Becoming strategic business partners with innovative event technology.
growth in global events
Wolters Kluwer is a global provider of professional information, software solutions, and services. The GBS Global Event Management team at Wolters Kluwer manages a variety of internal and external events across the organization. With over $44 annual spend in events, conferences, and tradeshows, the program was originally disjointed and siloed. There was little data to benchmark or support program growth, and no way to track meeting spend or budget. “We did not have line of sight or visibility into any of our events,” notes Director of Global Event Management Carrie Cliggett.
The fractured teams utilized twenty different budget templates and had limited communication. Divisions were siloed with different registration providers, survey tools, and onsite solutions. Piecemeal programs meant data was not integrated between systems. Event Operations Manager Krysten Leshin explains, “Cvent was originally used only as a registration tool. Users were self-taught, no one policed the process, and everything was largely manual.”
Carrie notes there was little understanding of the team's contribution to the business goals. “When I started this journey with Wolters Kluwer, it's very much that demand management where they came to us with an order and then we fulfilled that order,” notes Carrie. “All of our stakeholders really wanted us to operate at efficiency and expand this function so it wasn't just people doing whatever it is they wanted to do. There were a lot of rogue planners out there.” The team needed a single platform solution to help streamline processes and provide data that would prove the value of events in line with business goals.
Expanding Event Expertise with Technology
In 2016, the team began incorporating new Cvent solutions into their tech stack. “We are using a lot of Cvent’s great features,” notes Krysten. “We started out with using Cvent for registration. That really helped us streamline our processes and have data to go back in time and look at what we did in years past.” Adopting the Cvent Supplier network to centralize sourcing created valuable increases in negotiated savings. In just three short years with Cvent, the team has increased negotiated savings from $1 million to over $6.2 million.
To satisfy attendee expectations for self-service and automation, Cvent's Passkey has been key. Krysten notes, “We've been adding on all of the different pieces of software. We just recently implemented Passkey and we love it. It’s really making that portion of our event planners’ world more efficient while cutting out the back and forth between the hotels.” Carrie agrees, noting that the team leverages Passkey to support their global program growth. “Attendees want ease of access. They want to book their flights, they want to book their room, and they do it a lot from their handheld device,” she explains. “They click ‘register’ and boom, they book their housing right then and there. They’re not waiting on someone to get back to them, and when they get on site it’s all in the app. So, that's going to change the entire landscape of attending management as well.”
Capturing Data to Prove the Integral Value of Events
Cvent’s Strategic Meetings Management tool not only helps gauge resource requirements, but provides visibility into the total number of events while capturing accurate spend. Having data flow seamlessly from one system to the next has been a key efficiency for the GEM team. “We start with the meeting request form, and from that everything flows through,” explains Krysten. “It goes right to our event as attendees are registering. We can easily flip on CrowdCompass and then all of our attendee information that's living within the event goes right to CrowdCompass, straight out through to the reports.”
Elevating the onsite experience for attendees has been a key way the GEM team ensures buy-in from attendees and internal stakeholders. “We use Cvent OnArrival so that we can capture our attendees. It’s just overall really streamlined that check-in process for us on the back end, and also for our attendees. We really use Cvent end-to-end when planning our events,” adds Krysten. “We definitely see the benefit of everything living in the same place and flowing through, all starting with the meeting request form right through to the end.”
CrowdCompass allows the GEM team to engage attendees through real-time push notifications and survey feedback. It also allows the small team to strategically support business goals. “As a green, sustainable company, the app has completely revolutionized how we support our ‘Green is Green’ campaign. We do not print anything. It's the app or nothing,” insists Carrie. Capturing data allows the team to benchmark their growth and demonstrate achievable KPIs for senior leadership. “We do a session scanning on site. We offer LeadCapture and we do RFID screening. So, we really used a lot of the platforms that Cvent has to offer," Carrie adds.