August 10, 2016
By Hannah Burks

At Cvent CONNECT 2016 this June, hundreds of meeting and event planners flocked to Las Vegas in search of new content, better connections, and greater insight from experts in the industry. Below you'll find a list of the top 10 most exciting moments attendees experienced onsite.

1. Keynote – Reggie Aggarwal and Jillian Michaels

On CONNECT Day, Cvent Founder and CEO Reggie Aggarwal took the stage to welcome planners and hotel professionals to CONNECT. He addressed the Vista Equity Partners acquisition and what it means for Cvent clients, “We will continue to focus on our secret sauce: people, product, and the customer experience,” Reggie noted.

“Happy people mean happy customers.” He dove into three technology trends to look out for – consumerization, the rise of the marketing cloud, and the attendee experience – before welcoming keynote speaker Jillian Michaels to the stage.

Jillian Michaels, Judge on Spike's Sweat Inc. and notable Health & Wellness Expert, claimed the spotlight to speak to attendees about the importance of well-being.

Check out her tips for getting “unstuck” and boosting your happiness at work and beyond.

Jillian Michaels at Cvent CONNECT

2. Keynote – Chip Conley

On day two of Cvent CONNECT, Chip Conley, Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy at Airbnb, opened up the discussion about hospitality and competition with traditional hotels (or lack thereof). In his keynote, he describes the story of Airbnb, homesharing, and what it means to be a “disrupter”.

Check out his talk here.

3. The Exchange and 1:1 Appointments

One huge benefit for hotel professionals in attendance was the much anticipated Exchange tradeshow. On Tuesday, more than 1,640 planners filled the tradeshow floor and met with suppliers for 3,420 one-on-one appointments throughout the day. Sixteen was the average number of pre-scheduled appointments per exhibitor. It provided venues even more opportunities to build new or strengthen existing planner relationships.

4. Raising the Industry Standard – Welcome to Cvent CONNECT 2016

Cvent's Co-Founder and President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Chuck Ghoorah, and Senior Vice President of Sales, Bharet Malhotra, welcomed Cvent CONNECT attendees by expanding on the state of group business and the three greatest disconnects between venues and their prospects. They moved from common hotel obstacles to new product releases within the Hospitality Cloud.

5. Group Business Trends Announcement

Speakers Josh Davis and Kyle Wolfson announced Cvent’s new Group Business Trends and how it provides exclusive access to hotelier and planner information. Cvent’s data is the largest indicator of the industry’s group business trends. Join us to find out what big movements we’re tracking and how you can begin to explore data to identify your own industry disruptions.

6. Nights Out

Splash of Color
On Tuesday, planners and hotel professionals attended Dare to Dream as the first night out hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, SES Productions/Encore, and Destinations By Design. Decked in black, white, and a dash of color, guests arrived through white drapes hanging throughout the space. More color was introduced as the night went on, while the DJ convinced many to fill the dancefloor.

Cvent CONNECT Synergy Music Festival
The party continued on Wednesday night during the Synergy Music Festival, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo and Cvent. The crowd dressed in bohemian style and enjoyed a live band, festival staples, and snacks throughout the night.

7. Hospitality Cloud Roadmap Announcements

Pete Floros, Cvent’s Senior VP of Product Management, and David Bailey, Director of Product Management, focused on five key components that drive Cvent’s future objectives: operating metrics, the new Hospitality Cloud, product recaps for Lead Scoring and The Client Portal, the product roadmap, and group business intelligence.

Pete Floros at Cvent CONNECT

8. Top Breakout – Why the Biggest Threat to Your Business Isn’t Other Hotels

The highest rated hospitality breakout session was hosted by Patrick Mayock, Senior Director of STR Research and Development. He offered advice to hotel professionals who are up against industry titans in the Sharing Economy. Session attendees left with a new look on the shift in expectations of newer generations and what that means for traditional venues.

9. Certification

In order to improve the quality of their group business and provide planners with the best service, hotel professionals received in-depth onsite training on Cvent products with support from Cvent’s award-winning Client Services team. The Cvent Supplier Professional Certification establishes best practices and skills required to be as successful as possible on the Cvent Supplier Network.

10. Innovation Pavilion

At this year’s Innovation Pavilion, hotel professionals walked through the entire event lifecycle through the Cvent platform. Cvent experts provided hands-on training using Cvent products, while meeting and event professionals gained a better understanding of the game-changing benefits of leveraging Cvent’s technology suite.

Want more information about Cvent CONNECT 2016? Get the content here.

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