American Marketing Association
Using Cvent technology to build community and scale for the future at the AMA
events hosted in the first year with Cvent
national professional and collegiate chapters managed
sessions for 780+ registrants managed for hybrid Higher Ed Symposium
The American Marketing Association (AMA) is the global leader in marketing knowledge. Its events allow marketing professionals across the nation to collaborate, network, learn, and grow professionally. “We are a nonprofit trade association serving marketers all over the United States in three main cohorts,” explains Molly Soat, Vice President of Professional Development. “We have collegiate students, academic researchers, and professional marketers.” The AMA includes 75 professional chapters and more than 300 collegiate chapters throughout the country.
Searching for a scalable event management solution
The AMA originally relied on multiple solutions to support its events portfolio, which consists of external conferences, instructor-led trainings and bootcamps, internal events, vertical-specific webinars, and much more. When the global pandemic hit in early 2020, the team was already prepared to manage the quick shift to virtual. “The good news about when the pandemic happened is that AMA has a long-standing history of hosting virtual events, so we weren’t completely new in the space,” explains Julie Schnidman, Vice President of Alliances. She adds, “However, we obviously had a lot to learn.”
The AMA team realized they needed a single platform that could serve as the one source of truth for their total event program. They also needed a tool that could be suited to different event formats and types as the pandemic continued to impact the industry. Julie explains, “We started with a different platform that had a lot of limitations that didn’t work for us. Our lack of familiarity with the backend structure prevented us from being able to make some of those real-time changes that we needed and it also didn’t have a hybrid element to scale for the future.” Finding a reliable and flexible solution that could quickly adapt to changing market needs would ensure the team was prepared, no matter how the industry evolved.
Cvent and the AMA: a true technology partnership
With flexibility and the ability to scale at the forefront of their concerns, the AMA team launched a comprehensive search for a new event management platform. They ultimately chose to partner with Cvent to support their total event program. “There are a few reasons Cvent really is the right platform for the American Marketing Association and our virtual and live events,” Molly explains. “First and foremost, Cvent is able to scale with us as we grow our hybrid event experiences, whatever those might look like. Whether the virtual component is larger, whether the in-person component is, or whether they’re happening at the same time or different times throughout the year, Cvent is able to really meet us where we need them to be.”
In fact, the AMA now utilizes a number of Cvent solutions, including the Event Management solution, Attendee Hub, OnArrival, the Mobile Event App, and Appointments. The organization also relies on an API to sync registration data and fees from its own required system with Cvent and then Salesforce, creating one centralized data source. This seamless process reduces friction for the AMA team while ensuring data integrity and ease of use on the backend. By utilizing a single integrated system, they are able to streamline their internal processes while mitigating potential errors or data gaps. “That’s another reason we chose Cvent,” adds Molly. “It really is the ease of use on the backend for our internal AMA team, for our sponsors and our speakers, and of course, on the front and most important end, our event attendees.”
Curating exceptional hybrid events with the Attendee Hub
An example of the AMA’s partnership with Cvent is exemplified through a recent hybrid event, where they utilized several different Cvent solutions to support their Higher Education Symposium, held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. “In terms of building community and wanting to have accessibility across our communities, the AMA finds that hybrid events are an integral part of our infrastructure moving forward,” notes Julie. With over 100 sessions, the AMA team knew it would be a tall order to successfully execute the broad session mix of workshops, keynotes, panel discussions, networking sessions, roundtables, and much more. With this in mind, they leveraged the Attendee Hub and the Mobile Event App to drive deeper engagement for more than 780 registrants.
The AMA hosted a mix of livestream, simu-live, and pre-recorded sessions within the Attendee Hub, including a number of collaborative sessions. Both virtual and in-person attendees could engage with content and speakers through features like Q&A, moderated chat, roundtables, and more. Gamification gave the AMA team the ability to drive specific attendee actions like checking in for a particular session or completing a survey. Molly notes, “These features available on the Attendee Hub are really the highlights for a lot of our events we’ve been using.”
Moreover, they were able to score actions taken by attendees, such as completing polls or meeting with an exhibitor. Together, these actions created a quantifiable engagement score for more targeted follow up by their sales and marketing teams. They also were able to extend attendee engagement after the close of the event through the on-demand video library.