Mary O'Connor & Company Virtual Events hero

Mary O'Connor & Company Virtual Event Success

Powering client virtual event success with the Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub®

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As a premier meetings and events planning agency, Mary O’Connor & Company (MOC&CO) has worked with clients across a variety of industries at all levels of corporate, agency, and association organisations. With the onset of the global health crisis, the MOC&CO team knew that an all-in-one virtual platform would be needed to successfully support their clients' virtual events and further their business objectives.

One client in particular sought to execute a virtual essential services retail store manager meeting to ensure the needed education would be disseminated to the field. The previous in-person event typically included three-and-a-half days of programming consisting of general sessions, regional breakouts, an awards programme, and a large celebration event. The company worked closely with Kristin Huben, Account Director, and other members of the MOC&CO team to find the right technology to support both registration and virtual event execution. As this was the first point in which the entire organisation would come together virtually, the client needed careful guidance to ensure a seamless and engaging experience.

Managing Complex Virtual Event Goals

Having leveraged the Cvent Event Management system and Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub® for other client events, the MOC&CO team knew Cvent’s comprehensive solution would support this client’s business goals. They worked closely with Cvent’s Virtual Event 360 support services to create a complex event build with over 400 sessions spread across four days.

These sessions included plenary sessions for the entire audience and regional breakout sessions for groups of up to 20 attendees. All attendees would be logging in from different global regions and time zones, creating a logistical challenge with scheduling. With this in mind, the MOC&CO team created a range of start and end times based on region to suit each day’s session mix and content needs.

Kristin notes another logistical challenge was ensuring connectivity for all employees, as the audience of 1,400 regional retail store managers may or may not have already been issued a company laptop. The MOC&CO team was tasked with gathering data on devices as well as general internet availability and bandwidth across the attendee base. This allowed the company to provide devices and connectivity tools to their attendees as appropriate.

Partnering with Cvent's Virtual Event 360 Professional Services

As the planned content consisted of simu-live, on-demand, and live collaborative sessions, the MOC&CO team worked the client’s longstanding AV partner to produce all plenary session videos. They also partnered with Cvent’s Virtual Event 360 Professional Services, which provided a dedicated project manager, day-of support, and speaker training. “As is always the case, our Cvent Project Manager was an integral part of the cross-functional team,” says Kristin.

In working directly with both the MOC&CO team and the client, the Project Manager tracked and oversaw key aspects of the entire event process. For example, she helped manage strategy creation, event build, reporting, webcast support, and much more. This dedicated support extended from the first stages of the pre-event planning process through the last of the post-event reporting.

One of the most vital responsibilities was documentation of the entire event lifecycle, including comprehensive tech scheduling and assignment, tracking of host versus speaker links, and tracking of videos loaded into the Virtual Attendee Hub for the simu-live and on-demand sessions. Managing this complex task list helped create seamless workflows for all parties involved. Kristin notes the agency appreciates the strength of the partnership, which allowed the team to quickly shift project roles as needed during the planning process.

As part of the professional services offering, the Cvent team also managed speaker training for all presenters. Because of the volume of sessions and division of attendees within the company hierarchy, there were over 115 speakers and facilitators who required training. Working with their dedicated Project Manager, the team developed three unique trainings. They ultimately completed six group trainings and offered one-on-one consultations as needed to ensure the comfort and success of the client's speakers.

Ensuring Attendee Engagement with the Virtual Attendee Hub

The Virtual Attendee Hub allowed for a seamless user experience with one- click access to all sessions. Two-factor authentication and built-in privacy controls ensured a safe and reliable experience. With the integrated platform, registration data flowed seamlessly across the event with real- time updates relevant to attendee behaviour and event performance. The single system of record also offered clear insights for the client, with on- demand reports to track attendance and measure key data points across the event lifecycle.

The Cvent day-of support extended to all 400 breakout sessions, with up to eight simultaneous livestream breakouts and up to 70 simultaneous collaborative breakouts depending on the day’s agenda. Each was managed with a customer-facing facilitator to advance slides for presenters and dedicated technical resources for high-touch support.

All collaborative sessions included a networking component, meaning attendees were able to engage directly with another across time zones and varying technical capabilities. To ensure these sessions were seamless for attendees, a team of technicians were on-call for instantaneous support. “Of course, our Project Manager was with us all day, every day, like a conductor of the tech orchestra,” adds Kristin. "She was always right there, working through all parts of the process with us."

The fully-branded virtual hub housed a modern and consistent event experience for the online attendees. With a personalised home screen featuring key event details and session information, attendees were able to navigate the event with ease. Attendees could stay up-to-date with the session schedule and personalised agenda pages directly within the hub. Using the Cvent Video Player, the MOC&CO team embedded the livestream plenary sessions directly within the hub for a seamless user experience. With Cvent Video Conferencing, they were able to leverage collaborative Zoom sessions to ensure attendees could engage directly with one another and the presenter. Because attendance was required, MOC&CO also relied on session attendance tracking and on-demand reporting to track accountability. Lastly, interactive Q&A allowed the attendees to engage with one another across the virtual environment. Kristin’s team was able to moderate question engagement and attendees could up-vote favorites to guarantee the most pressing topics were top-of-mind for presenters.

Exceeding Client Expectations: Mary O'Connor & Company and Cvent

Ultimately, the MOC&CO team was able to deliver a complex virtual event to meet the client’s business needs while engaging over 1,400 global employees through the Virtual Attendee Hub. Engagement scoring allowed the MOC&CO team to assign a simple, actionable metric to attendee behaviour for follow-up by the client. Coupled with custom reports on web page analytics and attendee tracking, they were able to showcase engagement in the virtual environment. By leveraging the Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub, the MOC&CO team created an engaging digital experience that captured key attendee insights and proved virtual event success.

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