Meeting Professionals International – Northern California Chapter
Attendees at ACE event.
Planner Satisfaction Means Event Success
Determined to be the first choice for professional career development, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) helps its members thrive by adding the human connection component to ideas, relationships, and marketplaces. MPI as a whole is comprised of more than 18,500 members from 70 chapters and clubs worldwide.
MPI Northern California Chapter (MPINCC) is the organization's largest chapter in North America and the second largest in the world. Its membership of approximately 900 planners holds a billion dollars of purchasing power in the events industry.
The 30-year-old organization prides itself on staying innovative and always ahead of the industry curve. MPINCC's Annual Conference & Expo (ACE) is its flagship event and is considered one of the leading regional shows in the meeting and events industry, focusing on providing attendees with educational and networking opportunities.
Because it's approximate 1,300 registered attendees are event planners themselves, MPINCC felt the pressure to impress when it came to planning their ACE event. Kelvin Nanney, Former Executive Director of MPINCC, describes how difficult it can be to plan an event for event planners, "It's tough. Everybody expects it to be top everything, and if it isn’t they know enough to say 'ehh, somethings wrong, what’s goin' on?"
With an audience as alert and critical of every event planning detail, MPINCC knew it must rely on top-notch technology to provide an exemplary model of event planning success through flawless execution and enhanced attendee experiences. This is when it turned to Cvent for help.
The Missing Link to Better Events
The organization discovered Cvent in 2001 and has been incorporating event technology into its planning process ever since. Kelvin Nanney, Former Executive Director of MPINCC, said the organization was looking for one characteristic of new event technology: ease of use. Kelvin wanted attendees to focus on the event itself without the distraction of logistical hiccups like long lines or badge printing errors.
Focusing on What Matters
MPINCC has incorporated Cvent’s complete Event Cloud solutions, which includes everything from registration management and onsite check-in solutions to mobile app engagement and lead retrieval. In the past, onsite check in was a problem at MPINCC’s events, creating long lines and badge printing errors. By using Cvent’s OnArrival solution they were able to streamline the process eliminating lines almost entirely at their 2016 event. Attendees were checking in and printing badges on their own, allowing the onsite MPINCC staff time for other important tasks. Kelvin knows that attendees may not notice a shorter line here and there, but by using technology at events these little adjustments add up to a better attendee experience allowing them more time to do what they came to do: network and learn.
The CrowdCompass mobile app also helps facilitate networking at the event, allowing attendees to share contact information and send messages to one another. In the past, MPINCC would print guides for each attendee, which they would carry with them the full day of the event. However, this guide was often outdated as soon as it was printed. The organization needed a solution that would allow them the flexibility to provide attendees with the schedule, educational materials and networking opportunities, whilst also allowing the MPINCC staff to make real-time updates. By incorporating a mobile app into their onsite experience, MPINCC's events can now provide attendees with an interactive experience in addition to growing their event without adding additional staff or increasing unnecessary costs.
"The partnership with Cvent has enabled growth. But really it’s enabled growth within the chapter and organization itself. We really haven't had to add additional staff members because of the technology that’s available to us through Cvent," says Kelvin.
It's More Than a Contract
Kelvin remembers when people faxed in booth orders, and now celebrates that data entry is completely automated. "It's really been remarkable how transformative the Cvent technology is. It allows us to easily manage events as complicated as the Annual Education Conference. We're delighted to have that tool to use and we want to thank Cvent for that." Lori agrees, "Our chapter offices really enjoyed the relationship we've had with Cvent for many, many years."
Lori understands that the relationship between MPINCC and their event technology vendor is more than just a contract, its almost like a family, "There have been times when there were challenges, things didn't go as either party planned, and fortunately there’s always a way to come up with a solution that works for everybody. I have found that the Cvent team is always right there to assist, lend a hand, and make sure that we as a client are happy." Because MPINCC is getting the products and support they need by using the Cvent platform, they are able to better grow their events and provide their audience of other event planners the experience they expect.