Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits Total Event Program
Powering the total event program with Cvent solutions
increase in registrations YoY
RFPs sent during the global health crisis
onsite venues confirmed for 2021
Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits is a family-owned company marketing quality wine and spirits produced by prestigious families from major wine and spirits regions of the world. Their events team manages a wide variety of meetings and events throughout the year to foster better relationships with both business partners and employees.
Linda Munier, Senior Event Planner, and her colleague Jenny Sosowiecz, Event Planner, established their department in 2019 to support the strategic growth of the business. Over the last several years, they adopted different Cvent solutions to support their expanding program and centralize processes. Linda explains, “We are a very small event team of two, and the way we were running the business before was all manual. So with the help of Cvent, automating supplier and venue searches, registration sites, apps…it brought us to a whole different level.” They ultimately adopted much of the Cvent platform, including the Cvent Supplier Network, Event Management, Onsite Solutions, the Mobile Event App, Passkey, and much more. Through these integrated solutions, they were able to showcase the value and impact of Deutsch’s events program as a strategic business driver.
Creating a Community at Deutsch with Event Technology
When the global health crisis began in 2020, the small team faced a monumental challenge. They were tasked with maintaining employee engagement in a fully virtual environment, as well as managing virtual events in the new landscape. “This was obviously a very difficult time for many companies and many people individually, but we saw there was a need to create a community aspect within our company,” explains Jenny. Despite their team being fully remote at the time, they were able to leverage the Cvent Mobile Event App to maintain a sense of connection amongst their team members. “We turned the mobile app into a wellness app, keeping everyone up to date on information and connected through challenges. It really created this community aspect for our team,” she adds.
They also pivoted to virtual to maintain momentum for the business. Jenny remembers the challenges of those first few months for the industry as a whole, recalling, “It was very difficult at first as we were doing a lot of our own sourcing to find third-party vendors to help with our virtual events.” In Fall of 2020, however, Cvent’s new Attendee Hub® solution was released. Jenny and Linda saw it as the perfect tool to support their virtual program. The Attendee Hub created a seamless, end-to-end digital experience for Deutsch’s attendees. It also automatically integrated with their existing Cvent solutions.
Powering Engagement for All Event Types with the Attendee Hub
As the product evolved over the next several months, Jenny and Linda expanded their Attendee Hub use cases to suit both external, client-facing events and internal programs. Each new feature created valuable avenues to foster attendee engagement. “The engagement pieces were the biggest part of Attendee Hub for us, whether it was the Q&A, the chat, or the polling,” insists Jenny. For example, they could pre-record content for simulive sessions and then leverage live Q&A to bolster in-session engagement with the speaker. Chat also helped foster a sense of community amongst attendees, like during an online awards ceremony where nominees and winners were recognized in real-time by their peers. In-session polling helped drive deeper engagement with speakers and content while giving the Deutsch team a pulse on their attendees’ sentiments.
Given the success of these smaller virtual events, Linda and Jenny opted to rely on Attendee Hub for one of their largest customer business meetings. With over 800 attendees, creating an intuitive user experience was key. Here, attendees could easily build their agenda via custom filters and manage their schedule with ease. “Sessions were easy to navigate, and you could easily just click into a session to see where you needed to go and it was laid out in a really intuitive manner,” Jenny notes. Interactive networking features meant attendees could connect directly with one another and push notifications allowed the Deutsch team to communicate key updates to their attendees. The ability to watch sessions on-demand after the close of the event created continuous engagement with their content.
They were also able to collect valuable data through Cvent as their single source of truth, using on-demand reports to prove the impact of their virtual events. This was especially important during a time of uncertainty across the industry. During this period, event professionals saw their roles change. They had to expand their skills to become digital producers. Being able to quickly and efficiently manage virtual experiences through an intuitive digital platform was vitally important. In fact, Linda specifically appreciates the self-serve capabilities of the Attendee Hub. “Using the Attendee Hub allowed us to do a lot of things ourselves, because we want to be able to run it in-house as much as possible,” she says. With the support of their Cvent account team, tailored training courses, and Community resources, she and Jenny quickly became self-sufficient in the Attendee Hub. She adds, “What Cvent has always brought to the table is the ability to run it yourself. We feel empowered to learn and do it on our own when we want to."
