Fox World Travel is a national leader in business travel, vacation travel, incentive travel, and meetings and events planning. “Fox World Travel is one of the largest corporate travel management companies in the United States,” explains Jeremy Dyken, Director of IT and Application Development. Supporting their clients for over 60 years, Fox World Travel has long relied on event technology to create seamless attendee experiences and achieve custom client success.
Jeremy notes that the pandemic was particularly challenging for their organization as an event agency. “The last two years were incredibly difficult,” he says. “Now that we’re through that tunnel and can see the light on the other side, we are poised for growth.” Jeremy believes industry partnerships are key in unlocking this potential for growth. It’s a strategy Fox adopted with Cvent years prior to support their expanding business. “Years ago, in the spirit of continuous growth and improvement, Fox recognized the need for a partner who would complement and scale with our growth,” he explains.
Six years later, the impact of that partnership is clear. “We have optimized events by utilizing features such as Event Enterprise Solution, Supplier Solutions, Transient, Onsite Solutions, and most recently, Attendee Hub,” offers Stacy Button, Operations Manager of Meetings and Incentives. Thanks to their strong emphasis on technology investments, Fox was well-positioned to support their clients throughout the pandemic.
Supporting a quick pivot to hybrid events with Cvent technology
Jeremy and Stacy offer an example of how such strategic forethought positively impacted one of their clients. Due to the Omicron variant, a large accounting firm needed to quickly pivot their planned in-person conference in early 2022. Five days before the event, it looked like the conference may not even occur. “The client was considering canceling the event outright,” Stacy shares. Given the impact of this lost business and its effect on hundreds of attendees, Fox prepared an alternative solution. Stacy explains, “For us, that presented a unique opportunity where Fox World Travel and Cvent came together. In just three days, we were able to completely transform their program into a hybrid event.”
Fox’s rationale was simple. With the support of Cvent services teams and the backing of Cvent technology, their team would create an engaging and safe attendee experience so that the event could move forward to support the client’s business goals. They planned to bring all entertainment and speakers to Las Vegas and shift all attendees to the virtual experience, creating a hybrid event. “Think through all the logistics that have to happen to pull that off successfully,” Jeremy elaborates. “The mobile app has to change, and sessions have to change, hundreds of people no longer flying into Las Vegas…all of that has to happen quickly.” Faced with this daunting challenge, the Fox and Cvent teams jumped into action.
Strategizing hybrid event success with Cvent professional services
The Fox team managed the technology implications behind the scenes to ensure a flawless virtual attendee experience. Having the technology already in place to support the team during this incredibly challenging time was critical. “At the customer’s request to make this a hybrid event early on, combined with the Cvent technology, made it possible to hold this virtual meeting due to the last-minute critical changes,” notes Stacy.
Fox first had to manage attendee communications and accurately cancel 539 hotels and flights. “Due to the benefit of our strong Cvent partnership and having planned for a hybrid event, strategically created this safety net, which enabled us to easily manipulate the content, emails, surveys – every touch point- to reflect the now virtual atmosphere,” offers Jeremy. In partnership with Fox’s customer, they reconfigured and condensed session content to accommodate the virtual environment. “Fox is responsible for all of their attendee and website management in addition to the implementation of the conference mobile app and now, Attendee Hub,” Jeremy explains. They dedicated one team member to manage the attendee experience, divvying up the other responsibilities amongst their remaining staff and enlisting the assistance of their Cvent team.
They condensed breakout and general sessions into daily sessions to allow for a more fluid virtual attendee experience. This meant they needed to reassign speakers, support session content, enable polls, and moderate Q&A. Meanwhile, they built 25 hybrid sessions in the Attendee Hub. Given the extremely tight timeline they faced, Fox appreciated the support from the Cvent Attendee Hub 360 team, which extended beyond typical working hours and into the weekend. “There was someone from the Cvent side who was our go-to superstar,” Jeremy notes. “She was a project manager, and she was phenomenal.”
In providing end-to-end project management, the Cvent team updated the event build to reflect the new hybrid experience and configured the Attendee Hub platform. At the same time, they coordinated technology needs to ensure timely execution. They also offered advanced production services and full day-of support. “You take someone like that, who has a background in meeting planning and could help anticipate the things we’re going to need - it means nothing is lost in translation,” Jeremy adds.
By drawing on their existing Cvent partnership, Fox was able to quickly and efficiently create a viable solution for their client in the midst of overwhelming challenges. Combining industry-leading technology with the support of experienced technology professionals meant both Fox and the client felt fully supported throughout the process. Jeremy says, “You take someone like that with our experienced team and you achieve what many companies try: the blending of people and technology. With Fox and Cvent, we could do this and make it happen.”
