The Engage Invest Exploit (EIE) event, Informatics Ventures’ international flagship event for data-driven innovation, has been attracting world class investors to the heart of the aspirational Data Capital of Europe – Scotland. Companies exhibiting at EIE have raised in excess of £650 million in seed and later stage funding. Due to that and with the growing popularity of this event, Informatics Ventures has been able to connect and interact with other departments within the university.
The 2019 event attracted over 900 delegates, over 240 of whom were investors from across the world. A total of 50 technology companies pitched live on the day looking to initiate or progress discussions with the assembled investors.
Informatics Ventures adopted Cvent in 2018 with the aim of reducing the manual processes faced with hosting their events. To assist with the adoption of Cvent during the EIE event, Martin Johnston, Events Executive within the Informatics Ventures team utilised the Cvent Support and Customer Success Team. “The event builder support team was patient, responsive, and engaging, offering their expert solutions for any challenges we came across. They were literally a phone call away. Also, we had an incredible onsite Cvent team who reassured all our anxieties thanks to their expertise”. The process for setting up the event was “fantastic”.
Reporting & Automation
Martin Johnston, stated, “before adopting Cvent’s Event Management solution, Informatics Ventures relied upon spreadsheets to manage and analyse event data, resulting in an increased risk of human error” as well as creating and managing various lists for the multiple groups involved (sponsors, attendees, exhibitors), which was time-consuming and made reporting difficult. Sending emails in one system, keeping track in another and having to collate all this information wasn’t efficient. Since implementing Cvent, Martin noted that “The reporting metrics that you can get out of Cvent are incredible. Doing all the registration, event marketing, post-event surveys and so on in one place made the analysis significantly quicker and easier, with all the information available at the drop of a hat”.
Badging & Security
Manual badging (managing, printing, laying out) was also a cumbersome task. Informatics Ventures understood that the right technology had become the need of the hour to effectively manage their annual conference. The team decided that their new event management system would have to achieve a smooth registration experience and offer a fast, flexible and secure check-in solution, that’s where Cvent’s OnArrival360 solution stepped in.
”External preprinting of badges required a 2-week head-start, and since the final attendee list would not be ready until the day before the event, it meant the printing was done in batches, which was neither efficient nor maintained a standardisation of the badges” Martin stated. Also, just to make sure that nobody was missed, there was a need for blank badges to write the attendee information by hand on the day, but these would “stand out and look clunky”.
“For our EIE 2018 event, we literally spent six to seven hours, getting the badging set up for 950 delegates, as well as attaching a ticket for our conference dinner. Adopting Cvent completely changed the experience that we were able to offer our attendees as they came in. It was visually and technologically impressive, as well as slick and easy to use. The delegates didn't have to stand in bemusement as they watched two or three members of staff struggling to find that one single badge, and many mentioned they were impressed in our post-event survey.”
Using the OnArrival360 technology at their evening event, Informatics Ventures were able to get “all of our guests checked in and seated within 40 minutes, which was half the time it took in 2018.” Along with this, the OnArrival app enabled Martin and his team to see live reporting analytics of check-ins, VIP attendee, which was hard to capture in the manual badging process that they used in 2018.
Another concern Martin had was of being at risk of breaching GDPR. “With pre-printed badges on display, the information was visible to the other attendees coming in. OnArrival360 and on-demand badge printing meant that information was restricted only to the attendee who inputted their name onto the iPad and printed out their badge”. It was far more secure and allowed Informatics Ventures to make sure that they had more control over who could see the attendee information.
Future with Cvent
Cvent was a great success for Martin and his team, exclaiming “the difference it has made to our event was second to none, amazing!”. As such, Informatics Ventures sees an optimistic future with Cvent, and is looking at other products within the Cvent suite. In particular, Social Tables, believing it would be great for improving the management of table layout at the post-conference dinner. To finish, Martin stated, “We see our journey with Cvent evolving by improving what we've already started and what we've already built on.”
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