WPM Education

WPM Education elevated their Annual Conference 
83% Attendance Rate
96% increase in attendance
Exceptionally positive Attendee Feedback

WPM Education is the leading higher education online payment services provider in the UK. WPM Education has been a Cvent customer for over six years, having utilised Cvent Event Management solution for over 100 events each year. For their major events, they have also utilised OnArrival, Lead Capture and Cvent’s Event App. When the pandemic hit, like most others, WPM Education pivoted their events to virtual. They initially ran their events using Zoom Webinar & GoToWebinar. However, Sarah Christopher, Senior Event Manager, found them to provide a very one-dimensional experience. She explains, “They were very one dimensional and it wasn't giving us the engagement or the interaction that we needed with clients.”

When it came to their Annual Conference, WPM Education wanted to provide a more elevated experience. Running annually for the past 16 years, the conference gives WPM Education the opportunity to showcase their thought leadership in the industry, demonstrate their latest research and to give their clients the opportunity to network with one another and with WPM Education.


Teaming up with a trusted, reliable event provider

When they decided to virtualise their largest annual conference, Sarah knew they needed a virtual solution that was going to provide a more engaging experience for their clients. They wanted a solution that was more sophisticated and user friendly. “When switching to the digital world, there is always a risk for an event manager, especially going into something new, so when we were doing all our research we really wanted to work with a provider that was extremely established and very reliable and has an excellent reputation within the industry,” Sarah says. Sarah and WPM Education had a long-standing relationship with Cvent. The Attendee Hub could provide the needed customisable capabilities, a seamless experience, and it could give them the full functionality they required. They wanted to providing attendees with an engaging experience.

For WPM Education, session and content access for delegates were a top priority. “We wanted to be able to disseminate our content in a fresh way, we wanted it to be very user friendly, so customers could drop in and drop out for specific sessions,” adds Sarah. She notes, “They could customise their agenda and add it to their calendars. Also, in this digital world we wanted them to be able to then utilise the replays post event… delegates can join on the day for specific sessions and also post event for other sessions.”


Pivoting to virtual with Cvent

In February 2020 WPM Education used Cvent for their in-person Annual Conference and had planned to do the same in 2021. They launched their registration through Cvent for their in-person event and by the time they had decided to pivot to virtual, they already had 200 delegates registered to attend. Because they chose to use Cvent’s Attendee Hub to run the event virtually, Sarah found it to be a very easy process to switch. She notes, “The switch to virtual was exceptionally easy for us it was just a click of a button, because obviously it's fully seamless and everything was fully integrated, so it was a very easy switch for us to do.”

Like most organisations, the decision to pivot to virtual was not made lightly. WPM Education held off on finalising on the pivot until it was clear in-person just wasn’t a viable option. This resulted in a knock-on effect that caused in a delay in the release of their agenda to be just four weeks out from the event. “The agenda for this event was released four weeks out so we only had 4 weeks to build the event, generate the content and complete the set up,” says Sarah. An event she usually spent a year planning and executing on had to be done in a very tight window of time. Using an events platform they were familiar with (and knew would deliver) relieved some of their concerns, and made the building process seamless.

WPM Education purchased Cvent’s VirtualEvent360 offering for added Cvent support, which Sarah says gave her the reassurance that she “was in safe hands, with full trust that it was going to work seamlessly.” She adds that “our Virtual Event 360 Project Manager was exceptional, he answered every single question that we had, and he was very reliable and quick to come back to us with answers.” On the day of the event Sarah and team had full trust in their team. “It went fantastically well” she summarises. The advance production offering included in this package elevated their sessions, and Sarah notes that “it really gave us that sophisticated look and feel and provided more functionality that we wouldn’t have been able to provide ourselves.” She particularly appreciated the fresh branding for the background and seamless switching between live and pre-recorded content. As a bonus, they were able to pipe in live music through the course of the awards ceremony.

WPM Education utilised both the live and pre-recorded functionality that the Attendee Hub offers. By utilising the pre-recorded sessions, this reduced pressure on the day of the event and gave the team the time they needed to focus on the live sessions and run of show. “It made the delivery on the day seamless by having the mixture of the pre-recorded and live sessions”.

Stellar attendance and feedback

WPM Education had an 83% attendance rate on the day of their event, plus additional attendees watching content on-demand in the following weeks. Sarah was delighted with the show rate. By running the event virtually, they saw a staggering 96% increase in attendees from 2020 to 2021. The attendees had a great experience with the Attendee Hub. Sarah explains, “The feedback from the attendees was exceptionally positive and they felt very engaged and part of the event, from being able to ask questions to being able to use the chat functionality.” Having the content readily available after the event was also a hit. She adds, “They loved to be able to watch the sessions on-demand at their leisure and they also really liked to be able to customise the events programme based on the content that they wanted to digest.”


Hybrid Model Going Forward

By running the event virtually, WPM Education had access to a much broader audience than they ever had before in-person due to travel limitations. This was very evident with the 96% growth in attendance from the previous in-person event. “By switching the event to online, we attracted a much broader audience and wider audience geographically, which primarily would have been a barrier to people traveling onsite in-person to our event,” Sarah notes. After identifying the broader reach that they had virtually, WPM Education have decided going forward they would take a hybrid approach to their events. “Going forward, we will be approaching a hybrid model of events delivery – offering  a mixture of in-person and virtual events, to cater for the audience needs,” she says.


Cvent and WPM Education have teamed up to provide an integration that gives universities, colleges, and other educational organisations the tools they need to streamline their event planning processes and offers a secure, compliant system through which to process all event-related payments. Read more