September 12, 2019
By Brittany Estes

When it comes to event marketing, there is no one formula for achieving success. KPI's may include lead generation, pipeline attribution, or sales opportunities. Every organization measures event performance differently. For example, Morningstar is a leading provider of independent investment research across the world. The events team manages hundreds of annual events worldwide, pushing the boundaries of event technology over the last several years to help bolster their global brand. 

How to Build a Powerful Tech Stack

The team at Morningstar was originally decentralized, with a system that could not support the growing suite of international events. Head of Experiential Marketing Leslie Marshall notes, “The homegrown solutions did not capture all the data and information that we wanted to understand about our clients. It also did not give us the event experience we wanted for our attendees."

To streamline and centralize operations, the Morningstar team turned to Cvent in 2015. In conjunction with Cvent’s Event Management platform, they now leverage Cvent's OnArrival, CrowdCompass, LeadCapture, Appointments, and RFID solutions. “What’s great about the technology that we’re using with Cvent is it really helps us elevate the client experience, help them register more effectively, and get the information that they need through the mobile app. It’s always working behind the scenes,” explains Leslie. 

Crafting an International Reputation of Excellence

The U.S. Morningstar Investment Conference (MIC) in Chicago serves as the brand's flagship event. Because of its success, the team was tasked with expanding their international events. “One of the challenges rolling out this program globally has been understanding the needs of particular events in different countries," explains Caroline DeCamp, Director of Events and Operations. The team increased international technology adoption while enabling regional departments to self-manage for efficiency. Event templates now ensure branding is easily carried across events, and on-demand reports measure the effectiveness of their campaigns across international markets. “By investing in this technology and making sure our event managers were trained to use the Cvent tool...they’re empowered to really manage their events in their markets and run them really successfully,” adds Leslie. 

Creating a New Morningstar Mobile Reality 

CrowdCompass offers Morningstar the ability to integrate industry-leading technology into their attendee experience. In 2018, users spent almost 121,000 collective minutes in the app, resulting in an 8% global growth year-over-year. They also use the app to attract key sponsors for additional revenue generation. Going paperless with the app saved $31,000, alone. At the 2018 MIC U.S., the team worked with Cvent to create a deep link through CrowdCompass to a companion augmented reality (AR) app. They saw 36% of CrowdCompass mobile app users download the companion AR@MIC app and tracked high engagement metrics as a result. 

Showcasing Morningstar Event Impact

Understanding the scope and impact of their events is an evolving KPI for the team. While they knew MIC U.S. had always been successful from a revenue standpoint, they were previously unable to track contribution to pipeline. RFID scanning now tracks the attendee journey across their global conferences. The results of these concentrated efforts have proven the value of Morningstar's events in delivering to business goals. They saw extremely high numbers of MQLs and a huge increase in attributed revenue. “Using Cvent’s reporting system, we can demonstrate to senior management that our conference generates revenue through paid attendance and exhibiting, as tracked through Cvent. It also contributes to the company lead-generation and revenue attribution goals," says Leslie.

Not only has Morningstar seen impressive growth in their global events, but data-driven decision making has catapulted events to the forefront of the organization. “Now we’ve got proof that business is happening at the Morningstar Investment Conference. We know the value of that business, and then we can track where that business is going," says Leslie. 



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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