Providing valuable continuing education opportunities to support community impact. 

mobile app adoption rate


increase in conference revenue 


increase in attendance

The National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) is a nationwide network of dental providers who care for patients in safety-net systems. The nonprofit’s annual conference brings together providers from across the nation for a multi-day national event. They provide continuing education credits and networking opportunities for professionals, industry experts, and vendors. “At this event, the safety net dental providers from around the country come together for networking and also for continuing education,“ explains Amy Derrick, Project Director. They also produce several other small education events throughout the year.

Managing Limitations with Manual Processes

With a small team of seven, managing the annual conference was a huge lift. Originally, they did not have a registration website. Instead, registration was managed through paper documents, Excel files, and PDF’s. A third-party was needed to manage room blocks, vendors, and venue relationships. Paper programs meant last-minute changes had to be announced verbally onsite and attendees were counted by hand during each session. They also had no way to effectively solicit and review speaker abstracts. 

As NNOHA became an accredited continuing education provider, they realized the need for an integrated system that could meet criteria missing from their current manual processes. “In addition to wanting to improve our event registration and our event management processes, we also were looking for an option that would help us in the processing and delivery of our continuing education credits,” explains Amy. They needed to verify attendance, evaluate courses, create personalized transcripts of attended sessions, and deliver them in a timely manner. They also had no way to effectively solicit and review speaker abstracts, looking for an improved system that could simultaneously process award applications for their coveted Leadership Institute. 

Finding Value in Event Technology Investments

When an employee suggested Cvent’s integrated platform, the nonprofit was nervous about the investment in event technology. “Nonprofit life is very driven by finances, so it was a big stretch for us to convince our leadership that event technology was worth the financial investment,” says Amy. After evaluating the investment, the team decided to adopt Cvent’s Event Marketing and Management platform. The results were immediate, says Amy. “It has been exciting to see that our leap of faith with Cvent has paid off tremendously for our organization,” she notes. 

Using Cvent for registration, NNOHA built a modern event website. Attendees could easily register via the site without taxing the small team’s limited bandwidth. They could also self-serve by altering their own registration while the platform provided real-time registration alerts to NNOHA. The team could easily update sessions online, and attendees built their own agendas with a few simple clicks. Most importantly, the team could pull instant reports for their internal board members and executive team. 

The events team also adopted Cvent’s Abstract Management solution, tailoring the tool’s functionality to their unique program goals. They wanted to automate their speaker abstract submission process while simultaneously upgrading their awards nomination process. “It has really streamlined the process for the application, and we’re able to push that through to have people review it easily. It has really made a difference for us,” notes Rachel Johnston, Program Manager. These efficiencies have given the team back hundreds of hours they can now devote to improving the attendee experience. They have also seen a significant increase in speaker and award submissions, resulting in higher quality session content and increased notoriety for their awards program.

Creating an Unprecedented Onsite Experience 

Using Cvent’s Onsite Engagement solutions allowed the team to stretch their bandwidth, with session scanning and automated transcript delivery helping to meet their CE requirements. OnArrival 360 dramatically transformed the check-in experience, with electronic check-in and badge printing resulting in overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees. “Attendees check in and instantly print out their badge, and they think that’s really cool. They had never had that before,” says Jodi Padilla, Project Manager. Automated attendance reports ensured accuracy by eliminating the need for manual headcounts.

In adopting the CrowdCompass mobile app, NNOHA first saw a 45% adoption rate. Wanting to increase that rate, they turned to their Cvent account team. “The CrowdCompass team at Cvent has given a great marketing roadmap that we follow,” notes Rachel. “We send out the emails they suggest. We put signage up. We use the language and I think that’s really done the job for us.” By enhancing the mobile app with features like polling, Q&A, survey, push notifications, and gamification, they saw a significant increase in app usage. The 2018 conference achieved an impressive 82% adoption rate as a result. 

“It’s not just the adoption rate that matters, it’s the actual engagement among attendees,” explains Rachel. “The number of people who are clicking on banner ads, the number of messages that are being sent and the contacts that are being made are just invaluable.” They have paired their app experience with SocialWall to ensure higher attendee engagement and curate additional organic social media marketing. “For a staff of only seven people, it’s huge because we can’t be all places at all times. So, to have that central point of contact with our attendees is something that I don’t know if we could quantify,” Rachel adds. 

Supporting Sponsorship Success

Ensuring sponsor and exhibitor satisfaction is also key for the organization. “NNOHA is a very small organization and we rely a lot on grants and sponsorship,” Rachel notes. “In showing them that their sponsorship has an outcome that we can quantify, we can show them what their sponsorship is doing for them and how many people it’s reaching. The reporting tool in CrowdCompass has enabled us to do that.” Due to their success, the team has captured exclusive sponsorship interest for the app. “For us, it’s really good because it helps us maintain that relationship with that sponsor,” adds Rachel.

They also adopted Cvent’s LeadCapture tool to ensure higher satisfaction from their exhibitors. “I feel like it really has made a difference for them,” notes Jodi. “They can easily scan the individual, and then have a report they can pull, and immediately follow up with the attendee after the event.”

Creating Measurable Results with High-Tech Experiences

The team has seen first-hand how integrating event technology not only improves internal processes, but creates invaluable insights that help drive revenue. The organization’s membership has more than doubled since first using event technology in 2016, and attendance has increased by an impressive 42%. “In that short amount of time our conference revenue has increased by 73%, and we think there is a direct connection to our use of Cvent for registration and the management of our exhibitors and sponsors,” adds Amy.

Jodi notes that the high-tech experience is a key part of NNOHA’s evolving brand. “I feel like the technology has really made a difference and has made it more of a world-class event for our attendees,” she explains. Amy agrees, adding that their newfound position as event technology leaders within the organization has bolstered the conference as a premier industry event. “We feel like Cvent has really pushed us to the next level in terms of quality of our event,” she says.

Showcasing Powerful Impact for All 

The team has exceeded expectations as a Continuing Dental Education provider, and they are now respected as technology leaders within the organization. “Leadership has seen and affirmed the return on our investment in Cvent,” notes Amy. “At this point, know we can never go back.”  As a nonprofit, daily business goals are driven by financial concerns. Using event technology has helped increase efficiencies, grow revenue, and reduce extraneous costs for the organization as a whole. “Cvent has provided the opportunity to demonstrate improved efficiency and impact to our organization’s leadership,” Amy adds. “We feel like we are a great example of a small organization ‘power user,’ as we have seen these tools transform our organization.” 

Most importantly, the team is able to prove conference value to their attendees. “It’s important to us for them to have great content and great continuing education opportunities,” she says.  As crucial providers of dental care to safety-net populations, the team feels an obligation to create a meaningful attendee experience for each and every event. “We can ensure all of that with technology that is seamless and that we can depend on to do what it says it’s going to do,” Amy adds. “We’ve been very happy that we’ve found that with Cvent.” 

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