Washington University in St. Louis
Creating impressive higher education experiences with the Cvent Attendee Hub®
attendees across two events
sessions across two events
research exhibitors managed
Washington University in St. Louis is a premier higher education institution located in St. Louis, Missouri. Like many organizations, Washington University needed to pivot their on-campus initiatives to a virtual environment due to the global health crisis.
Tammy Haney, Operations & Events Manager for the McKelvey School of Engineering, sought an all-in-one virtual platform to support key events hosted by the Graduate Student Services department. The annual PhD Visit Day typically attracts prospective PhD candidates, faculty, and staff onsite to share key research initiatives and facilitate networking opportunities for potential students. Researchers can also showcase their current projects through research presentations, also known as poster presentations. “These are very important events because this is our window to recruit top students for the school,” Tammy explains.
Meeting Higher Education Expectations with the Cvent Attendee Hub
Tammy knew the department would need dedicated technical support throughout the virtual event. She also wanted to use a robust registration tool that could integrate directly with the virtual platform for a seamless dataflow, as reporting would be key in evaluating candidates’ interest and overall event success. Her team needed to target key audiences through integrated eMarketing solutions and wanted to feature support resources within the platform for prospective students. They also needed to host over 50 different research presentations for current students and faculty within the virtual hub. Discussion and networking were usually a key part of the in-person experience for this event so creating avenues for attendee engagement was vital.
Tammy’s team decided to partner with Cvent to seamlessly manage the entirety of the virtual event using the Cvent Attendee Hub. Coupled with the Event Management solution, the Attendee Hub offered Washington University the needed functionality to engage attendees, measure key data points, and provide valuable insights. With the industry changing so rapidly, Tammy says she felt secure with her decision based on Cvent’s position as a trusted technology leader. “With the history of Cvent and the support, I knew immediately we had made the right decision,” she explains.
Finding a True Partner to Drive Event Success
With less than a month from kickoff to execution, Tammy’s team leveraged Cvent’s Virtual Event 360 production services to help manage the rapid event build. The full event and registration site were live in just a matter of days. Tammy notes that her dedicated support team was integral to Washington University’s success, especially in navigating the new frontier of virtual events. “We received an overwhelming amount of support right out of the gate from Cvent,” she insists. “The live resources, in addition to all the online resources -- there’s not a moment when I wasn’t able to get immediate help through either of those avenues.” The Cvent team was able to offer timely trainings for speakers and administrators in just three weeks.
The department could also target prospective students with integrated eMarketing functionality, allowing Tammy’s team to view and manage invitees in real-time. In fact, they tracked an impressively high 81% average email open rate, indicating clear interest in the program from their prospective students.
Personalizing the Attendee Experience
The event ultimately included 117 attendees across 17 virtual sessions. The live collaborative sessions were streamed directly through the Cvent Video Conferencing tool with embedded Zoom functionality. This gave attendees the ability to view content with secure, one-click access in the hub. Within the session description, Tammy included session documentation and profile information for all speakers. Attendees could browse all sessions and add specific sessions to their personalized agenda for a more custom experience. To promote session attendance, Tammy’s team highlighted featured and upcoming sessions directly on the home page.
To encourage engagement with faculty and staff, her team also included live Q&A within the sessions. The staff could moderate these questions from the backend while attendees upvoted their favorites to keep the most pressing questions top-of-mind for presenters. It also gave attendees an avenue to engage with one another and discuss relevant research interests around the specific topics. These questions were available via reports after the event closed to help understand potential student interests and facilitate follow up.