Autodesk had three major groups using different systems to manage its events programs:
1. Corporate Events used Lanyon Conference to support Autodesk University and Cvent for all other events.
2. Strategic Meetings Management Program on Starcite
3. Partner/reseller channels used an in-house system
Autodesk hosts several events a year including partner conferences, general meetings and a global sales kickoff. They needed a robust meetings management system to capture in-depth event data.
The problem with using disparate systems is that it does not provide all the integrated data points to help determine the success of the event marketing strategy. Two systems Autodesk had implemented across the organization were Salesforce and Marketo.
Neither of the systems were integrating with each other in a way that allowed Autodesk to look at event return-on-investment (ROI) or feed into its marketing automation platform. Another issue with not having a centralized and integrated platform was Autodesk could not give its partners access to its system. This created lack of consistency across Autodesk and its partner events.
Much of Autodesk’s revenue comes from the 1,000+ partner/reseller channels and a large portion of its marketing budget goes to the partners to host more than 10,000 total events of its own to promote and sell Autodesk’s products.
Autodesk’s central issue with these partners’ events was that a variety of different technologies/third parties were used planning them, so the company didn’t own the data outright and there was a lack of visibility into the data.
As a result, the partners didn’t have one seamless integrated stack feeding into their marketing automation system and Salesforce. Autodesk did have a homegrown tool that partners could leverage, but its limitations meant it was difficult to scale. Over the long term, partners stopped utilizing it and chose to plan events with their own solution.
Because of the sheer volume of partner organizations, Autodesk leadership agreed that it was in its best interest to invest in one centralized platform.
A centralized platform provides an integrated approach so employees can know with confidence that all of their data is being passed into sales and marketing initiatives effectively.
The Discovery Process
The Corporate Events group at Autodesk was using Lanyon Conference to support its biggest event of the year, Autodesk University, Las Vegas, but was also successfully using Cvent for smaller events within this group. The Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP) was using Starcite, and the partner/reseller channels were using an in-house system. Cvent was invited to participate in an RFP process with these other solutions to determine the best fit for Autodesk’s partner events.
After vetting multiple providers, Autodesk narrowed the choice to Cvent and one other vendor. At this stage in the evaluation process, the scope of the RFP changed to encompass the SMMP. Autodesk realized that implementing a SMMP would help its key stakeholders save within their sourcing process and with risk mitigation.
After several in-depth demonstrations with the Cvent team, Autodesk purchased the following Cvent Solutions:
- Cvent Event Management
- Cvent Express
- Cvent Meetings Management (Meeting Request Form & Workflow)
- Venue Sourcing
- Marketo Integration
- OnArrival Premium
- OnArrival 360
After a successful implementation, Autodesk standardized on the Cvent platform for all of its event management needs. To support the diverse group of events, it established three distinct event implementations:
1. Strategic Meetings Management and Internal Events
Autodesk has a centralized meetings management department which does all sourcing for Autodesk globally. This account also runs registration for many internal events, such as: internal trainings, sales meetings and incentive programs. For some of its smaller, internal events including X Summit, Autodesk started utilizing OnArrival Premium and Event in a Box for its onsite needs.
Autodesk also holds three sales kick-off meetings globally throughout the year, the “One Team Conference Series, ”employing Cvent Registration; CrowdCompass, using mobile event apps, and OnArrival 360.
2. All Sales Events including Partner Events
Autodesk’s Partner re-sellers can access Cvent and utilize Cvent registration to set up and manage events for their own companies. In addition to using Cvent for live events, partners will eventually be able to use the GoToMeeting webinar integration to run and manage their virtual events through Cvent as well. Partners can each have a Marketo integration seamlessly linked to the Cvent account so when they run events on Cvent, they can also roll their data into their marketing tech stack.
3. Cvent Conference for Autodesk University
Autodesk University, Las Vegas, is Autodesk’s annual flagship event with 10,000+ attendees. Cvent Conference (formerly Lanyon Conference) powers the registration, housing management, call for papers, speaker resource center, exhibitor resource center, session access control, onsite check in-badge printing, RFID tracking, session feedback surveys, and lead retrieval for the event.
Autodesk has seen major successes in all three accounts regarding cost savings and synching leads back to the Marketo & Salesforce Integration. By utilizing Cvent’s solutions, Autodesk has been able to determine the return on its event marketing strategy, augment their sales process with leads from events, and lower managing costs for its event programs.
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