For Trimble Transportation, the idea of coming together holds special significance. Trimble recently incorporated three separate companies into one brand. The fully integrated supply chain solutions offer customers the visibility to maximize efficiency, safety, and compliance.
In order to offer customers the ability to connect with Trimble and with their industry peers, the organization launched their in.sight user conference and expo in 2016. The four day event brings together the previously separate businesses, as well as more than 2,200 customers and 90 sponsors and exhibitors. They offer over 350 educational sessions for their customers to understand the breadth of Trimble solutions. In just a few years, in.sight has become the largest user conference in the industry.
Bringing People Together through Technology
As the head of a small team, Event Marketing Manager Emma Bica relies on event technology to manage the conference in addition to several smaller national events. While her organization had been using Cvent for more than a decade, Emma knew they needed to scale their technology in tandem with the conference growth. “The conference wouldn’t be possible without the use of event technology,” she notes. “We were having two completely different teams come together in one conference, so having one central platform that data was gathered into and having a way to automate processes wouldn’t have been possible without the use of event technology.”
Emma’s own career is a testament to how rapidly and powerfully event technology has changed within the industry. Starting as an intern, she has transitioned over the last nine years to become Event Marketing Manager. “When I first started back in 2010, Cvent was implemented but we were only using the basic functionality of the platform,” Emma notes. She adds that the technology use was limited, and “definitely not scalable.” The team relied on manual emails to gather attendee data and provide complimentary shuttle service. Room blocks were managed in complicated back-and-forth conversations with the hotels, and mobile apps were limited in scope. Integrating an end-to-end platform was the clear answer.
Creating Ease of Attendee Management
To provide room block management solutions across several different hotels for their in.sight conference, the team maintained a complicated back-and-forth between the hotel and Trimble. “Before, without the use of Passkey and integration with Cvent, we’d have to run a report from the hotel, and then run a report from Cvent, and try to figure out if there were any gaps,” Emma notes. By utilizing Passkey, her team is able to eliminate complex communications and data gaps. They are now able to access on on-demand reports to seamlessly manage room blocks. Attendees can easily self-edit their registration within the Event Management tool and the data will automatically update within Passkey. This has saved an invaluable number of hours so Emma’s team can focus on a myriad of other responsibilities. “With the flexibility of Cvent Event Management, we were able to handle any changes with ease, giving us a handle on our attendee list while also quickly adjusting to meet our attendees’ needs,” adds Emma.
Onsite, Emma knew in.sight needed to reflect a technologically advanced brand. “As a leading provider of technology in the transportation space, we want to make sure the experience attendees are getting is that of high-technology. By partnering with Cvent to use these technology pieces, it makes us look good and showcases that we’re fully invested in giving our customers the best that is possible with this evolution of technology,” she explains. To impress their attendees onsite, Emma’s team integrated Cvent’s OnArrival into their tech stack. “Gone are the days of having to alphabetize and stuff name badges before the conference starts, trying to find them and being unable to make changes for attendees,” says Emma. “By utilizing OnArrival, it has completely transformed our check-in experience. Instead of it being a five to thirty minute wait when customers arrive, it’s now a one to five minute experience.”
Maximizing the Power of Mobile
As an industry leader, Emma’s team knew they needed to capitalize on the power of mobile as the technology evolved. “CrowdCompass is one of my favorite tools,” notes Emma. “I love the ability to engage our customers onsite. With such a robust educational session offering, utilizing CrowdCompass is crucial for us to be able to edit things on the fly. To be able to go into CrowdCompass and live-update information so our customers don’t notice anything is vital for a seamless attendee experience.”
Emma’s team has worked to optimize their use of CrowdCompass to better engage attendees over the last five years. Given that in.sight is the largest gathering of customers within the transportation industry, increasing networking capabilities through the mobile app allows attendees to tailor their experience more directly. Emma notes the app also allows attendees to easily navigate the expo hall to meet with partners, enabling them to connect directly with one another.
