Solving for internal virtual event engagement with Cvent solutions
Businessolver is a technology company delivering market-leading benefits administration technology supported by an intrinsic responsiveness to client needs. Their events portfolio supports a wide variety of business needs, including driving sales opportunities, increasing client engagement and advocacy, strengthening partner relationships, providing thought leadership, and motivating internal staff while recognizing top performers.
Navigating an Ever-Changing Event Landscape
While Businessolver relies on Cvent solutions to support a multitude of event types and formats, their annual Sales Year Launch event serves as the premier internal sales kickoff event of the year. Here, they recognize top performers, reinvigorate the sales and marketing teams, and align on their strategy for the year ahead. “This can be more difficult in a virtual environment,” notes Erica Vasquez, Senior Manager, Events & Experiences. “This is especially true after two years of participating in virtual environments and everyone wishing they could connect in-person.” Her team faced significant challenges in producing a virtual Sales Year Launch event in the ongoing global health crisis in the late fall of 2021. She sought to improve engagement amongst their internal teams while creating a dynamic virtual experience that would support both individual and team growth.
Aptly entitled “Disrupt,” the internal event would need to upend the status quo when it came to virtual event fatigue. The Events team realized it was more challenging for attendees to retain important information when it was condensed into a one or two-day virtual event. They believed spreading out the sessions across several weeks, with shorter sessions that built upon one another to reinforce learning, meant retention and participation would theoretically be higher. Smaller breakouts would lead into larger group sessions, which would then be reinforced a third time in an associated livestream session. This strategy allowed the Events team to segment attendees more intentionally across sessions so they could share perspectives with their smaller teams.
To approach the event, the Events team first needed a single, integrated platform that could organize sessions and content to be easily navigable for attendees and exhibitors. They also wanted registration to sync automatically with the virtual platform, and needed integrated surveys to provide critical feedback as a measure of success. Moreover, they sought on-demand reporting to evaluate engagement metrics, particularly sponsor engagement. Businessolver also required a flexible platform that could integrate with Zoom and Salesforce as part of their tech stack.
Disrupting Virtual Event Fatigue with Cvent Attendee Hub®
To achieve these many different goals, Erica leveraged Cvent’s Attendee Hub solution in addition to utilizing Cvent Studio, Exhibitor Management, Event Management, and the Mobile Event App. Attendee Hub provided an integrated virtual platform that synced automatically with Cvent’s registration solution. Moreover, the seamless integration with Salesforce meant all data would be coalesced in a single source of truth. “The Salesforce integration offers the flexibility for us to use Cvent in a number of different event scenarios, knowing we can always tie it back to our single source of truth,” adds Erica.
Within the Attendee Hub, ease of navigability was important for engaging Businessolver’s internal audience of just over 100 sales and marketing team members. They were able to host a mix of session types to keep attendees engaged throughout the entire event, including collaborative breakout sessions for internal teams which could be organized by segment. Here, attendees could interact directly with one another via integrated Zoom functionality within the Attendee Hub. These sessions included informational content for sales planning, territory mapping, account mapping, and so on. The Events team also created team-building opportunities within certain sessions, such as a virtual workout, a competitive gingerbread cookie competition, and other fun activities. The final day of the event included an executive round table with open Q&A and an evening event for sales awards recognitions, complete with a virtual cocktail class and a virtual illusionist.
From the attendee perspective, sales team members could easily identify and navigate sessions through the “My Schedule” tab, which housed their personalized agenda. Moreover, they had the freedom to watch sessions on-demand if another business priority interfered with their schedule. The intuitive nature of the virtual platform also proved valuable to the busy Events team. “The Zoom integration was seamless and our live sessions were automatically uploaded into the platform on-demand, making our lives as event planners so much easier,” insists Erica. Moreover, the livestream sessions incentivized interaction between attendees and speakers by using the integrated live Q&A, which includes moderator control, upvoting, and written response capabilities.
Powering Broadcast-Quality Session Production with Cvent Studio
They also hosted three keynote sessions, with a keynote taking place each week. One keynote was produced in Cvent Studio, Cvent’s all-in-one video production solution. Using Studio, Erica’s team was able to capture and produce high-quality video content. On the backend, Studio presented them with easy-to-use functionality like pre-planned segments, one-click transitions, streamlined presenter tools, and much more. The Director’s View gave her team instant access to the broadcast controls, allowing them to mix presenters, media, and screen shares while integrating backgrounds and overlays. “We took Cvent Studio for a spin, and it did not disappoint!” Erica insists. “The system was easy to use and allowed our team to produce a top-tier session complete with branding, lower-thirds, animations, and more.” Being able to stream these sessions directly to the Attendee Hub via RTMP only made the process all the easier for her team.
As event producers, the Events team could also pre-build scenes with seamless transitions for a smooth run of show. They ensured virtual presenters felt fully empowered through the Presenter View to edit their settings and communicate behind the scenes for a flawless user experience. The entire production could also be branded to match enterprise or event-specific branding. Producing a broadcast-quality keynote session without investing in external production tools or companies resulted in clear cost savings for the business. “Typically constructing a session like this would require a full production team, but Cvent Studio made it possible for our team to be our own producers – saving time and money without sacrificing the quality of the show,” adds Erica.
Engaging Internal Attendees within the Attendee Hub
The event also featured a virtual Expo for Businessolver’s Pinnacle Partners. Here, exhibitors could meet with Businessolver team members via virtual booths and appointments that were set directly within Attendee Hub. They could gain valuable face time with attendees to discuss key integration opportunities and potential partnerships. “There’s always a risk when you ask exhibitors to set-up their own booths, but Cvent Exhibitor Management was intuitive and allowed our exhibitors to fully manage their content with minimal effort on our end,” says Erica. Within the Exhibitor Portal, exhibitors could manage all tasks within one central location. They could upload collateral, edit profile information, access exhibitor reports, and more.
The experience was one which provided direct value to Businessolver’s partners. “Our partners valued the time they were given to meet with our team and improve those relationships,” says Erica. The exhibitor engagement reports also helped determine which sponsors received the most visitors so the Businessolver team could analyze the reasoning behind that success. Though they did not use the Salesforce integration for this particular internal event, Erica does note that the integration usually provides their sales teams with the attendance information they need from Cvent quickly and efficiently, which is vital to an effective post-event follow-up strategy.
Evaluating and Proving Internal Event Success at Businessolver
Ultimately, the success of the Sales Year Launch energized the Businessolver team while engaging them across a multi-week, complex virtual event. Key metrics of success for this internal event lie in high attendance rates and positive feedback. Further impact to the business could be evaluated by sales performance in the coming year, as well as staying under budget and garnering positive C-Suite feedback. Overall, Erica estimates the virtual experience could cost up to a quarter or even a third less than the in-person event. The virtual environment also ensured the health and safety of Businessolver employees at a time when the pandemic was still of great concern.
Erica does believe the overall experience is one key indicator of event success. “It’s tough to quantify, but naturally, executing a virtual event on a platform like Attendee Hub and giving attendees a dynamic and engaging platform in which to absorb this content has only had positive outcomes for our organization,” she offers. The overall experience resonated well with their employee base and has only bolstered the team’s standing within the business. She explains, “The praise post-event was overwhelming, and it gave our Events Team a huge boost as we entered a new year. Each event that we use Attendee Hub for gets our company closer and closer to understanding and appreciating the value of virtual events--and how they can be done effectively and with great return.” Erica and her team look forward to not only iterating on the success of this internal event as an in-person experience in 2023, but in carrying their learnings and best practices forward across their total event program.
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