Expanding the boundaries of event technology for unparalleled experiences.
increase in attributed revenue from MICUS
MQLs from MICUS live & online events
increase in total profit from global events in 2018
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research across the world. Morningstar provides data and research insights on a wide range of investment offerings through their global events and eight international investment conferences.
The events team at Morningstar has expanded their global events program with Cvent technology since 2015. They manage almost hundred events annually, featuring almost 13,000 registrants across eight countries. These events include client trainings, key conferences, and internal executive-level events. They have catapulted the program’s success by pushing the boundaries of event technology and bolstering their brand in tandem with their global expansion. Caroline DeCamp, Director of Events and Operations, notes, “Our goal is always to execute flawless events, and to be able to show event metrics.”
The road to becoming an event powerhouse presented unique challenges for the Morningstar team. “When I first started, the events team was decentralized,” explains Caroline. “With that came the need for a central technology system.” The original in-house system could not meet the needs of the expanding suite of international events. As Head of Experiential Marketing, Leslie Marshall vividly remembers the pain points of the inadequate system. “We used to have a lot of homegrown solutions when I started that did not capture all the data and information that we wanted to understand about our clients,” she explains. “It also did not create the event feeling that we wanted to have at our events. As we’ve grown as an organization, we’ve relied on technology to help solve a lot of event problems.”
Capitalizing on a Powerful Tech Stack
To help streamline and centralize operations around their hundreds of global events, the Morningstar team turned to Cvent. In conjunction with Cvent’s Event Management platform, they have grown their product suite to include Cvent’s OnArrival, CrowdCompass, LeadCapture, Appointments, and RFID tools. “What’s great about the technology that we’re using with Cvent is it really helps us elevate the client experience, help them register more effectively, and get the information that they need through the mobile app. It’s always working behind the scenes,” explains Leslie.
The team leveraged Cvent’s Event Management platform for an automated functionality that streamlined registration and payment processing. They have strengthened event marketing efforts in line with their brand to create a distinct “Morningstar” event experience, regardless of location or region. “One of the things that I love about the Morningstar Investment Conferences and the events that we host globally is that it’s the best of Morningstar, live,” explains Leslie. By enabling this technology for their global regions, the international team is able to fully leverage the Morningstar brand for better attendee experiences. “Previously, we were only using Cvent for client-facing events. The seamless experience we have delivered to clients, and how that experience supports our brand, has enabled us to show the value for internal events as well,” adds Leslie. They are now able to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns, promotions, and incentives in their marketing efforts. With a clean, modern feel, the registration creates a seamless, on-brand user experience. “Our branding is consistent now across registration pages. Events can be easily copied by local event managers to ensure branding is carried over globally,” adds Leslie.
Crafting an International Reputation of Excellence
Caroline notes, “One of the challenges rolling out this program globally has been understanding the needs of particular events in different countries.” Expanding not only the use of event technology across eight countries, but better enabling all departments to fully manage the technology was the solution. “By investing in this technology and making sure our event managers were trained to use the Cvent tools, our teams in global offices can really own the event. They’re not waiting on our corporate office in Chicago to approve something for them. They’re empowered to really manage their events in their markets and run them really successfully,” adds Leslie.
On site, attendees across the globe are able to experience a smooth, timely check-in experience that enhances the brand. “Previously, we had pre-printed name badges laid out across the registration table. Additionally, reconciling attendance was a manual process,” notes Leslie. Automating this process has not only saved the team more than thirty hours of work, but helps comply with GDPR standards and CE accreditor requirements for different regional event. In 2018, they rolled out OnArrival for MIC U.K., India, Italy, and Australia for the first time. They saw a 500% increase in adaption of this technology for these key conferences, elevating the check-in experience for over 7,500 attendees.
Showcasing Morningstar Event Impact
Understanding the scope and impact of their events is a key KPI for the Morningstar team. “The Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago in particular has always been successful from a revenue impact, but we were never able to track true contribution to pipeline,” notes Leslie. RFID scanning allows the team to track the attendee journey across their global conferences in order to deliver a consistent, powerful experience backed by data. Caroline adds, “We look at our event data in different aspects. What are we able to use for leads? What are we able to use for lead nurture? And what type of data are we able to use for future planning?”
The results of these concentrated efforts have proven the value of Morningstar’s events in delivering to key business goals. In 2018, the team captured 1,868 MQLs from MIC U.S. live and online events. Their US event alone accounted for a 123% increase in attributed revenue. Leslie explains, “There’s lots of KPIs that we measure. We’re measuring number of people through the door using RFID data, and then take a look at how they are rating those sessions through the mobile app, through Inquisium, and the event surveys.” By capitalizing on these data points for the executive team, Leslie and Caroline’s team has been able to greatly expand their global offerings in working to mirror the success of their US event. “Using Cvent’s reporting system, we can demonstrate to senior management that our Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago generates revenue through paid attendance and exhibiting, as tracked through Cvent. It also contributes to the company lead-generation and revenue attribution goals,” Leslie insists.