Strategically Sourcing with Safety in Mind through the Cvent Supplier Network
Jenny and Linda also knew the importance of paying attention to the industry trends as they considered the return to in-person experiences. “We were still very positive that live events would come back,” says Linda. “We were wanting to go forward and be proactive, knowing how hard it would be to source once the world opened back up.” They wanted to support their industry partners through this difficult time but needed to source venues with new health and safety considerations in mind. The Cvent Supplier Network was the answer. With new functionality specifically suited to the current event landscape, they were able efficiently source in-person experiences. Linda explains, “By leveraging the Cvent Supplier Network, we were able to continuously source venues throughout the pandemic that met our new criteria that encompassed a safe space with the appropriate social distancing.” They used custom criteria and the built-in capacity calculator to save hours of manual labor. Jenny adds, “We were going to spend hours - we already were spending hours - trying to calculate what a ballroom of 500 people would like, everyone six feet apart. And with the push of a button on the Supplier Network, we were able to do that so seamlessly and we saved so much time.”
They were able to send more than 200 RFPs throughout the pandemic through the Cvent Supplier Network, committing to 10 onsite venues by late 2021. While they were carefully monitoring new variants and other factors, Jenny and Linda were thrilled by the promising return to in-person experiences. “We had to adjust what our live events would look like, and Cvent helped us be prepared for that with the new features they implemented in the Supplier Network,” explains Jenny. In fact, their demonstrated commitment to hosting safe in-person experiences positively impacted their registration numbers. “Compared to what we were looking at the previous year where we were doing virtual events and then our previous live events, we had about a 35% increase in our registrations for these events,” says Jenny.
This was not only a clear indicator that their attendees were eager to meet in-person, but that they felt assured of a safe onsite experience. Jenny adds, “They were really excited to not only come back and meet in-person, but they knew that we would be doing it safely. We chose those venues we found through the Cvent Supplier Network that had the outdoor space, which confirmed we could be socially distanced, and which were following local guidelines.”
Powering Deutsch’s Total Event Program with Cvent Solutions
As they looked forward to the rest of the year and into 2022, the continued momentum of Deutsch’s events program has clear value for the business. They were in the midst of planning several incentive events ranging from 50 to 400 people through the end of the year and into 2022, noting that the in-person incentives were especially valuable to their distributors. Jenny explains, “A lot of people were hired throughout the pandemic and now we're able to bring them together in this new, safe environment for team building, networking, and everything it takes to make a successful team. And we're so excited to bring our distributors that are customer-facing to the point where we relaunch our incentive events, because we know that that is one thing that our distributors really look forward to.”
Most importantly, striking the right balance of virtual, hybrid, and in-person programming for their attendees - whether internal or external - is an important goal for the department and the business moving forward. With the benefit of expanded audience reach through easily accessible virtual experiences, they see the value of including a virtual component in certain events moving forward. On the other hand, the importance of face-to-face networking and live experiences means there are exciting new opportunities for in-person and hybrid events. No matter the event format, Jenny and Linda are sure of one thing: Cvent has them covered. Jenny insists, “Cvent has been there for us through every obstacle that we’ve had to overcome and we’ve come up with solutions together. We are changing and learning together, and adapting to the new situation at the same time. And I really can’t imagine doing events without Cvent.”
Linda agrees, citing the longstanding partnership as a key piece of their ability to navigate throughout the pandemic and support their forward-looking efforts. “Cvent has supported us in every aspect of running an event…whatever it is, Cvent is always there for us,” she says. “Cvent is the leader in the industry, and I can’t imagine partnering with anybody else. In my mind - in our mind - Cvent is the only option that works for us.”
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