CWT Meetings & Events
Innovating CWT M&E’s client success with Cvent event technology
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CWT Meetings & Events (CWT M&E) is a division of CWT, one of the world’s largest travel management companies. CWT M&E has provided event services for more than 30 years with specialists across 68 countries. They manage over 38,500 projects annually, focusing on Strategic Meetings Management Programs designed to maximize ROI for their clients. They also merge events and business travel strategies into OneCWT. This end-to-end consolidated strategy provides incremental benefits to both the travel buyer and meeting owner, creating an overall average savings of 19.3%.
Harnessing the power of event technology at CWT M&E
Marco Ogsimer, Manager of Web & Attendee Management Operations, has over 15 years of experience within the meetings and events industry. In that time, Marco has managed the implementation of Cvent’s New Standard Registration solution along with Attendee Hub, Surveys, Appointments, Exhibitor Management, Passkey, the Hotel/Travel module, OnArrival, CrowdCompass, and now the Cvent Mobile Event App. He relies on his passion for event technology to help manage a global team of Cvent system administrators at CWT.
CWT seeks to provide a seamless client experience powered by event technology. Marco notes, “I’ve seen first-hand - when used to their maximum potential - how Cvent solutions can elevate the attendee experience, increase attendee engagement, and create a more efficient planning process resulting in better ROI.” In his current role, he is responsible for ensuring CWT web builders and attendee managers are fully equipped with the knowledge and resources required to support the global organization and their clients. “We have a large portfolio of clients, including pharma, tech, and financial services companies,” he explains. “The type of program varies depending on the client, but can include large conferences, incentives programs, webinars, and small meetings and events as well.”
Pivoting to meet client needs with the Cvent Attendee Hub
When the pandemic first hit, Marco saw first-hand how the industry was impacted. As events were canceled or postponed, Marco’s team recognized the opportunity to support their clients by instead shifting to virtual using event technology. “I think every company faced the challenge of pivoting to virtual when the pandemic first hit,” he elaborates. “And that’s when I think our partnership with Cvent really flourished, because that is when Cvent pivoted right away to meet those needs with the Attendee Hub.”
To start, CWT needed to first evaluate their clients’ shifting event goals and KPIs. “The first thing for most clients’ requirements is engagement,” Marco explains. “How they could engage attendees now they were pivoting from in-person to virtual was important.” The Cvent Attendee Hub offered embedded engagement features that could help drive valuable attendee interactions. Marco notes, “We used the live Q&A, the polling, and some gamification as well.” Moderated Q&A allowed attendees to ask questions in real time and even receive written responses while upvoting favorites. Polling ensured speakers could get a pulse on attendee sentiment and gamification encouraged specific attendee behaviors by awarding points for completing actions like completing surveys. With these features, attendees were able maintain a sense of connection across the digital divide.
CWT’s clients could also maintain communication with their attendees via push notifications, allowing for easy updates as needed. The home page could be customized to feature sponsored sessions or display custom cards to promote particular resources. Digital networking is even easier now thanks to newer features like Discussions, where attendees can meet via collaborative video chat, as well as one-to-one attendee messaging, instant networking, and attendee recommendations. Built-in session and event level surveys also allow for deeper insight into event and session performance and automated engagement scores mean more targeted follow-up for sales and marketing teams. In fact to date, CWT M&E has contracted more than 750 events in Attendee Hub.
In addition to sponsored sessions, sponsors and exhibitors could reach more attendees through virtual booths. These allow for embedded videos, document uploads, and collaborative video chat. Exhibitors can also drive inbound leads through contact forms and embedded social media links designed to foster continued engagement. Cvent’s Exhibitor Resource center ensures sponsors and exhibitors can self-manage key tasks like uploading content, updating staff details, setting up email communications, and managing appointments. Moreover, detailed reporting is available in real time directly within the Exhibitor Portal.
The Cvent mobile app has been central to CWT’s technology offerings throughout the pandemic and well into the return to in-person events. During the early months of the pandemic, the mobile app was a useful tool in driving attendee engagement. Marco explains, “We used the app for live Q&A, for some engagement activities like the activity feed, and for other means of engaging virtual attendees within the program.”
He is now looking forward to completing the migration to the Cvent Mobile Event App, the native app included in the Attendee Hub. “We’re excited about the new mobile app which is now more integrated with the events and with the system,” he explains. Utilizing the integrated mobile app means attendees have access to all of the features found in Attendee Hub, including engagement tools, virtual booths, custom cards and pages, embedded surveys, built-in Appointments, networking capabilities, and much more. “It’s now truly one platform and one experience for the attendees,” Marco adds.
