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Community Transportation Association of America

Driving continuing education with the Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub®

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The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) is a national, nonprofit membership association serving members across the country. The organization began planning their annual meeting in early 2020. Scheduled for June, the impact of the global health crisis soon made the event an impossibility. Before their annual meeting, CTAA usually facilitates several days of intensive training and continuing education courses for certification. In order to faithfully serve their members during the crisis, CTAA decided to host a multi-day virtual training event entitled “FIT for Success - Fundamental Intensive Training” in lieu of their annual meeting.

Automating Virtual Solutions for Efficiency

Loreal Lance, Membership and Business Development Director, and Taylor Klocke, Senior Communications, Event, and Legislative Specialist, typically support CTAA business initiatives outside the realm of event management. When CTAA senior leadership tasked them with managing a series of virtual events, Taylor and Loreal needed a practical, automated solution that would allow them to simultaneously maintain their other responsibilities. They had just completed two virtual events for the organization and knew an all-in-one solution would be key to their success. As CTAA had a longstanding relationship with Cvent lasting well over a decade, the integration between the Cvent Event Management solution with the new Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub® was a natural fit.

With just weeks to plan the event, Taylor and Loreal adopted several best practices from the growing number of virtual events within the industry. Working with a dedicated Virtual Event 360 Professional Services team from Cvent, they created a streamlined registration site which offered a full catalogue of available sessions for registrants. This required custom registration logic with an easily navigable user experience. Registrants could choose dedicated one-day or two-day registration paths, depending on their content needs or certification requirements. Each of these included specific fee structures that were configured and automated directly through Cvent. 

Creating In-House Solutions with Cvent Advanced Production Services

Typically, CTAA relies on a third party to help manage their event build and registration. However, the intuitive nature of New Standard Registration (Flex) and the seamless integration of the Virtual Attendee Hub allowed CTAA to keep the process in-house with their dedicated Cvent team. The overall event build and registration process was incredibly smooth, says Loreal, with the end result impressing even their most discerning technology stakeholders in terms of dataflow and modern aesthetic. "They were very, very happy with not only the Virtual Attendee Hub but also the design and functionality of the registration site," says Loreal. Using Flex helped ensure an on-brand site that was easy to navigate, capturing key details with automated dataflow and ensuring a smooth user experience for a non-technical demographic. "We received so many compliments on the branded look and feel of both the hub and the registration site from our stakeholders," adds Taylor.

Loreal and Taylor then worked closely with their training director to develop content for 17 unique sessions. These were interspersed across one or both days of the event and included a variety of training courses, breakout sessions, workshops, and general sessions like the CTAA Kick Off and a closing awards program. In marketing the paid event to their contact base, they leveraged Cvent’s eMarketing tool for automated invitation emails, reminders, and key updates during the event. With automated email functionality at their fingertips, Taylor and Loreal could target invitees with specific offers, training courses, and certification options. As a result of their marketing efforts, they saw an incredible 53% open rate across emails and over 200 registrations in total. They were also able to highlight specific sessions through their marketing efforts and within the hub to help drive session attendance. "Out of 202 people, we had 95 people who discovered the Kick Off general session organically, which we strongly consider a win," says Loreal.

Seamless Digital Experiences with the Virtual Attendee Hub

The live Kick Off general session was hosted through the Cvent Video Conferencing tool with a Zoom integration. This was followed by six concurrent sessions on the first day and 5 concurrent sessions on the second day, each with a fixed price. The event also included one mandatory session for all attendees, and each day ran from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Advanced Production team leveraged the Cvent Video Conferencing tool with Zoom integration for all sessions. Each of the session Zoom links were automatically populated within the tool, creating one-click access for attendees and streamlining what would have been a cumbersome process for Loreal and Taylor. "It was so nice not to have to create sessions with all of these individual Zoom links, which was just taken care of through the tool," Taylor insists. The event also offered several sponsorship opportunities, including being highlighted within the Virtual Attendee Hub, through sponsored sessions, on the event website, and through dedicated marketing pushes. A select number of sessions, including sponsored sessions, leveraged the virtual breakout room functionality to encourage even more in-depth discussion amongst attendees. 

All sessions were live, meaning the Advanced Production team also facilitated dedicated speaker and moderator training. "The way the Advanced Production team managed the presenter training, the visual overlays, and the overall speaker management was hugely impressive," says Loreal. "It was nice to have the team take that burden off of us and handle everything." 

Proving ROI for "FIT for Success" 

Ultimately, the virtual event was a clear success for CTAA. They saw 306 total logins across 202 registrants with an impressive 88.6% attendance rate. They also gained a dozen new members. "We were very happy with performance of this event and working with the Cvent team throughout the process," says Loreal. Content remained live in the Virtual Attendee Hub for 90 days post-event, with embedded on-demand recordings available for most session content to foster further engagement.

As nontraditional event managers, Loreal and Taylor emphasize the importance of relying on automated technology and aligning with an expert team who can support business goals. Taylor advises, "Be very detailed oriented and take the time to learn the best practices and technology." It's a sentiment Loreal wholeheartedly agrees with, particularly for those managing events outside their typical job function. She also stresses the importance of leveraging the expertise of industry leaders like Cvent, saying, "Trust the professionals, let them guide you, and let them take some of this burden off of your shoulders."

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