Federal Conference

Using data-driven decisions to drive partner success. 

3,000

annual events managed

50%

reduction in sourcing timeline 

#2

fastest growing company on Inc. 500 list

Federal Conference is a full service event management company that has successfully planned and delivered more than 15,000 meetings, conferences, and tradeshows worldwide. CEO Paul Trapp and COO Stephen Davis have worked with Cvent for years, leveraging the full power of the platform to grow their small business into one of the premier organizations serving the association, commercial, and government spaces. Using integrated technology for over 3,000 annual client events helps strategically enhance and improve client events for a better return on investment.

Fighting Against Inefficiencies 

Before Cvent, “our world was fairly unorganized,” explains Director of Sales Phil Saims. “It was painstaking, quite frankly.” Event Planner Faye Crenshaw agrees, noting that simply sourcing venues for the government program she helps manage was a cumbersome process. “I would say over 50% of my time was spent just sourcing an event, nothing else,” she laments. Manual sourcing for the Army Strong Bonds program required Faye and her colleague, Kelsie Esser, to spend days calling venues and tracking bids on Excel spreadsheets. With manual data tracking, there were few insights into negotiated savings for the clients.

In leveraging Cvent as a digital solution, Kelsey notes their business was able to scale in tandem with the platform. She smiles, “Cvent somehow drops in our lap and creates this gigantic platform for us to reach soldiers and venues and suppliers all over the US. It’s been a wonderful tool for us.” In particular, the Cvent Supplier Network has revolutionized the sourcing process for Federal Conference’s team. “The Cvent Supplier Network is like a one-stop shop. I put all my information into a database and because they have such a wide visibility, people call me. I don't have to call them. So, it saved me a lot of time, energy , and money” notes Faye. Managing forty-five different events each month, Kelsie particularly enjoys the specific filters she leverages to speed up her targeted venue search, as well as the ability to easily track bids and negotiated savings through the tool. “Honestly, that's why we need Cvent” she adds. “That’s why we need this wonderful database that is so diversified and visible for us to cut out the middleman. We can go straight to the venue we need, who will then meet our needs so that we can meet our client's needs.”

Creating Meaningful Impact Through Events

By focusing on the value event technology provides their clients, Federal Conference is able to elevate and prove the inherent value of events to their stakeholders. Phil explains, “Federal Conference’s goal is actually to make a difference in people's lives. We view events and meetings as a catalyst to get people together and want to help them achieve their goals. So, whether it’s an annual conference, convention, or a board meeting, we want to make sure that that event is meaningful and impactful for each person.” The key to creating this impact lies in leveraging data-driven insights for their clients’ success. For example, in working with the National Industries for the Blind, the team wanted to partner with the impactful organization to help expand their reach. Using Cvent Supplier Network, CrowdCompass, and Cvent’s Event Management tool, they provided an end-to-end solution for NIB that enables deeper data insights and a more powerful onsite experience. “We’re able to use all the Cvent products. It’s been amazing because we’ve been able to elevate their engagement and involvement with attendees at their programs,” explains Phil. “What they do is so important. We’re actually giving them more of a global reach to provide better solutions for them in their events.”

The team is also working to expand their clients’ understanding of event impact. Phil explains, “We try to get the customer to understand the analytics Cvent provides. Usually, an organization like an association doesn’t have a lot of resources. So, helping them understand the analytics so that next year’s conference becomes better, more engaging, more robust, and more memorable is important.” By introducing new technologies to these clients, Federal Conference has positioned themselves as a true partner in their clients’ success. For their client AMD, the team introduce new tools for better data benchmarking. By  introducing CrowdCompass and RFID session scanning, in addition to Cvent’s Event Management and Onsite Solutions, the small association is now able to track the full attendee journey at their events. “From an analytics perspective, it will make it far easier for them to understand the impact of their event, and we will be able to improve next year’s programs through those different analytics,” notes Phil.

Investing in a Long-Term Partnership 

By enabling their clients to improve long-term event strategies with automated processes and efficiencies, Federal Conference has seen impressive growth across the organization. “When we started the company, we bootstrapped it. This year, we finished with $51 million in top-line revenue. We do 3,000 events a year across the globe. We’re the second fastest growing company in America on the Inc. 500 list,” explains Paul. He views his team’s investment in event technology as a key contributor to the business growth, and works to mirror that success for their clients. Phil identifies three primary goals in using Cvent with their clients: reduce costs, increase top-line revenue, and improve engagement. “Cvent gives you a full, complete, robust platform to engage your attendees. You’re able to engage, communicate, and facilitate information and relationships," he adds. 

Stephen views their investment in event technology as an inherent value for the Federal Conference team. It is an investment, he says, that is mirrored directly from Cvent. He explains, “Paul and I, for many years, have been on the sideline watching Reggie Aggarwal grow Cvent. We’ve been admirers, watching how he does business, and how he incorporates culture within his organization and within his people. Paul and I have modeled that mastery.” By enabling their small team to better source, manage, and analyze client events, Federal Conference is now able to position themselves as industry leaders. Stephen adds, “We actually have implemented a lot of things that Cvent does within their organization within our organization. We know the return on investment. If you focus on your people, the return will come back. We've seen that with Cvent.”

Paul and Stephen view their Cvent relationship as one that will extend for many years. “For us, Cvent is not a cost of doing business. It’s an investment in our clients. It's an investment in our organization, because hand-in-hand with Cvent is how we've grown,” Paul explains. By investing in their clients’ success through strategic technology growth, Federal Conference is quickly becoming a true industry leader. Importantly, says Paul, the relationship allows Federal Conference the ability to impress their key stakeholders, raising the profile of the organization. He adds, “Cvent is the tool that we use to manage behind the curtain. It’s not just finding the hotel, doing the registration, or setting up the websites. Anything the customer wants, I can bring to them. Cvent makes everything run smoothly, and we’re thankful because we get to take the credit for it. I feel like we’re in the foxhole with Cvent and we’re fighting the battle together.”