It was important to Keller and Heckman to select a reliable solution to help build brand awareness, improve the professional look of its event communication and increase seminar attendance. The firm selected the Cvent Event Management solution to take its domestic and international events to the next level.
Seminars are a key component of Keller and Heckman's lead generation and client retention strategies. The seminar team, consisting of two full-time employees and one part-time employee, conducts approximately 10 events each year for a total of 350 attendees representing both existing and potential clients.
Keller and Heckman relies on its seminar strategy as one of many initiatives to help grow the firm's business and brand awareness. For this reason, it is imperative that all Keller and Heckman's event communications and registration pages look professional and match the firm's brand standards. However, the seminar team created all communications manually and lacked the time and technical capabilities to produce materials that would serve as effective branding vehicles.
In addition to increasing international brand awareness, the seminar team was tasked with growing seminar attendance. With 10 complicated events to plan and manage every year, identifying opportunities to grow the invitation list was not a high priority. What's more, Keller and Heckman's invitation process did little to encourage viral marketing. To grow its invitation list and boost attendance, the team needed to promote early bird and last chance specials with customized emails, encourage attendees to share events with their contacts, and send automated invitation reminders.
At the height of Keller and Heckman's seminar season, 40% of the event coordinator's time was spent just registering attendees for the event. "There were so many events and registrations, it was difficult to keep up due to the manual nature and complexity of the registration and fee collection process," explained Caryn Wick, Marketing Specialist at Keller and Heckman. Furthermore, the team wanted to collect credit card payments; however, they lacked the technical ability to do so. This created additional hurdles for registrants, as well as delays in payment collection. The events team needed to automate the registration process and streamline payment collection to increase efficiency in other areas and ensure timely payment.
On the heels of international expansion of the firm's seminar program into Brussels, the staff knew a professional solution was needed to help manage the events and represent its brand globally.
It was important to Keller and Heckman to select a reliable solution to help build brand awareness, improve the professional look of its event communication and increase seminar attendance. The firm selected the Cvent Event Management solution to take its domestic and international events to the next level. "Everything is so professional," explained Tara Busby, Marketing Manager at Keller and Heckman. "This was a driving reason for selecting Cvent.
"First, Keller and Heckman used Cvent to redesign its event websites. Each event website and registration page is paired with a custom event header, complete with the Keller and Heckman logo and a professional theme. Firm partners regularly forward the marketing team examples of email communications from other firms to point out how professional Keller and Heckman event websites and emails look in comparison. According to Busby, "The partners now feel that the brand our email communications and event websites represent is that of a leading law firm."
In addition to the visual makeover of Keller and Heckman's event websites, the websites now provide granular details such as event fees and discounts, the agenda, and even hotel/room block information, thanks to Cvent's housing and travel module. The new layout has improved the registrant experience, and with the help of Cvent's automated payment collection, the team was able to add credit cards as a payment option, further improving the registration experience. "It can get pretty complicated with different fees, early bird specials, volume discounts, etc., but Cvent makes it so simple. Even the refund process is completely automated," explained Busby. Including granular details on event websites and creating a more robust registration process with automated fee collection freed the events team from fielding repetitive questions and manual fee processing, so they could focus on other key event deliverables and business development.
Through the Cvent Event Management suite's robust email marketing capabilities, the Keller and Heckman events team is able to increase registrations with professional looking emails. Instead of having to rely solely on the initial invitation for registrations, Keller and Heckman send automated reminders and custom emails to drive responses before early bird discounts end, or to highlight last minute offers. In addition to inviting their existing list, Cvent's native viral marketing feature helps the events team surpass attendance goals and continually increase attendance. "The forward to a colleague feature is very helpful. It's great how seamless it is for registrants to share the event with their friends and colleagues or add new people to our subscription list," said Busby.Finally, it was important to the team to choose a solution with exceptional, accessible client support. "Everyone is very available at Cvent," said Wick, "it's easy to contact them, and their team is extremely knowledgeable. I like that I can call anytime and get the problem straightened out right away." The Keller and Heckman team also appreciates Cvent's dedication to consistent product enhancements in order to improve client events. "With each event, we discover new functionality that makes our event a little bit better, either from a branding or attendance perspective. Cvent is always on top of the newest technology," added Kara Hardie, Marketing Coordinator at Keller and Heckman.
"Cvent cut the time it took to manage registrations in half," said Wick. Now, the events team spends more time on strategic event decisions. One thing Busby loves as a marketing manager is Cvent's integrated budget module. "Utilizing the budget module makes the budget process easier," she said.
According to Wick, the most important impact Cvent had on the events team is that "Cvent backs us up and shows we're doing our jobs. Sometimes a partner will come in saying Joe Smith didn't get the invite, and I can go into Cvent and look to see if they received it if they visited the website and registered, or I can resend the invitation in a matter of seconds." Even Keller and Heckman's finance department appreciate the excellent job Cvent does of recording payments. "Cvent reports have dramatically improved internal communication. We're there for our management team 24/7 with the answers they want because we can run real-time reports on demand," explained Hardie.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the firm's return on investment. "We've had the highest attendance in the history of the firm due to the ability to reach more people and the easy registration process. With the implementation of Cvent, we've seen an increase in attendance across the board for all of our seminars," Busby explained. Cvent's event management solution has made it possible for Keller and Heckman to effectively manage its seminar program, dramatically boost attendance, grow its database and expand into additional international regions.