Providing an engaging digital experience for virtual attendees
Jeremy adds that the Attendee Hub offered a quick and easy way to flip the content to suit a virtual viewing experience. “Obviously, the Attendee Hub becomes the central part of the entire plan,” he says. The Attendee Hub provided a user-friendly experience with one-click access to all session content. Registration data was automatically synced between the Registration tool and Attendee Hub, meaning there was no need for manual list uploads or data syncs. Users could easily navigate from the home page to build their agenda and access their personalized schedule. Each session included speaker information, session details, and related links and files to drive continued engagement. Featured sessions on the home page also helped drive session attendance. “Because Fox had the Attendee Hub in place, hundreds of hours were saved as opposed to starting from a blank slate,” notes Stacy. “While the entire agenda was updated days before the opening session, the roadmap had been made possible through Attendee Hub and the ability to update content versus creating from scratch was instrumental in our success.”
While this functionality offered a cohesive and consistent attendee experience, the client wanted attendees to feel connected across the digital divide. Fox leveraged built-in engagement features to meet this client goal. “We tried to use every feature that we could to the fullest extent, adding polling and Discussions to create a virtual experience that was as personal as it could be,” Jeremy explains. Attendees could connect in real-time via live chat, while moderated Q&A allowed attendees to ask questions, receive written responses, and upvote their favorites. With Discussions, attendees could meet virtually to discuss topics of interest. Fox managed 27 discussion rooms with integrated video chat to ensure attendees felt connected. Integrated polling allowed Fox to capture session engagement to fulfill CPE credit requirements, with over 23 polls launched throughout the program.
Proving the importance of technology partnerships
The event saw 533 attendees join virtually over three days, with an impressive 97% attendance rate and 1,029 total logins. In looking back at the monumental team effort it took to successfully pivot the conference to virtual, Jeremy is grateful for the efforts of his own team and the Cvent staff who supported Fox World Travel. “While Fox may have worked around the clock to deliver this rejuvenated, transformed, completely digital event, we leaned on the tremendous asset we had in our partner of choice with Cvent,” he says. “Without the technology platforms we had in place, this event never would have been possible with such massive scope change.”
Not only was the client pleased with the end result, but they were able to gather valuable data points through on-demand reports in Cvent. Here, they could view session attendance and duration, as well as engagement metrics and survey feedback at both the session and event level. This offered the client quantifiable metrics to help assess overall event performance and evaluate attendee behavior. While these reports helped showcase how Fox met the client’s goals, Jeremy notes that the partnership between Cvent and Fox was a measure of success in its own right. “I like the analogy of the duck on the pond,” he explains. “We were kicking like crazy under the water - with Fox being one leg and Cvent being the other - but from the shore, most importantly, our client saw that we looked cool, calm, and collected.” Fox ultimately proved the value of moving forward with the event by navigating tricky waters with event technology at the ready.
Ensuring data privacy and security with Cvent
In discussing the importance of such data, Jeremy offers unique and valuable insights as Director of IT and Application Development. He is uniquely qualified to assess the importance of choosing a technology provider who can ensure data privacy and security. He says, “Depending on the sophistication of our client and various IT or security requirements that they might have, we have to meet all of those requirements, whether it's privacy or security. Being good guardians of that data for customers, that's our job.”
By partnering with Cvent, Jeremy says Fox feels confident in the security and data privacy measures in place. “Cvent makes that very easy because they've already gone through all the paces, and Cvent is a massive company with many resources that they have put into security and privacy,” Jeremy adds. This means Fox can feel confident in deploying Cvent technology for their clients. He notes, “A lot of the things that we would have to do with perhaps a smaller partner, we don't have to do with Cvent. That’s because they've already done all the legwork and we can feel confident that the data we are storing in Cvent systems are secure and meet all of our regulatory requirements.”
A true technology partnership for the future: Fox World Travel and Cvent
In the near future, Jeremy anticipates exciting opportunities within the meetings and events industry. “I think there is so much pent-up demand after two years of not being able to travel and meet that we are going to struggle to keep up with that demand,” he says. He believes organizations can’t be expected to manage such growth alone. “We’re not going to be able to do it all ourselves and it’s going to take strategic partnerships with companies like Cvent so that we can remain on the leading edge,” Jeremy adds. While the industry continues to succeed in returning to in-person, he believes it’s vital that organizations don’t lose sight of the value of virtual. “Hybrid is here to stay and the technology is in place; it’s a fantastic option and tool to have in our toolbox for every event going forward,” he insists.
Jeremy believes that meetings and events present one of the most important business opportunities for any organization in a post-pandemic world. “Everything is going to recover at a different pace, and I think the meetings and incentives side as the most robust potential for return,” he says. Whether virtual, hybrid or in-person, using technology to power any event will be critical as the industry continues to reshape itself. “You can’t ignore it and you need to invest in it,” notes Jeremy. “It’s those experiences and connections that you make at an in-person or hybrid event that are important.” He adds that having a technology partner who can support your entire events portfolio is key. “Those events are the things that, even if they don't pay off that day, they pay off in the future with the relationships that you establish; some of that ROI will pay out over time,” he insists.
In the meantime, Jeremy and Stacy are excited to continue expanding Fox World Travel’s partnership with Cvent. Jeremy encourages all organizations to invest more deeply in meetings and events in light of where the industry is heading. “I would not encourage any company out there to withhold their investment in their meetings and incentives,” he says. “Get out in front of your customers, get in front of your competitors, and make that investment.”
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