Cvent CONNECT® Europe Conference Brings Together Event and Hospitality Professionals In-Person and Online to Capitalise on Industry Transformation
LONDON: 18 October 2021 - Cvent, a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider, brought together industry professionals across Europe for its annual conference, Cvent CONNECT® Europe. Day one of the conference (5 October), was hosted as a hybrid experience, held at the InterContinental London - The O2, delivering one event with two unique experiences for both the in-person and virtual audiences. Day two of the conference (6 October), offered an immersive, interactive fully virtual experience for attendees, hosted on the Cvent Attendee Hub™.
Cvent CEO & Founder Reggie Aggarwal opened the conference with a look back at the last 18 months and offered his insights on the pandemic-driven innovation and evolution that have transformed the MICE and hospitality industries. Aggarwal said: “The pandemic has been a catalyst for innovation that I believe will change the face of our industry.” He summarised the driving forces behind the industry’s massive transformation into four key pillars:
- Rapid digitisation of the industry
- Evolving roles of planners, hoteliers, and attendees
- The triple threat of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events
- The arrival of the continuous event
Together, the four pillars present a new events landscape and engagement economy where the opportunities to engage and interact have multiplied and the event channel has become more valuable.
“After pivoting to a completely virtual event in 2020 due to the pandemic, it was great to be back in London and to bring our industry together for a unique hybrid experience after what has been a truly transformational time,” said Patrick Smith, chief marketing officer at Cvent. “To be able to share our latest innovations and best practices with our attendees – both in-person and online – felt extra special this year. The energy and excitement were palpable.”
What Cvent CONNECT Europe attendees had to say:
“It’s wonderful [to be here]. It’s great to see everybody; great to pick up my badge and use all the tech that we’ve been learning about. I can’t wait to meet some of my colleagues from Cvent that I’ve only ever met on [virtual calls], and to network with some other Cvent customers.” – Ali Welsh, Global Head of Events, Moore Global Network
“[The event] is great. It was needed after such a long time. The whole world was stressed from just seeing people on a screen, and it’s always best to be live [in-person] to check back in with our peers and reconnect. I’m excited to learn about the latest trends and especially how the MICE market has moved and changed throughout the pandemic. Cvent are the pioneers of the industry, so it’s good to re-start events and be live again thanks to Cvent.” – Gianluca Masserio, Director of Sales, JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa
Additional conference highlights include:
- Innovative Cvent Technology: Cvent CONNECT Europe attendees got a front-row seat to experience the company’s latest technological innovations, including the Cvent Attendee Hub, an always-on engagement experience for both in-person and virtual audiences, which was used to power the entire two-day conference. The Cvent Innovation Pavilion provided attendees with the opportunity to interact with other Cvent solutions, while the Product Roadmap general sessions offered an insider’s look into new features and exciting developments across Cvent’s entire platform.
- Peer-to-Peer Networking: In-person attendees enjoyed ample face-to-face networking opportunities to engage with their peers including an evening event experience, hosted at The Londoner Hotel, a brand-new super boutique hotel located in Leicester Square. Virtual attendees interacted with other online delegates in topic-driven roundtable discussions and engaged with conference exhibitors and sponsors in a live, virtual environment.
- Educational Content & Expert Keynotes: More than 40 breakout sessions, expert keynotes, and roundtable discussions were featured during the conference - giving attendees the most up-to-date insights to fuel their future success. Cvent brought leading industry influencers to the main stage including Fred Sirieix, TV Personality and Customer Service Expert; Alexandra Willis, Communications and Marketing Director, The AELTC, Wimbledon; and Ben Erwin, CEO of Encore. Other session highlights include:
- Empowered Leaders: Inclusion First - Moving Beyond Diversity for the Sake of Diversity: A panel of inclusivity-first thinkers discussed how the event and hospitality industry can create a culture where everyone feels valued, appreciated for their differences, and ultimately engaged.
- Empowered Leaders: Creating a Sustainable Future, Driving to Net Zero: A panel of industry leaders including Anita Howard, Strategy Director, ICE; Gianni Salvadori, Europe Meliá Hotels International; and Chantal Kerr-Sheppard, Director, Event Cycle, among others, explored the findings of the recent ICE Annual Benchmarking Research - supported by Cvent. The panel discussed strategies and ways in which event professionals can actively do their part to participate in achieving a NetZero event industry by 2030.
- What's Trending? Planner Sourcing Findings in the Second Half of 2021: Katia Sadchikova, Group Head of Sales, Edwardian Hotels London and Nathalie Paxton, Global Account Director, Life Sciences at BCD Meetings & Events, joined this session which highlighted the findings of the Cvent 2021 Planner Sourcing Report: Europe Edition – which offers insights into the venue sourcing priorities and requirements of UK and European planners.
- What's Trending? The Six Pillars of a Hybrid Event: Attendees heard from Cvent Vice President of Product Management, McNeel Keenan, about how hybrid events, which combine both in-person and virtual elements, provide maximum flexibility and accessibility for attendees. Keenan explored the six key pillars of a hybrid event to help event planners design successful hybrid events of their own, and hoteliers to better support them.
All the sessions from the event are available on-demand on the Cvent CONNECT Europe website. Registration to view the content is free and open to anyone.
Cvent is a leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with more than 4,000 employees and 21,000 customers worldwide. Founded in 1999, the company delivers a comprehensive event marketing and management platform and offers a global marketplace where event professionals collaborate with venues to create engaging, impactful experiences. Cvent is headquartered in Tysons, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., and has additional offices around the world to support its growing global customer base. The comprehensive Cvent event marketing and management platform offers software solutions to event organizers and marketers for online event registration, venue selection, event marketing and management, virtual and onsite solutions, and attendee engagement. Cvent’s suite of products automate and simplify the entire event management process and maximize the impact of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. Hotels and venues use Cvent’s supplier and venue solutions to win more group and corporate travel business through Cvent’s sourcing platforms. Cvent solutions optimize the entire event management value chain and have enabled clients around the world to manage millions of meetings and events. For more information, please visit Cvent.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
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