The team also uses the mobile app as a key mechanism for ensuring higher engagement and survey completion rates. By leveraging gamification, push notifications, and polling, the team fosters stronger interaction with the app. With over 69,000 engagements and 177,000 minutes spent in the app in 2018, they saw an impressive 89% overall adoption rate. The increase in engagement has also led to valuable savings for the organization. “The creation of items such as printed agendas or other materials became a thing of the past as we moved to a fully digital experience. This was not only to impact the attendee experience but also allow us to be more efficient in how we allocated budget,” notes Emma. In their first year going completely paperless, Emma estimates the mobile app saved over $30,000 in printing costs. “It also saved countless time, when you think about how long it takes to lay out a program, have edits, and wait for programs to be proofed,” she notes. “We also had a keynote cancel on us that year forty-eight hours before the conference. If we’d had a printed program, we would have had to scramble and it would have cost us thousands of dollars. Since we were using the mobile app, we were able to update the information seamlessly.”
Ensuring ROI for All
To ensure sponsor and exhibitor satisfaction, Emma’s team recently introduced Cvent’s LeadCapture solution. Emma notes, “For the 90 exhibitors we have attend, their participation and financial contribution is very important to the overall success of the conference. Second to our customers, we want to make sure our partners have a quality experience so they continue to come back year after year.” By utilizing LeadCapture to guarantee quality and timely lead generation, Trimble is able to enhance their partnership with exhibitors. “We provide exhibitors with the ability to better facilitate post-event conversations and demonstrate tangible ROI from exhibiting at the show,” she adds. “From a planner perspective, I’m also then able to have visibility into how many leads were gathered from our total exhibitors. The more data I’m able to share, the more I’m able to sell other sponsorships.”
Guaranteeing attendee satisfaction is another key priority for Trimble. “Growing in.sight is not necessarily about being the largest,” adds Emma. “It’s about being the best. To be the best, we need to make sure we’re satisfying our customers’ needs and objectives.” To meet the KPI of an 80% satisfaction score, the team relies heavily on survey data. “We definitely rely on the surveys to know what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong, and what we should change. Through the surveys that are integrated into CrowdCompass, we’ve seen a higher response rate,” says Emma. By using CrowdCompass to facilitate feedback engagement, Trimble saw 1,672 survey responses in 2018, a 45% increase year over year. Emma also notes that their comprehensive blend of Cvent solutions has “allowed us to reach and surpass our attendee registration and revenue goals when compared to years past.”
Moving Towards a United Future for Trimble
Looking forward, Emma sees the success of the Trimble brand directly reflected by the growth of in.sight. “It’s funny to think back on when I started. I just celebrated by nine-year anniversary with Trimble. I started as an intern in 2010, and never would have imagined that I’d be sitting here now in the position I’m in. Seeing that evolution from being an intern to now being manager for this in.sight conference of 2,200 people has been really special and important to me.” As her team has grown from two to ten people, they have added Salesforce and Marketo integrations to increase ROI. Emma adds, “I think the organization has recognized the importance of events, and they’ve seen how that really fits into the overall success of the organization. It's definitely appreciated by my peers.”
Carrying that singular brand experience into the future is a key part of ensuring the success of events at Trimble. Emma explains, “One of our biggest initiatives has been bringing this one Trimble experience to life for our customers. Our theme this year for in.sight is called ‘The Power of Together.’ So, in.sight is a great place for us to showcase that brand transition and make our customers feel part of it.”
By leveraging a technology-first approach, Emma’s team has been able to bolster in.sight as the cornerstone conference of the industry. Her team believes the power of technology will only further support the importance of events. “I think people are getting more cost-conscious, so I think people are weighing more heavily on the value of meetings and events,” she insists. “I think, really more than ever, it’s important for event planners and marketers to be able to prove that ROI or that return on experience.” In bringing an even better in.sight to a growing attendee base, Emma notes “one of the first things we could initially all agree on was the powerful capabilities that came with Cvent’s solutions. Through our mix of Cvent tools, we were able to create a unified user experience so that our attendees have a cohesive, organized engagement with us from the moment they registered until they attended their last educational session.”