Reggie Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of Cvent, officially kicked-off Cvent CONNECT 2018 in front of a packed ballroom of meetings and events professionals at The Venetian | The Palazzo Las Vegas.
Every one of the attendees could immediately relate to this year's theme: The Power of Live. Reggie noted that the incredible power of events, of meeting someone face to face, is what makes Cvent CONNECT so special for him, and Cvent's thousands of employees. Cvent CONNECT almost feels like a family reunion and is the unquestioned highlight of our year at Cvent. Reggie also spoke about the incredible evolution of our user conference over the years, growing from a 200-person conference in 2007 to the largest event technology conference in the world. Over 4,000 attendees are in Las Vegas for this year's conference, a new record.
In our increasingly virtual world, the power of meeting in-person is unmatched by any other sales and marketing tactic. It outperforms cold calling, email marketing, and digital marketing. Reggie noted that this was one of the reasons he takes such pride in our industry. There's nothing else really that can compare. "Nothing’s better than breaking-bread with somebody and looking them in the eye…to build that personal relationship. Why are events so powerful? Because they connect us."
"We're proud to say we serve more than 25,000 customers and 300,000+ users on the Cvent platform. And while growth is essential, it's never more important than trust. You cannot trade away trust for growth." Reggie Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of Cvent
"Playing a part in our customers' success is what gets me and every Cvent employee up in the morning. It's amazing what can be accomplished when we come together, share ideas, and all pull in the same direction." Reggie also noted the dramatic shift that continues to be the hallmark of the industry. From measuring ROI, driving engagement, optimizing the attendee experience to integrated marketing data and analytics, the role of both meeting planner and hotelier have changed drastically over the years. Noting that you almost need to be "a technology expert," Reggie reiterated Cvent's driving focus: "We uniquely – through our platform…through our Cvent marketplace, and through Cvent CONNECT, bring planners and suppliers together …. to not only do business but to also help drive our industry forward."
Growth--with a laser focus on our customers
The biggest change for Cvent has been our growth. Reggie commented that the biggest change we’ve seen over the past year is that Cvent is growing faster now than at any other time in our 19-year history. We have a bigger global footprint – just look at the global offices on our map. In addition to recently opening Australia and Singapore, in the next 90 days we will be opening offices in Frankfurt & Dubai. This is all in benefit to our loyal customers. Cvent's 1,100+ technology experts are committed to being the most innovative technology company in our industry.
- It means we can accelerate investment in technology.
- It means we can increase our customer support capabilities.
- And we can deliver the thought leadership and best practices to help you improve.
"We're proud to say we serve more than 25,000 customers and 300,000+ users on the Cvent platform. And while growth is essential, it's never more important than trust. You cannot trade away trust for growth. If all of a sudden growth becomes our highest value, then where does the trust go? So we commit ourselves to trust and to grow, and of course to innovation. That's something Cvent lives and breathes every single day. Because at Cvent we don’t just sell technology. We sell passion, commitment, and above all, TRUST."
The 4th Industrial Revolution
Reggie then pivoted to the future of the meetings and events industry, and a concept called The 4th Industrial Revolution, which will usher in a new set of technologies that will fundamentally alter the way we work, and the way we connect with one another. Technologies like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, biometrics and facial recognition, robotics & machine learning are just a few of the technologies that hold great promise for making our lives better and our organizations more efficient. "What's really exciting is that several of our customers are leading the way in adopting the technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution." Reggie then spoke about how Cvent customers like Michelin, Continental, Samsung, Amazon and more are leading this wave. "While we're always keeping an eye on the potentially disruptive cutting-edge technology, So just to be clear, the bulk of our investments are going toward making our current solutions to make them easier-to-use, more robust, and more innovative. Now, our north-star is to create the simplest, most integrated, and most robust platform. It’s as simple as that."
To close, Reggie previewed our product roadmap session by giving a bird's eye view of our focus:
- The 1st theme is to make our products more simple.
- The 2nd area of focus is to make our solutions more scalable.
- The 3rd and final theme is to deliver solutions that help you prove business impact.
He also had a few words about Project Flex. "Basically it is the next generation of event management. It is Registration, and the entire user experience reimagined. Flex is the single largest technology investment, in Cvent's history. So now, the quality of the user experience will match the quality, and depth, of our functionality." Reggie then invited attendees to experience Flex for themselves in the Innovation Pavilion.