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ISACA New England

Driving value for ISACA members through the Cvent Attendee Hub® 

15

sponsors and exhibitors 

22

sessions

363

registrations

ISACA is dedicated to helping information systems governance, control, risk, security, audit/assurance, business and cybersecurity professionals, and enterprises succeed. Robert Doherty, President of the ISACA New England Chapter, explains that “ISACA provides numerous membership support activities, seminars, certifications, training and information resources for keeping our membership up-to-date with the latest industry standards.” He notes that the New England Chapter is one of the larger chapters, with over 2,200 members from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

Accelerating Virtual Event Planning Processes

For their IT Audit, Risk, Security Expo & Annual General Meeting, the organization typically hosts hundreds of members onsite with specific tracks dedicated to different industry areas. Here, senior leaders can share activities in the marketplace, and vendors are able to provide key information and updates to the ISACA community. “We kick off this annual general meeting every year with different tracks for various things like auditing, cybersecurity, and table-top sessions with industry leaders sharing their experience or their activities within the marketplace,” explains Robert.

With the global health crisis affecting the intended event date of June, 2020, ISACA made the decision to move the event to virtual and push it to November. As the planning process typically begins months in advance, the tight timeline would require a comprehensive virtual platform with dedicated support from their technology partner. It was through a comprehensive search for such a platform that Robert’s team discovered the Cvent Attendee Hub.

The live event would need to include 22 sessions consisting of keynotes, breakouts, and panel discussions focused on IT Audit, Cybersecurity, Governance/Risk/Compliance, and professional development and leadership. ISACA needed to be able to track session attendance to appropriately award 7 CPE credits to their members. They also wanted a seamless means of managing 15 different sponsors and exhibitors across various tiers. Hosting the event within the Attendee Hub meant ISACA could capture key attendee data across 363 registrants and offer a single source of truth for post-event analysis. “We used every single piece of the Cvent Attendee Hub platform for this event,” says Karthik Ivaturi, Assistant Vice President at ISACA New England.

Using the Cvent Attendee Hub for Flexibility

ISACA was able to facilitate the live stream keynote sessions through the embedded Cvent Video Player for a seamless user experience. Throughout the day, attendees could self-select sessions to attend, from general sessions to panel discussions and educational sessions focused on the latest industry information. They also used Cvent Video Conferencing with embedded Zoom functionality to support collaborative sessions like breakouts and panels. With concurrent sessions running simultaneously across different tracks, the virtual environment offered attendees the flexibility to jump between sessions in order to consume more educational content. “That was an unexpected benefit of the virtual platform,” explains Robert. “With multiple tracks, attendees could go between sessions on different tracks and get information from a number of experts at the same time, which was very valuable.” The closing general session also included a live raffle gift giveaway to encourage attendee engagement throughout the day. All videos were automatically recorded and sent to the ISACA team for post-event marketing, thereby extending the shelf life of their content for members.

Of the 22 sessions, 17 included live Q&A functionality wherein attendees could ask questions directly inside the Attendee Hub. The ISACA team moderated questions from the backend, approving or declining as needed. Attendees could also upvote favorites to ensure those questions remained at the forefront of the discussion. In total, ISACA tracked 112 different questions asked across sessions, indicating impressive levels of engagement with the content and facilitating a sense of community amongst the virtual attendees

Providing Valuable Opportunities for Sponsors and Exhibitors

The ISACA team also used Cvent’s Exhibitor Management tool to easily manage their 15 different sponsors and exhibitors. Exhibitors could upload content, self-edit profile information, and track key milestones directly within the system. The virtual platform also provided intrinsic value for ISACA’s sponsors and exhibitors. “Not only did the Attendee Hub offer the capability we were looking for in holding this remote event, but also for finding a platform that could alleviate our vendors’ concerns with supporting their needs in a virtual space,” explains Robert.

He notes that vendors were initially concerned with the lack of opportunities to connect with attendees through the virtual event. Instead, the Attendee Hub proved to be a valuable tool for vendors to foster engagement and drive lead generation. Respective to their chosen tier, sponsors and exhibitors were featured throughout the hub in various locations. They could appear as a featured sponsor, sponsor specific sessions, or even leverage collaborative virtual booths using Cvent Video Conferencing with integrated Zoom functionality. “The virtual platform provided them the ability to schedule their own meetings with members and provide more information than they would have normally done onsite with paper documents," says Robert. "It was a good way of providing an analogous experience as an in-person event, done virtually."

His team also added a gamification element to their program strategy to encourage attendee interactions with sponsors and exhibitors. This gift-giving initiative was based on attendee interactions with exhibitors and sponsors, which in turn protected attendee privacy by allowing them to directly opt-in to the initiative. ISACA then provided on-demand reports for exhibitors with detailed metrics on booth visits, clicks, content views, and more. “We got very good feedback from our marketing sponsors that it did give them more information than other conferences that were virtual as far as people visiting their hub and interactions that they had,” Robert adds.

Measuring and Proving Event Success

Survey feedback indicated the overall attendee experience was strong, with the vast majority of attendees underscoring the seamless nature of the event. For the ISACA team, the functional integration between Cvent’s Event Management solution and the Attendee Hub meant all data flowed directly between systems for easy follow-up. Reports provided key metrics to help the ISACA team evaluate event success. Ultimately, they saw 301 live participants during the single day event, an impressive 83% show rate. There were over 500 total logins, meaning they tracked an 87% login rate amongst attendees. With 1,393 different recording downloads or views within the hub, the ISACA team could prove high levels of attendee engagement across the event lifecycle. They relied on session attendance tracking to award CPE credits. “The reporting worked well, and all the pieces were all there that we needed,” says Karthik.

Karthik also appreciated the dedicated support provided by his Cvent account team throughout the entirety of the event lifecycle. As a technologist, he looks forward to a future partnership wherein additional platform elements will help enhance the user experience even further, such as newly released session duration tracking. “I love the platform, and it worked very well overall,” says Karthik. “I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.” With the goal of maintaining event momentum as the industry begins to think about the return to in-person experience, Karthik sees a potential future for hybrid events at ISACA New England.