November 11, 2020
By Olivia Cal

We knew when we pivoted from an in-person event to a virtual event, things would be a little different. Maybe more than a little. This year’s Cvent CONNECT Europe was one-of-a-kind, with an unprecedented 7,000 registrants, making it one of the largest gatherings of meeting and event professionals in European history.  

On top of that, we held the entire conference using the Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub® –  our all-in-one virtual event solution. We were thrilled to showcase the solution to everyone who attended and hope you enjoyed the experience.  

Two full days packed with informative and inspiring keynotes, real-talk from experts from the hotel and travel industries, and educational sessions that left attendees inspired to tackle the “new normal” head-on. As our CEO & Founder said, despite the struggles of our industry, we persevere, and we sit on the cusp of the Golden Age of Events.  

Cvent CONNECT Europe Virtual Day 2 

Day 1 of Cvent CONNECT Europe Virtual was a tough act to follow, but we brought in the industry heavyweights and filled our afternoon with informative educational sessions to keep the momentum rolling. Here are some highlights from Day 2. 

Leading on the Road to Recovery: An Interview with Radisson CEO Federico J. González 

For Hospitality and Event Professionals 

Mark Jeffries spoke with Radisson CEO, Federico González about the challenges facing the hospitality industry throughout Europe, the future of meetings and events, and what it takes to lead in a crisis.

Digital Tools for Your MICE Business Recovery 

For Hospitality Professionals 

COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation in the MICE industry. Hotels are now going digital to power their business recovery and stay visible to event organisers during the downturn.  

In this session, Director of Groups and Events at Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna, Berenike Frantsits and Group Head of Sales at Edwardian Hotels London, Katia Sadchikova described how they optimised resources amid financial constraints and changed their management of meetings and events. They took us through their innovative marketing approaches, data-driven competitive analysis and how they deployed interactive technologies to plan safer events. 

Inclusivity in 2020: Are our Actions Matching our Words? 

For Hospitality and Event Professionals 

Are we living in a world where we say ‘we are inclusive’ for the sake of being inclusive? We live in a society where the word ‘inclusive’ has become more important than ever, but do we actually understand what this means and do we really understand the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce?  

In this session, Fay Sharpe presented the benefits of inclusivity to both those who are asking to be included and those that are unsure about what the benefits are to an organisation.  

We know words are worth much more with actions, therefore, we wanted to ensure viewers were fully equipped after this session with the exact meaning and benefits of inclusivity, so that when you say ‘we are inclusive’ you have the right actions in place to show it. 

The Event Industry Stands Together in 2020: Are Policymakers Responding? 

For Event and Marketing Professionals 

Events industry associations have worked tirelessly to lobby and inform government policy with data and information to ensure the survival of the ‘organised gatherings’ supply-chain.  

In the UK, they’ve largely been ignored by Westminster, and across mainland Europe it appears the opportunity for events don't seem likely for the remainder of the year. So where does this leave us for the immediate future? We invited three event industry associations into the last chance saloon to find out. 

Women in Leadership in 2020: Still a Problem? 

For Hospitality and Event Professionals 

Are gender inequality issues in the workplace a thing of the past? More women than ever are taking on senior management positions. In fact, women now take up a new record high of 29% of senior leadership roles globally.  

Still, the truth remains that the higher the corporate ladder you climb, the fewer women you see. Will current trends towards equality continue? Are women-led leadership programmes still necessary to drive change?  

With the global meetings and events industry predominantly made up of women, this session reflected on the progress made so far and explore what comes next for women in leadership. 

Have You Forgotten About Brexit? The Looming Impact of Brexit on the Events Industry 

For Marketing and Events Professionals 

While minds have been focused on the disruption caused by the global pandemic, another disruptor is coming over the hill in the form of Brexit. Are event professionals better prepared than a year ago? What remain the key challenges that lie ahead? And just how attractive will London and the rest of the UK be as an events destination for European clients?  

