Summit Professional Education
Cvent has been instrumental in streamlining Summit’s venue sourcing processes. With the increased efficiency and time savings, Summit has more time to think strategically about their business and focus on other important aspects of their event—and have been able to simplify the process and save 10 hours per week by using Cvent.
cost saving within the first year
time savings per week
live workshops per year
increase in attendance
In the Spring of 2016, Summit’s Event & Logistics Team decided to start researching venue sourcing technology to help streamline their manual process. With 2,700 live workshops across a team of three planners, they felt overwhelmed by not only the volume of calls and emails that flooded their inboxes, but also the back and forth communication with hundreds of venues.
At first, Hannah and the team were skeptical, because the companies they started to evaluate didn’t have the ability to handle such a large volume of events. That changed when they found Cvent.
On average the team books 60 events per week. During high production cycles, they have up to 132 workshops to book in a single week. They were continuously booking space at the same properties due to lack of time to research and connect with new properties. This process was extremely manual and time-consuming.
First, they would reference an internal database they created to see which properties they had worked with in the past. Hannah would call or blind-copy a list of properties and reach out to venues they had previously contracted. All this communication would flow back into the team’s email inbox and they would have to sift through emails and create spreadsheets to compare the data. It was extremely tedious to look at every response separately and make sure they were getting the best rates.
When they needed to secure space in a new market, they would turn to the internet and search for venues on the map. About 20% of their events were held in new cities where they didn’t have previous relationships established with venues. They would receive an average of three bids per city before Cvent, often relying on information they had from past events. It was hard for them to do their due diligence and ensure they were negotiating the best rates because they had such a large volume of events. The entire process would take them up to 30 hours per week.
Now with Cvent
Cvent has been instrumental in streamlining Summit’s venue sourcing processes. CEO Scott Vogel explains, “Our Summit Events Team has truly transformed our approach to booking since identifying and integrating Cvent into our planning process. Cvent has dramatically improved our visibility into viable properties for our more than 2,700 Live Events each year, providing more options and more competition for our business – which has resulted in better locations and better costs.” The team has been able to identify more than 238 new properties in the past year alone. Now they receive an average of six rates per RFP and have much more power in the negotiation process.
With the increased efficiency and time savings, Summit has more time to think strategically about their business and focus on other important aspects of their event—and have been able to simplify the process and save 10 hours per week by using Cvent. This technology has not only impacted the Events Department, but Summit Professional Education holistically. They can now pinpoint workshop locations and decide which locations are most advantageous for them to work with. This helps their marketing team increase attendance at workshops and market to the right attendees.
“When holding an event within a city across the nation it is important to the success of our event to put it in the most convenient location for our given demographic.” The Events and Logistics Team have been able to utilize Cvent’s software to not only place our events in the most favorable location but at a property that’s safe, updated, and accommodating,” Bart Lewis, Marketing Team Lead, describes. In some markets, they have been able to increase attendance by 60%.
They have also seen overall cost savings, which helps them stay competitive and keeps costs low for the Accounting department. Jennifer Allen, Accounting Director, states, “Cvent has been beneficial to the company because it acts as a centralized location for us to request bids from multiple properties at one time which saves us time and money!” “Since implementing a sourcing technology, Summit has reduced their cost per workshop from $757 to $694. This equates to over $230,000 in cost savings annually.” Summit’s Events Team has taken what used to be an overwhelming and stressful process and created a consistent and manageable sourcing program. This has taken their events to the next level and helped with all aspects of the business.