virtual session participants
LexisNexis provides computer-assisted legal research as well as business research and risk management services. Like many organisations, LexisNexis operated a robust in-person events program prior to the start of the global health crisis. Brigid Heberling, Senior Manager for Events and Multimedia, notes LexisNexis is a subsidiary of the RELX Group and, as such, has long leveraged Cvent as part of the broader organisation's larger tech stack. She explains, “We use Cvent within a variety of capacities within RELX and LexisNexis already, including the registration system, CrowdCompass mobile apps, Meetings Management, and more.”
As the industry underwent radical change during the crisis, LexisNexis reevaluated and pivoted much of their program to virtual. Fortunately, Brigid’s department was familiar with virtual event technology, as they had previously included hybrid elements for some of the events in their portfolio. She explains, “Ninety percent of our meetings and events have been in-person, but we’ve evolved over the last few years to host some hybrid events with livestream.” As the team was familiar with technological capabilities of the virtual space, they knew a comprehensive virtual event platform would be needed to support their annual leadership meeting, the Advancing Leadership Conference.
Accelerating the Advancing Leadership Conference with Cvent
To navigate the logistical challenges associated with taking their annual meeting virtual, LexisNexis needed a reliable and dynamic virtual platform that would easily integrate with their existing tech stack. This would require not only an all-in-one solution, but also a responsive technology partner will full support offerings. Working under a tight timeline, Brigid’s team spearheaded a comprehensive search for the right virtual platform with key functionality and features that could fit the unique requirements of the conference. As the organisation already used Cvent’s Event Management solution as a centralised registration tool, the new Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub® was a perfect fit.
The annual conference typically includes up to 250 in-person attendees and offers a variety of session types across the multi-day event. Brigid notes, “Our focus is on a combination of strategy overviews and tactical practical sessions, where we as managers can take action on the leadership and management principles shared.” For their virtual event, LexisNexis aimed to provide broad strategy sessions featuring plenary speakers, panel discussions, breakout sessions, and small group workshops. They also wanted to include collaborative virtual networking sessions for team building and small group discussions. Moreover, the three-day event would be entirely live, meaning there was little margin for error.
The LexisNexis team partnered with Cvent to help strategise and support the overall virtual event. Knowing they were operating under a tight timeline, the two teams had to work in tandem to ensure the success of the conference. Using the invitee management feature within the Event Management solution, Brigid’s team targeted 322 invitees and ultimately tracked 289 registrations, an increase over previous in-person registration levels. 270 virtual attendees ultimately attended the event, an impressive 93.4% show rate. The process was fully backed by LexisNexis’ dedicated Cvent support team. Brigid says, “From the time we decided to go forward, and it was in a very short time frame, it has been very easy to work with Cvent and it came together really well.”
Leading Virtual Events with the Virtual Attendee Hub
Across the three-day event, each day’s session mix required a different selection of features within the Virtual Attendee Hub. For the first day’s four general sessions, all of which were focused on high-level strategy, Brigid’s team leveraged the Cvent Video Player with embedded livestream. This gave attendees instant access to key content for a seamless user experience. The same video functionality was used to host their panel-style sessions, with live presenters interacting in front of the larger virtual audience. They also used embedded Q&A within the hub to allow attendees to interact with the panelists in real-time. They could ask and upvote key questions to keep the most pressing topics at the forefront of the discussion, while Brigid’s team could easily moderate the live Q&A from the backend.
The first day’s general sessions were followed by four smaller workshop breakouts. For these collaborative sessions, Brigid’s team used Cvent Video Conferencing with a Zoom integration. This allowed attendees to engage directly with one another in order to foster a sense of community. Brigid’s team could create smaller breakouts within the Zoom functionality to facilitate deep-dive sessions within each workshop. Moreover, attendees and presenters could whiteboard directly within each session and use the chat feature to stay connected.
Supporting an Intuitive and Connected User Experience
The second day of the conference featured six simultaneous breakouts, each running twice, and the third day featured six optional sessions focused on tactical application principles relevant to the current situation. As the conference progressed, Brigid’s team knew they could rely on instantaneous support from their dedicated Cvent team for any issues or questions. “It was so nice to be able to call our Cvent support team and that was definitely a benefit,” she explains. She also appreciates the usability and navigability of the virtual hub, which created an intuitive user experience. Attendees were able to self-select sessions from within the “All Sessions” tab, easily tracking their agenda on a personalised “My Sessions” page. From here, they were guaranteed a secure login experience with one-click access to the virtual environment protected by two-factor authentication and built-in privacy controls. The single system of record also offered clear attendee insights for Brigid’s team, with on-demand reports designed to track attendance and measure key data points across the event lifecycle. Throughout the conference, they also integrated with third-party whiteboarding and polling tools that allowed attendees to interact via their mobile phones and show the results live on screen for an even more engaging virtual experience.
To encourage interaction and a sense of community amongst attendees in the virtual environment, Brigid’s team created two virtual networking sessions. The first featured over 160 attendees in small breakout groups. Each team worked to collaboratively solve challenges like word puzzles, trivia questions, and other games. They were then rotated to new groups every few minutes to broaden their network. The second networking session followed suit by focusing on small group discussions relevant to the current virtual work environment. This process was easily managed by Brigid’s team through the integrated Zoom functionality on the backend, creating a truly engaging and enjoyable experience for the attendees.
Total Event Visibility for the Future
Ultimately, the conference saw over 3,280 session participants across the three days of programming, with high engagement levels during general sessions, networking events, and breakouts. Brigid notes feedback for the event was largely positive, including the evaluation of the overall experience with the Virtual Attendee Hub. As Brigid is both the event planner and an attendee for this event, she says the visibility she had across the virtual program was an unexpected benefit. “Normally, my mind is racing trying to keep track of everything onsite ...virtually, this was nice because I could keep my eye on everything at once through the Virtual Attendee Hub,” she explains. As her team fields inquiries for future virtual events, she counts LexisNexis’ working relationship with Cvent as a continued asset. “We were very, very happy with this first time using the Virtual Attendee Hub. It all tied together really well, and it felt coordinated and easy,” she says.
Brigid’s team has since seen an increase in demand for virtual meetings and they are looking forward to applying lessons learned from the Advancing Leadership Conference to their larger program. As virtual becomes a key component of the event landscape, Brigid stresses the importance of understanding how the virtual environment can help event producers maintain program momentum with the right mix of content, opportunities for engagement, and valuable data insights. Nevertheless, Brigid sees a hopeful future for the industry with the eventual return of safe in-person experiences. She says, “I think there is an appetite for more virtual meetings, but I know when it’s safe we all want to get back to in-person events.”
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