Allen Simpson, Director of Strategy & Corporate Communications for London & Partners shared his unique insight for a deal or no deal future. 

Cvent Academy Training: Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub 

For Marketing and Events Professionals 

We couldn't be more excited about the Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub - Cvent's newest solution, which brings together the best of event registration, mobile apps, and online engagement for a single virtual technology experience.  

This session took viewers through the journey a virtual attendee experiences. Customer Marketing Lead, Nicola Kelly and Client Success Advisor, Hannah Farrell from Cvent explored how to overcome some common virtual event challenges event professionals face.  

Finally, they gave viewers an in-product, behind the scenes look at how to set up and use Cvent’s new virtual event offering, Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub, in four main functional areas of the product: content, community, sponsorships, and analytics. 

Behind the Scenes: Taking Cvent CONNECT Europe Virtual 

For Hospitality and Event Professionals  

After seeing phenomenal growth for the in-person event in its first three years, we threw out the Cvent CONNECT Europe playbook and became a completely virtual event in 2020. Taking our industry conference online meant re-thinking the strategy, the experience, the technology, and even the team.  

We re-thought our goals and KPIs, re-imagined the delegate experience, and introduced new technologies to drive engagement and value.  

In this session, designed for event organisers and marketers, four Cvent colleagues critical to the success of Cvent CONNECT Europe Virtual, take you behind the scenes, exploring the key strategic and execution lessons learned as we re-built the event from the ground up. 

Winning Corporate Travel Business in This New Era 

For Hospitality Professionals and Travel Managers 

As with MICE business, COVID-19 has changed the way corporate travel works. This session explored effective ways to promote your hotel’s safety policies to travel managers, and use Cvent's business intelligence features to identify and stay ahead of your competition.  

Hoteliers came together to discuss how they are using Cvent Transient at a time of great sourcing uncertainty to engage effectively with travel managers and prepare for the return of business travel. 

Leveraging the Full Power of the Cvent Event Platform 

For Event Professionals 

This session explored how the current solutions available in Cvent's Event Marketing and Management platform empower you to successfully manage the entire event lifecycle for your virtual, hybrid, and in-person events.  

Get an overview of all the tools you need to build exceptional events, increase attendance, deliver engaging and personalised experiences, reach your event and business goals, and get the insights to understand event impact and ROI. 

Industry Outlook: A Discussion with Scott Graf, Global President at BCD Meetings & Events 

For Marketing and Event Professionals 

Mark Jeffries spoke with Scott Graf, the Global President at BCD Meetings & Events, about the challenges facing the industry, the future of safe meetings and how to prepare for Hybrid.  

It was an impactful and candid conversation, as they discussed personal experiences, business recovery and highlights for the industry beyond this crisis. 

The 2020 Challenge - The 2021 Opportunity 

For Hospitality and Event Professionals  

What does it say about the European MICE industry when London's largest exhibition venue becomes the largest field hospital in the UK? What do you do when your 40,000 participant, in-person event is in jeopardy of being cancelled? You adapt. You evolve. You plan for a brighter tomorrow.  

James Rees, ICCA President and Executive Director of Conferences and Events at ExCeL London, president alongside Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the London Marathon discussed the uphill battle of 2020, the lessons learned and their plans for 2021. This session explored: 

  • How one of Europe's largest sporting events transitioned to a hybrid event 

  • The common challenges faced by venues and event organisers 

  • How collaboration between industry and tech partners can fuel recovery and help plan for safer meetings and events in 2021 

Missed any sessions?  

If you’d like to re-live some of your favorite sessions, or if you missed anything you really wanted to see, Cvent CONNECT Virtual can be viewed on-demand. Simply click here to enjoy our conference from the comfort of your own home.

Catch up now

 

Profile pic Olivia Cal

Olivia Cal

Olivia started her writing career as a music, film and theatre critic before moving into B2B. She has had 3+ years of experience writing for martech companies, covering digital marketing, retail and hospitality. When she isn't writing, she can be found with a good book or PC gaming.

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