August 20, 2019
By Julie Haddix
Companies that have chosen Cvent as their event management software provider have a number of considerations as they migrate to a new platform. Gary Southard and Christy Love with Eli Lilly and Jillian Madsen at AbbVie shared best practices for implementation success with technology migration in a Cvent CONNECT panel led by Cvent’s Allison Hamil and Kara Krueger. The panel shared recommendations and watchouts from their respective migration experiences, stressing the need to take the right steps during the pre-, during and post-implementation phases of their projects.


Make the Case

Jillian stressed the importance of making the business case for the migration by interviewing AbbVie’s users and business owners to identify existing pain points, understand why a change is needed and pinpoint the best solution. Gary agreed, noting the need to convince Lilly management that better software would help the company improve new drug launches.

Gain Alignment

Christy explained that Lilly invested in bringing together the leaders of their international and U.S. businesses to gain consensus for a platform change. Lilly conducted customer research to help solidify agreement.

Start Early

Gary advised that since migration projects are complex and time consuming, it’s important to start early to get the right people and resources in place to develop a process, manage data and determine how best to use this information.  Cvent underscored the importance of getting all the key stakeholders on board at the outset.


Dedicated Work Sessions 

Lilly held a series of ongoing work sessions among their internal teams during the implementation process, update meetings with Cvent and governance meetings to engage Lilly’s higher level decision makers. The latter sessions helped them flag issues, mobilize the right resources and manage leadership expectations. Both AbbVie and Lilly pursued phased implementations across their geographic regions.

Align Resources

AbbVie created a steering committee of business owners and IT specialists to ensure internal agreement. They established committees for work streams such as purchasing, sourcing and compliance to shape a unified package for Cvent to build an event management system.

Create/Execute Communications Plan 

Lilly combined its own resources with those of external experts to develop a communications plan for launch. They held launch meetings with users and tapped a dedicated change management staff to assist at rollout. AbbVie developed a communications plan template that described how to convey the change to key stakeholders and when, to avoid any surprises.


Stay Engaged 

Post-launch, Lilly continued to hold a series of “care” meetings with their teams to address challenges and troubleshoot solutions.

Common Pitfalls

Cvent identified common pitfalls for companies to avoid during platform migration including overengineering workflow, migrating too much data, not allocating sufficient time for the many component parts of a transfer, and incurring a death by committee phenomenon. For the complete CONNECT session on Technology Migration: How to Maximize Implementation Success, please visit our content hub.
Julie Haddix Headshot

Julie Haddix

Julie Haddix is the Senior Director, Industry Solutions for Cvent, Inc. She has worked for Cvent for over 13 years and helped to build the company’s Enterprise sales and marketing divisions, including its approach to Strategic Meetings Management. Julie has also been a part of the planning team for Cvent CONNECT, Cvent’s annual user conference, leading the event marketing and content development efforts. In her current role, she oversees strategic content direction for the event marketing and management platform. Julie graduated from the McIntire School of Business at the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Commerce and concentrations in Marketing and Management. She lives in Westchester County, NY with her husband and 2-year-old son.

5 event trends to watch for in 2023

More Reading

Subscribe to our newsletter