Sensus, a Xylem Brand helps a wide range of public service providers do more with their infrastructure to improve the quality of life in their communities. “At its core, Sensus is a smart metering company,” explains Carolina Berg, Event Manager. Sensus also offers services, software, and a communications network. Carolina’s team is responsible for optimizing their event strategy to meet key marketing objectives. “Events are an integral part of our marketing strategy,” she explains. The team attends industry trade shows to market to customers and prospects, as well as hosts industry events like their annual Sensus Reach user conference.
Suffering from Stagnation
While the conference had grown over the last decade, the attendee experience had not scaled equally. While Sensus leveraged Cvent’s Event Marketing and Management tool for registration, they were yet to fully optimized their solution suite for Sensus events. Processes were stagnated, creating frustrations for both attendees and internal team members. A large agenda booklet meant high printing costs and long hours spent stuffing packets. High-stress levels during check-in and low mobile app adoption meant attendees dissatisfaction. Carolina explains, “I've been with the company about five years now. When I came in, we were still pre-preprinting the agenda and the badges. The first thing I said was, ‘How can we utilize Cvent to print badges onsite?’”
Transforming the Attendee Experience with Cvent's Onsite Solutions
Optimizing the existing MarTech stack proved to be a key tool in helping to grow the Sensus Reach conference. “We still use Cvent for registration and to source,” says Carolina. “We added OnArrival 360, and then tracking. That worked really well.” OnArrival 360 allowed attendees to digitally check-in and print their badges, shortening wait times. Staff was reduced and reallocated to other key areas while the team increased tracking capabilities through RFID badges.
As a result, attendee feedback was phenomenal. “Last year, I don’t think I ever saw a line and I cut my staff down for registration” says Carolina. To continue the momentum of this success, Carolina sought to automate other manual processes within the organization. “The following year, it was time to rip the Band-Aid,” she adds. “We’re going to get rid of the agenda. Everything was going to flow through the app and was going to be tracked. We were going to use the RFID, and we were going to do it all with Cvent.”
Using RFID allowed the team to evaluate session popularity to better curate high-quality content and speakers. Before RFID, this process relied primarily on guesswork often resulting in negative feedback, crowded rooms, empty sessions, or unsatisfied speakers. By integrating Cvent’s Event Marketing and Management platform and Onsite Engagement solutions with RFID tracking, the team could easily rate session attendance. They also worked with Cvent to create custom reporting capabilities that allowed them to track churn-rate in real-time. When combined with session surveys through CrowdCompass, the team was able to curate their session content for a better attendee experience year after year.
Modernizing Mobile for the Sensus Reach Conference
Optimizing technology use for the Sensus Reach conference has helped prove the event’s intrinsic value within the industry. “Our biggest fear was that attendees would not take to the app or be OK with paperless agendas,” Carolina explains. They were initially discouraged by low adoption rates due in part to the older demographics of their attendees; however, the team was determined to showcase the value of the mobile experience by eliminating paper programs entirely. They also increased engagement through SocialWall, gamification, push notifications, and content uploads. “What we found was that our group is eager for more technology and really has embraced everything we have to offer,” Carolina insists. They achieved an impressive 75% app adoption rate in 2018, with a 93% app satisfaction rating.
By growing app adoption, the team simultaneously increased attendee feedback. Session surveys allowed the team to boost both the volume and quality of the feedback. This provided more intuitive insights into session performance, speaker ratings, and much more. Optimizing their existing tech stack with Cvent proved to be a marker of success for Sensus Reach. “I would say last year's conference was when everything finally came together,” notes Carolina. Her team leveraged the integrated tech stack to fully support the end-to-end event lifecycle. She adds, “We had OnArrival 360, we were able to do onsite payments, we tracked everything, and the tracking was a hundred percent perfect. We had eighty-seven percent app adoption. We continue to see how we can use Cvent to make the experience even better.”
Integrating Marketing Strategy with Event Success
At Sensus, the event portfolio is directly aligned with the organization’s marketing goals. “I think what a lot of people miss is that events need to be part of your marketing strategy,” notes Carolina. “The way that we do our events is the messaging is driven by our marketing communication managers.” The events team ensures a seamless dataflow through key integrations between Cvent and other technology solutions. “One of our things that we continually strive for and keep working towards is that ROI. We have a really good process of leads; it’s all scoring through Marketo and then flowing to Salesforce,” Carolina adds. On average, Sensus events have grown roughly twenty percent year-over-year. This has allowed Carolina and her team to shift their focus to strategically growing target audiences. To enable easier reporting, the team is currently moving to Cvent dashboards for session information, attendee data, tradeshow insights, and more.
Carolina and her team are pushing the boundaries of event technology at Sensus to help transform both their program and the larger organization as a whole. In the near future, she hopes to launch a Strategic Meetings Management program, which she believes will help further nurture the leads already in their growing database. Cvent’s Universal LeadCapture and Appointments solutions are two technologies she hopes to soon incorporate into the successful program launch. Positioning the Sensus Reach conference as a key influencer in pipeline attribution underscores the importance of events as a key marketing channel. “Leadership sees the value in events,” she notes. “One of the biggest pieces of advice I could give to someone is to align your events to the mission and to the marketing strategy.”
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