The Culinary Institute of America
Curating the premier culinary mobile experience.
banner impressions in mobile app
increase in shared contacts via app
in-app session views
Creating Innovative Gastronomic Experiences
The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. After expanding their events program over the last fifteen years, the Culinary Institute needed a platform to manage their four largest events and maximize the non-profit’s spend. For the flagship Worlds of Flavor Conference, the Culinary Institute brings together 600 talented chefs and presenters to demonstrate innovative food and cooking techniques. For their 20th anniversary event, they wanted to blend the old and new by bringing past celebrity chefs to their new campus for an unforgettable experience.
Strategic Initiatives Manager Katie Cincotta has seen massive growth in their program due to the use of event technology. “When we did our first program in 1998, people were just getting ‘95 Windows PC’s. Twenty years later, a mobile app seems essential for every event,” she explains. Katie’s team originally struggled with slow processes. “I’ve heard horror stories about what it was like before Cvent,” says Katie. “It was like a lot of conferences, which still have manual check-in and bottlenecks. It sounds like it was very unpleasant.” After adopting the Cvent Event Management platform in 2012, her team added CrowdCompass and other key pieces of Cvent technology to improve attendee networking, streamline budget requirements, and better prove event ROI to their stakeholders.
Using Mobile Technology for a Mobile Event
For the 2018 Worlds of Flavor Conference, Katie’s team was tasked with simultaneously managing the event at not one, but two different California campuses. Located thirty minutes apart, the modern Copia Campus stands in contrast to their Napa-inspired Greystone Campus. A logistical nightmare awaited attendees, not to mention Katie’s team. “We had to coordinate the movement of 600 attendees between the campuses, and make sure that enough people showed up so that our sponsors were pleased with the turnout at both campuses,” she notes.
Using the CrowdCompass interactive map feature helped their team pull off the transition. “It actually worked really well,” Katie notes. “We got lots of positive responses through CrowdCompass feedback.” They also relied heavily on push notifications to keep attendees updated. “Our team is relatively small. We have twelve people, so we’re always running around. The app is especially important for us to help communicate with our attendees,” she explains. For example, when a presenter accidentally left before his book signing session, Katie’s team was able to quickly notify attendees of the change in schedule. When he returned, they successfully shepherded hundreds of attendees to a new, impromptu signing using push notifications.
Showcasing a Delectable Experience
Integrating CrowdCompass with other event technology has revolutionized the experience for attendees at these events. Katie’s team uses automated emails through Cvent’s Event Management platform to encourage early adoption of the app. Once onsite, push notifications welcome attendees and direct them to the OnArrival check-in experience. “They get there, and they say, ‘Oh, there is no line? This is amazing!’ It’s the fastest thing they’ve ever seen,” Katie explains.
The CrowdCompass interactive map also helps drive attendance to one of the most exciting parts of the Worlds of Flavor conference. “One of the biggest elements at the conference is the Marketplace. It’s like a street fair featuring food from any country you can think of,” Katie says. To drive attendance, Katie’s team uses the map to reveal the Marketplace’s grand opening. She explains, “We don’t put the map in the app until right before the Marketplace starts, and you can see people get really excited and antsy. We launch the map on the app and everyone rushes in the doors. It’s a really great thing to see.”