Powering the sales pipeline through virtual event technology
more new and existing deals influenced vs. previous in-person event
total influenced TCV across 682 influenced opportunities
increase in attendance for virtual event
When Fidelity Information Services (FIS) found their events programme affected at the start of the global health crisis in March, they knew it would directly impact their sales pipeline. With up to five major hosted conferences each year, as well as industry trade shows and internal events like sales kickoffs, the events team needed to find a creative solution to keep the sales funnel active. Cynda Covert, Events & Trade Show Advisor Senior, saw virtual events as the best path forward.
Understanding the Value of Virtual Events
“At the end of March, we were supposed to have our first client conference, but obviously we couldn’t really host in-person events at that time,” explains Cynda. The financial services organisation wanted to move their planned event to August with the hopes of an in-person experience, but the worsening crisis made it impossible. In April, they made the decision to move forward with a fully virtual event in June. The key, says Cynda, was in convincing stakeholders of the value of the planned virtual experience to engage customers and prospects. “We took the time to really show our stakeholders the importance of keeping events moving as virtual events, which I really appreciate,” Cynda notes. With only eight weeks to convert their in-person event to a virtual experience, Cynda knew she needed the right technology in place.
In looking at the needs of her prospective attendees, Cynda saw several key factors that could affect the virtual experience for the large base of banking clients. “We provide them the software and technology they need to move money quickly, safely, and globally,” explains Cynda. "They come to our events to see new innovations, learn how to use our technologies, talk with their peers, and discover what’s happening in the industry.” Realising that the audience would be working from home with potential distractions, they decided to retool the planned content for a virtual viewing experience. They shortened each day to a half-day and offered on-demand content throughout the event. They also extended the availability of their virtual event to remain open for two weeks after the live event, thereby ensuring additional attendees for their sales leads.
Building on Previous Success with Cvent Technology
The easiest part of the process, says Cynda, was trusting the Cvent solutions already in place. FIS had seen great success using Cvent for their in-person events. For example, their 2019 InFocus Conference saw measurable improvements from 2018 in proving ROI, mapping the attendee journey onsite, and using data to show attendee insights. They leveraged a host of Cvent solutions, including Event Management, CrowdCompass, Onsite Solutions, Abstract Management, and Passkey to automate processes. The events team added session tracking to their conference in order to provide real-time data for sales teams and modernised the mobile experience with the CrowdCompass event app. The two-way integration with Cvent registration allowed them to track engagement points and attendance data across the conference. Coupled with the quick and painless check-in and badge printing process through OnArrival, the tools gave attendees the high-tech experience they craved. On the backend, the Marketo integration gave them valuable insights into their marketing campaign performance, moving contacts further down the funnel for their sales teams. As a result, they increased lead volume by 38% over the previous year and influenced $750M in existing TCV, a 300% increase over the previous year. They also saw 68% increase in new deals created and 131% increase in existing deals created, as well as an 89% increase in sponsorship revenue.