaign, and you’ll need a clear plan to execute to the best of your abilities. So, what types of emails do you need to send? What types haven’t you considered? The goal is never to inundate interested individuals or attendees but provide information that they want. Here are eleven types of emails to send before your event.
11 Types of Emails To Send Before Your Event
Generate Interest and Promote
This email is sent early on. Generally, it has a hook or is fairly creative. You want it to grab the attention of those who receive it so that they are moved to go and look at the event website.
Don’t have the number of attendees you hoped? Send a discount! Start a flash sale or offer twenty percent off of registration. Everyone loves a good discount and by
While this email should be automatic, triggered by a registration, make sure it exists. It’s important to send confirmation so attendees know that their registration went through. You can use this email to promote an exciting announcement or direct them to the mobile event app.
Agenda Live Announcement
Most likely, you won’t have your agenda set when you create your website and begin to promote your event. This is a great email to send to registrants and prospects.
Keynote and Speaker Announcements
These are used for promotion and to inform registrants. A great speaker can convince a prospect to attend your event.
Room Block/Housing Information
This email falls under key information. Attending an event is stressful for attendees and one of their major stressors is figuring out how to get to the event and where they’ll be staying.
Download the Mobile Event App
This doesn’t necessarily require it’s own email, but your mobile event app should be promoted before the event. This can be a secondary CTA on a larger email.
If you’re running a contest of some kind, promote it! This can be an email on its own or lumped into another announcement.
You can send a promotional email to drum up sponsorships with a list of options and benefits. For those who have booths at your event or are sponsoring some aspect of the event, send them an email with the information they need to know.
Build segments based on attendee interest and send information pertaining to the different segments. These emails can promote networking sessions, speakers, or need to know information.
Know Before You Go
This email provides key information like recommendations for what to pack, directions, weather information, and more. It covers where to go for registration and when it opens. This email would be sent a week or two before the event.
Tips and Tricks
Use first names in the subject line and greeting.
Keep the email succinct with a clear call-to-action (CTA).
No more than 2 CTA’s in one email.
Use an engaging subject line.
Use preview text as an extension of your subject line.
You want to build an incredible event website. One that looks great, has all of the information attendees need and drives registrations. But it can be hard to find inspiration. We’ve rounded up some examples of amazing event websites for inspiration. These templates are available for use if you’re building a website with Cvent, but they’re also a great source of inspiration.
Using a Template Saves Time
When you create your event website, don’t start from scratch. Why? There’s no need to! There are endless examples and templates to follow that will save you time and stress. And, there are many talented web designers who have already done what you need to do. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Regardless of the website builder you’re using, there’s most likely a gallery of templates to choose from. Start with a template and take it to the next level. Check out Cvent’s Visual Showcase for inspiration.
Images Make a Website Better
There’s a trend towards powerful images on websites. All text websites can look clunky and the information gets lost. Images and icons are a great way to break up your website. They create a flow and guide the eye. Most templates have places for images built in. Think about using a large background header image.
Headlines Stand Out with Sans Serif Font
There’s a big trend towards using sans serif fonts. They look clean and are easy to read. A sans serif font is a good choice to overlay on a background image. In general, limit the use of fonts to make it easier. It’s difficult to find many fonts that look good together. More isn’t always better.
Break Up the Web Page with Light Colors
With webpages that you scroll down to get through all of the information, consider using more than just one color for the background. Light grays and neutrals can break up the page and make information stand out more. And, it makes the webpage more engaging for visitors.
Make CTA and Buttons Pop with a Bright Color
Color can be challenging. You don’t want to use too many, or the design won’t look cohesive. But, when choosing button colors for your webpage, choose something that stands out. Your call-to-action (CTA) is what you want visitors to do. If that’s a CTA to register, then you’ll have a register now button. This button should draw attention. These templates use a button that stands out so visitors will be encouraged to click it. For more information, read How to Choose Event Website Color.
Save Time, Find Inspiration
There is no need to spend endless hours on a task when time is of the essence. Especially, when what you need already exists. When building your event website, look to examples for inspiration. Better yet, start with a template and build from there. It will save time and energy and will help you get your website live in no time.
Finding your “tribe” is easier than ever with technology. One great way to use social media is to source inspiration for future events. Twitter and Instagram can be used as a resource for event planners. Regardless of what kind of inspiration you’re looking for, it’s likely you can find it. We’ve rounded up the most common hashtags in social media for planners. These hashtags work both ways. You can use them when posting, or you can search them to find inspiration. It’s easier than ever to stay up to date on the latest trends. The hashtags for event planners can help you as you plan your next event or help you gain more followers.
Hashtags for Event Planners to Use and Look Up
Other Hashtag Ideas
Get local, include locations in hashtags to find inspiration nearby. You can also search for terms related to your exact search. If you want to find centerpiece inspiration, try #centerpiece or #flowers. There are endless possibilities. Remember, social media hashtags for event planners work both ways. Always include hashtags when you post. They can help you gain increased visibility and earn you more followers. Social media is an important tool for branding. Using hashtags can raise awareness of your company and brand.
When communicating with attendees, you have to err on the side of caution. Too much communication and they’ll stop paying attention or unsubscribe. Too little communication and they’ll be stressed about the event. There is a delicate balance you have to strike when preparing attendees for the event and onsite at the event. So, how do you keep attendees engaged, but not annoyed?
Email marketing is an inexpensive and impactful way to get the word out about your event, provide attendees with confirmation after registration, and provide updates. But, because it is inexpensive, there’s a tendency to over send. When planning your email sends, strategize. Think about what information needs to go out when. Try not to send more than one to two emails a week, depending on the length of time to the event. As the event approaches, you can get away with sending more than one a week, but don’t overdo it. If the information you’re sending is important, you want attendees to read the emails. Send unique information and reminders, don’t send the same information in each email. And as always, segment the emails so that they are sent to relevant attendees.
Your mobile event app is an engagement, networking, and update tool onsite. Actually, it can be used before the event starts to update attendees and begin to engage them. Push notifications are a great tool when done correctly. When crafting push notifications, keep them short and succinct. Attendees will be reading them on their phones, space is limited. Again, be strategic about when you send notifications. It’s common to send notifications reminding attendees of big events or to remind them that sessions are about to start, like their typical calendar notifications. Segment and bundle information when possible and only send relevant information.
Provide an Outlet to Respond
While you might think that your communications contain all of the information your attendees need, it’s likely they’ll still have questions. Provide a number or email for them to use if they have questions. You can set up a hotline if it’s a large event or create a dedicated email that is checked often. In the end, it’s just important that there is a place for attendees to ask questions when they have them.
Event websites are a great place to put an FAQ page. The main purpose of the page is to put some of the most important questions front and center. Attendees will go to this page for answers and you want them to find them! As you receive questions from attendees over email or phone, if you notice that you’re receiving a lot of the same question – put it on the FAQ page.
In General, Ask Yourself…
Would this annoy me?
Is every communication impactful?
Can I make the language more succinct?
Is this necessary?
Attendees Want to Be Kept in the Know
But there is such a thing as too much communication. As you plan out your event communication plan, be thoughtful. Take time to look at a calendar to make sure you aren’t sending too many emails or notifications. Your attendees will thank you!