Morningstar Conference

Morningstar

Expanding the boundaries of event technology for unparalleled experiences. 

123%

increase in attributed revenue

1,868

MQLs from live & online events 

12%

increase in total global event profit

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 manages hundreds of annual events, with over 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 global brand.

Building a Powerful Global Tech Stack

The road to becoming an event powerhouse presented unique challenges for Director of Events and Operations Caroline DeCamp. The team was decentralized and the original in-house system could not support the suite of international events. Head of Experiential Marketing Leslie Marshall notes, “The homegrown solutions did not capture all the data and information that we wanted to understand about our clients. It also did not give us the event experience we wanted for our attendees."

To streamline and centralize operations, the Morningstar team turned to Cvent in 2015. In conjunction with Cvent’s Event Management platform, they now leverage Cvent's OnArrival, CrowdCompass, LeadCapture, Appointments, and RFID solutions. “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 unified event experience, regardless of location or region. “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.

Crafting an International Reputation of Excellence

The U.S. Morningstar Investment Conference (MIC) in Chicago serves as the brand's flagship event. Because of its success, the team was tasked with expanding their international events. “One of the challenges rolling out this program globally has been understanding the needs of particular events in different countries," explains Caroline. The team increased international technology adoption while enabling regional departments to self-manage for efficiency. “By investing in this technology and making sure our event managers were trained to use the Cvent tool...they’re empowered to really manage their events in their markets and run them really successfully,” adds Leslie.

Event templates now ensure branding is easily carried across events, and on-demand reports measure the effectiveness of their campaigns across international markets. In 2018, the team rolled out OnArrival for the U.K., India, Italy, and Australia conferences. They saw a 500% increase in technology adoption and elevated check-in for over 7,500 attendees. Automating this process not only saved the team more than thirty hours per event, but ensured compliance with GDPR standards and CE accreditor requirements

Creating a New Morningstar Mobile Reality 

CrowdCompass offers Morningstar the ability to integrate industry-leading technology into their attendee experience. "We really want to elevate that experience and make sure attendees feel that they get a solid return on investment," notes Leslie. In 2018, users spent almost 121,000 collective minutes in the app, resulting in an 8% year-over-year growth globally. They also use the app to attract key sponsors for additional revenue generation. To increase cost savings, going paperless saved $31,000 for the U.S., U.K., and India conferences. 

 At the 2018 MIC U.S., the team worked with Cvent to create a deep link through CrowdCompass to a companion augmented reality (AR) app. They saw 36% of CrowdCompass mobile app users download the companion [email protected] app as a result. Through this unique onsite experience, Morningstar saw huge spikes in customer interactions; they tracked 250 sponsor interactions and 1,300 exhibit hall discoveries through the [email protected] app alone. 

Supporting the Sales Cycle with Digital Technology

Morningstar continues to add new tools to their tech stack. With Cvent’s Appointment tool, they gained insight into how client and prospect meetings support the sales cycle. The results were impressive, with 195 private meetings scheduled and 80 training lab appointments created at MIC U.S. in 2018. Ultimately, there was an incredible 247% increase in actualized training lab appointments as a result. “These tangible numbers help us make planning decisions and prioritize our budget. Enabling the sales team to do business with tracking and reporting means greater financial support for our events in the future,” adds Caroline.

Showcasing Morningstar Event Impact

Understanding the scope and impact of their events is an evolving KPI for the team. While they knew MIC U.S. had always been successful from a revenue standpoint, they were previously unable to track contribution to pipeline. RFID scanning now tracks the attendee journey across their global conferences. The results of these concentrated efforts have proven the value of Morningstar's events in delivering to business goals.

In 2018, the team captured almost 2,000 MQLs from MIC U.S. live and online events. Their US event alone accounted for a 123% increase in attributed revenue. "We're able to tell a great financial story with our event planning, both from a revenue standpoint and in terms of what the event makes," insists Leslie. “Using Cvent’s reporting system, we can demonstrate to senior management that our conference generates revenue through paid attendance and exhibiting, as tracked through Cvent. It also contributes to the company lead-generation and revenue attribution goals."

Proving Measurable Success to the C-Suite

The team has proven not only the value of events, but of event technology within Morningstar’s growing MarTech stack. As a result, both Leslie and Caroline have accelerated their career growth. “My role has expanded globally and we have connections with our global teams through technology and really thinking about our brand experience,” says Leslie. Caroline’s role has expanded into managing the partnership with Cvent as a whole, and she acknowledges the results of their efforts have not gone unnoticed within the organization. “Being able to show those business results has really elevated our team from event planners to business partners. We are working at a higher level with different partners across the organization," explains Caroline. 

Not only has Morningstar seen impressive growth in their global events, but data-driven decision making has catapulted events to the forefront of the organization. “Now we’ve got proof that business is happening at the Morningstar Investment Conference. We know the value of that business, and then we can track where that business is going," says Leslie. "It really just helps build our pipeline, and it also helps all the C-Suite. They see the financial impact and the long-lasting relationship impact it has.”


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