DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, Inc.
virtual events in one month
attendance for virtual event
average cost savings per virtual event
DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, Inc. (DMA) assists companies with minimizing their taxes, enhancing the efficiency of their tax administration through industry-leading technology solutions, and managing their tax compliance obligations. DMA hosts between 10-20 large events across the US and Canada annually, as well as fifty roundtables and a series of one-on-one meetings for their business development team.
Navigating New Virtual Event Marketing Strategies
Lori Wildman, Senior Marketing Manager, and Michele Gebrayel, Corporate Event Manager, had to quickly assess the state of their 2020 event strategy in the early weeks of the global pandemic. As in-person events came to a halt, they needed to balance cancelling events with the opportunity to go virtual. “We had about five events in the works, and as we started cancelling them, we realized there was going to be a huge void,” Michele explains. They decided to transition a series of existing roundtable events to a virtual experience using Cvent’s Event Marketing and Management tool and Zoom integration. As the first was meant to be an in-person lunch event, they provided attendees with a restaurant gift card to instead facilitate a virtual luncheon experience. The concept was a hit with attendees, increasing engagement while providing additional incentive for the clients to attend.
Lori and Michele saw additional opportunities to increase DMA’s marketing reach in going virtual. Though they typically limit in-person roundtables to twenty people, the virtual environment supports a broader audience capacity. Using the registration data already housed in Cvent, they were able to retarget invitees who had previously declined due to travel restrictions. They used Cvent’s email functionality to update event invitations with the virtual registration link and new messaging. “We did the retargeting right inside the Cvent tool,” says Lori. “What we don't want to do when we're pivoting from live to virtual is add more steps outside of Cvent unless you absolutely have to. Our goal is to be as streamlined and automated as possible.” The seamless process allowed DMA to communicate new event details to attendees in a matter of minutes.
They also opted to track registration through Cvent rather than rely on the virtual platform's registration functionality. Lori explains, “Cvent is our main source of data, and we’re keeping the marketing process really the same as it was with live events." By housing all data in a single location, DMA can maintain their existing workflow between Cvent and Salesforce. “Using that Salesforce integration, we’re pushing over the campaign status as far as emails opened, registration, and so forth,” Lori adds. This automated data flow helps maintain program momentum while providing real-time visibility into event performance. Lori explains, “All of those great metrics that Cvent provides in the backend and reporting are still there. Everything is the same; it’s just showing up virtually instead of in-person.” These data points help reinforce the value of virtual events as a key aspect of the organization’s larger marketing strategy, even during the challenges of the global health crisis.