August 27, 2020
By John Hunter

We knew when we pivoted from an in-person event at CAESARS FORUM to a virtual event, things would be a little different. Maybe more than a little. This year’s Cvent CONNECT was one-of-a-kind, with an unprecedented 40,000 registrants, making it the largest gathering of meeting and event professionals in history.

On top of that, we held the entire conference using the Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub® –  our all-in-one virtual event solution. We were thrilled to showcase the solution to everyone who attended and hope you enjoyed the experience.

Two full days packed with informative and inspiring keynotes, real-talk from experts from the hotel and travel industries, and educational sessions that left attendees inspired to tackle the “new normal” head-on. As our CEO & Founder said, despite the struggles of our industry, we persevere, and we sit on the cusp of the Golden Age of Events. 

Cvent CONNECT Virtual Day 2

Day 1 of Cvent CONNECT Virtual was a tough act to follow, but we brought in the industry heavyweights and filled our afternoon with informative educational sessions to keep the momentum rolling. From networking to technology roadmaps, there was a lot to take in. Here are some highlights from Day 2.

General Session: Event Marketing & Management Product Roadmap

For event professionals and marketers, this was a chance to get an inside look at what our Product Management team has in store for customers—what’s new and what’s next for the Cvent Event Marketing and Management Platform. This session included exciting new developments to help manage your virtual and hybrid events, as well as numerous innovations across our core platform to help you better execute and enhance the impact of your meetings and events. As you look to Q4 and beyond, we’ve been working hard to ensure that, no matter when or how your event program recovers, you’ll be ready. Attendees left this session inspired and invigorated, even under the challenging circumstances we all face as an industry. 

General Session: Hospitality Cloud Product Roadmap Insights

Bharet Malhotra, Senior Vice President of Sales, and Jim Abramson, Vice President of Product Management for Cvent, took attendees through the latest Cvent announcements, such as Source Safely and 3D Virtual Site Visits, and how these solutions will help hoteliers showcase safety standards and book business during the pandemic. Additionally, attendees were shown how the world's leading hotel companies are using the newest products and technologies to change the way they do business.

General Session: Fireside Chat with Mark Jeffries & Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta

When we mention industry heavyweights, Chris Nassetta, President & CEO of Hilton, immediately comes to mind. Chris chatted with our own master of ceremonies Mark Jeffries to discuss topics such as the current health and economic crisis facing the hospitality industry, the increase of virtual/hybrid events, and the future of travel.

Chris presented his perspective on the global impact of the pandemic, and the many ways Hilton is setting new standards for event cleanliness and customer service in the wake of the current pandemic, including the launch of Hilton EventReady with CleanStay. To learn more about Hilton’s efforts, visit

Behind the Scenes: Taking Cvent CONNECT Virtual

After growing Cvent CONNECT to 4,000 in-person attendees, in 2020 we had to throw out the playbook. Cvent CONNECT needed to become a virtual event - fast! Taking our user conference online meant rethinking the strategy, the experience, the technology, and even the team.

We rethought our goals and KPIs, re-imagined the attendee experience, and introduced new technologies to drive engagement and value. During this session designed for Planners and Marketers, attendees went behind the scenes, exploring the key strategic and execution lessons learned as we re-built Cvent CONNECT from the ground up.

Cvent Academy Training: Finding and Planning Your Event Space...From a Distance

As hybrid events and in-person events resume, you’ll need an easy way to secure your event venue while making safety your number one priority. Did you know that everyone, Cvent customer or not, has access to the Cvent Supplier Network for free?

This venue sourcing solution can help you find venues that are the best fit and work with that venue in an efficient way. In this session, we showcased our latest features that will help you navigate venue sourcing in this new normal, from understanding how much space you’ll need to access the largest database of hotel safety and security information. Plus, attendees learned the added benefits of our venue sourcing platform that can help you be more prepared.

Finger on the Pulse: Cvent's CMO on the Current State of Events

Let’s be real - our industry was thrown for a loop. The good news is we’re a community of resilient, creative go-getters. It’s in our nature to bounce back. But to successfully move forward we need to carefully balance caution with confidence.

Patrick Smith, CMO of Cvent, has his finger on the pulse of the industry. In this session, he shared his real take on the state of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events from a marketer’s perspective. Full of insightful recommendations, Patrick presented a framework that organizations can follow to think about how to get their events programs back on track and better than ever.

In-Person and Online: Prepare for a Future of Hybrid Events

Hybrid events have long been a tool planners could use to expand event attendance. Too often, however, the idea was much better than the actual reality. Today, the future of events is hybrid: in-person and virtual tech for planners to use to expand attendance and improve engagement.

As a result, hybrid events may be the most effective way to restart Group business – and is a viable option in a new era of cautious travel and selective attendance requirements. In this session, we outlined effective ways you can prepare to meet the emerging hybrid event requirement.

Your Quaranteam: Building a Strategic Army When You Have Limited Event Resources

For many organizations, the past several months have been a time to take stock of their event programs.  What lessons were learned, and how do we set our in-person, virtual, and hybrid events up for success?

Whether it’s helping you deliver your virtual events, implementing a centralized meetings program for greater efficiency and control, or simply helping you deliver a great event with the latest technology, our experts offered guidance and advice while presenting an overview of Cvent’s Professional Delivery and Advisory Services, including our end-to-end virtual event support services. No matter when and how your events come back, attendees of this session will be ready.

General Session Closing Sponsored by Caesars Entertainment

What a way to end an exhilarating two days of Cvent CONNECT Virtual! Caesars Entertainment closed out a fantastic conference with a special performance from classical crossover singer Daniel Emmet, who turned heads with his rendition of Il Divo's 'Passerà' as a finalist on America's Got Talent season 13, and brought the virtual house down for us! And this was just a preview of things to come…

The Golden Age of Events

As Reggie mentioned in his keynote, we truly are approaching the Golden Age of Events. These challenging times helped fast track innovation by an industry full of pioneers. And in that spirit, we’re proud to announce that Cvent CONNECT 2021 at CAESARS FORUM will be a hybrid event, and we look forward to seeing you, in-person or virtually, next year!

If you’d like to re-live some of your favorite sessions, or if you missed anything you really wanted to see, Cvent CONNECT Virtual can be viewed on-demand. Simply click here to enjoy our conference from the comfort of your own home.

John Hunter

John Hunter

John is the Senior Manager of Event Cloud Content Marketing at Cvent. He has 11 years of experience writing about the meetings and events industry. John also has extensive copywriting experience across diverse industries, including broadcast television, retail advertising, associations, higher education, and corporate PR.

Subscribe to our newsletter