Fostering webinar success through Cvent solutions
In fact, Marco’s team has spearheaded new use cases for utilizing the Attendee Hub within CWT’s technology offerings, specifically using the platform to power webinar programs. He explains, “Prior to the use of Cvent’s Attendee Hub, we did not have a viable solution for our ‘Business Travel on the Fly’ webinars, which meant low attendance and limited data for post-event analysis.” The platform they previously used had limitations in terms of functionality and reporting. Marco explains, ”We had some disadvantages because the metrics and engagement were limited.” The Attendee Hub outpaced the previous platform in terms of the robust data set they could gather from their webinars. It also provided a comprehensive end-to-end experience for their attendees. “When Cvent introduced the Attendee Hub, it’s just really one platform,” Marco elaborates. “You have one solution where you create a registration website and data flows from the registration website to the Attendee Hub. And then you have this one platform where you can drive content and engagement.”
He describes it as a “straightforward and user-friendly platform” that helps drive engagement through embedded Q&A, polling, and surveys. They were also able to easily integrate the Attendee Hub with their existing MarTech stack for a seamless dataflow. Marco notes, “As Attendee Hub integrates with Eloqua, we maximized our ability to connect with clients and prospects through robust post-event analysis. By using Cvent’s registration platform with Attendee Hub, our clients and prospects enjoyed a user experience that flowed intuitively from pre-event through the event’s conclusion.”
Not only does this benefit CWT event professionals and marketers alike, but it also ensures they maintain a single source of truth for all event data. They are able to better evaluate key metrics through on-demand reports, increasing visibility into webinar performance. When measured against established KPIs, the data shows a clear improvement in overall webinar performance and engagement. “We actually saw an increase with email activities and with attendance as well,” notes Marco. He attributes this to the more consistent user experience, from registration through to the post-webinar follow-up. “This is new to this type of program because we never really hit those metrics in the past,” he adds. Thanks to the measurable increases in attendance and engagement, Marco says that this program has been named to the top 9% of B2B programs for the business. He shares, “Pivoting the webinar programs to use the one platform - registration, website, and actual virtual platform - is beneficial because of the metrics we can get out of it. We have generated leads and that’s not something we were able to get out of our WebEx experience.”
Remaining at the forefront of the industry as an event technologist
Marco’s dedication to learning and utilizing new event technologies has inspired his team to grow their skillsets as event technologists. He says, “My passion really is event technology, and I’ve seen the evolution of technology over the last 15 years - from registration to the mobile app to onsite check-in and now you have the Attendee Hub platform.” As an event technologist, Marco is eager to continue growing his team’s expertise while sharing his excitement for the latest technologies. He insists, “I have a team of global event technologists and I think it’s a passion for me to bring this knowledge and training to the whole team.” He appreciates the tools Cvent provides to him as a global technology leader and looks to CWT’s partnership with Cvent as a way to stay on the forefront of the industry. “What I like about Cvent is that they provide their users various resources, including their Knowledge Base in the Community, Cvent support resources, and then there’s also support from our account team,” he shares. Marco notes that the Cvent team is active in reaching out whenever there are new products, modules, or features available. “We participate in early adopter programs to get ahead of what’s coming from Cvent, and we most recently requested to be a part of the Cvent Studio training program,” he says.
Marco ensures his global team stays up to date on the latest tech by holding regular product trainings and demos, as well as by ensuring all staff are credentialed with Cvent certifications. “In addition, my team acts as a subject matter expert in front of our clients and handles inquiries and escalations by utilizing Cvent’s Knowledge Base and support,” Marco says, “Being an advocate and supporter of the product has been essential to my success in managing a global team of Cvent specialists.”
Marco’s excitement for the future of the industry is fueled by his unwavering passion for learning about the latest advances in technology. “I think it’s that I strive to learn new things to stay relevant as the demands of this business are ever-changing,” he explains. As the industry continues to evolve, he’s thrilled by what the next few years could bring in terms of technological advances. In addition, Marco maintains a strong appreciation for the partnerships that power CWT’s clients’ success. “I think that’s what I like about Cvent,” he says. “It’s the event technology, plus the people behind that equals an optimal attend experience for us.”
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