November 21, 2019
By Brittany Estes

The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. After expanding their events program over the last fifteen years, the Culinary Institute needed a platform to manage their four largest events and maximize the non-profit’s spend. For the 20th anniversary of their flagship Worlds of Flavor Conference, the events team wanted to showcase their new campus for an unforgettable attendee experience.

Creating Innovative Gastronomic Experiences

To manage the attendee experience across two separate campuses, Strategic Initiatives Manager Katie Cincotta wanted to automate previously manual processes, including spreadsheets, emails, and Excel. "I’ve heard horror stories about what it was like before Cvent,” says Katie. “It was like a lot of conferences, which still have manual check-in and bottlenecks."

After adopting the Cvent Event Management platform in 2012, her team added CrowdCompass and other key pieces of Cvent technology to improve attendee networking, streamline budget requirements, and better prove event ROI to their stakeholders.

Using Technology for a Truly Mobile Event

Using the CrowdCompass interactive map feature helped the team pull off the transition of 600 attendees between two campuses. The team also relied heavily on push notifications to update attendees in real-time. “Our team is relatively small, so the app is especially important for us to help communicate with our attendees,” Katie explains.

The CrowdCompass interactive map also helps drive attendance to one of the most exciting parts of the Worlds of Flavor conference: the Marketplace. “It’s like a street fair featuring food from any country you can think of,” Katie says. To drive attendance, Katie’s team uses the map to reveal the Marketplace’s grand opening. She explains, “We don’t put the map in the app until right before the Marketplace starts, and you can see people get really excited and antsy. We launch the map on the app and everyone rushes in the doors."

Reimagining the Recipe to Prove ROI

Katie’s team also uses CrowdCompass to prove the value of their event to senior executives and sponsors. To demonstrate ROI, the team dramatically reduced printing costs by moving content into the app. With survey feedback and analytics available through CrowdCompass, they are now able to tailor reports for key stakeholders. “I love being able to show them how many people used the app this year versus the previous year. We can explain how many clicked on their banner, and so on,” notes Katie. At the Worlds of Flavor Conference, they were able to increase app engagement with key sponsorship opportunities, garnering over 50,000 banner impressions and 9,000 session views. 

The team's CrowdCompass usage continues to support their program growth, as well their influence across the organization. “This year, we’re adding a fifth app for a new program because we’ve really seen the value in it,” Katie explains.

Watch the Culinary Institute's Video

Brittany Estes Headshot

Brittany Estes

After completing graduate school at Vanderbilt University, I spent over a decade writing in the nonprofit, education, and creative fields.

In my free time, I enjoy rummaging through old book shops for a rare find, traveling, and learning photography. 

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