increase in registration
total cost savings in going virtual
To create innovative digital experiences in an entirely virtual world, many organisations turn to new technologies to power their digital events programme. For their annual Americas Solution Partner Conference, Siemens sought to bring an incredible live experience to the screen to empower their business partner executives, technical resources, marketing experts, and sales teams. The ASPC brings together all Americas partners from the USA, Canada, and Central and South America for networking, expert instruction in business leadership, sales, technical, and marketing. The event starts their fiscal year and brings all Channel Partners and Siemens employees together to form a unified force of technology innovation and customer success.
With the health and safety of their Solution Partners and employees at the forefront of their business priorities, they knew the in-person event would need to shift to virtual for 2020. "We also have a duty to bring industry insights and actionable new tools and resources to our Solution Partners so that not only do they thrive in this 'new normal,' but they can help their customers not only survive but thrive in these unprecedented times," explains Brenda Ainsburg, Channel Program Manager for the Americas Partner Channel. As such, she had less than seven weeks to create an almost entirely live virtual event that would drive engagement and equip business partners with the tools they needed to foster channel success.
Strategising for a Global Virtual Experience
The four-day event was comprised of a mix of general sessions, breakout sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities for attendees. This also included a fully-live awards ceremony honoring key partners from across the business. As an experienced Cvent user for Siemens’ in-person events, Brenda knew the power of centralising event data within a single platform. In moving to virtual, she anticipated difficulties in managing duplicate registration lists, virtual platform configuration, and manually syncing data between multiple systems. To execute a seamless live experience for all stakeholders and attendees, Brenda knew the production process needed to be flawless. By leveraging the Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub® and partnering with Cvent’s Virtual Event 360 Advanced Production services, she created an engaging digital experience that captured key attendee insights with on-demand reporting to prove event success for senior leadership.
With less than two months to plan and execute the event for over 820 registrants, Brenda realised each session type would require an entirely different production strategy. Not only did they each have unique configuration requirements, but up to six concurrent sessions at a time would take place each day. “We needed full-collaborative virtual rooms, a separate use case for Cvent Video Player live with Q&A moderator, and we needed a full-collaborative virtual room with language interpretation,” she explains. With over 120 presenters in different regions all presenting live across sessions, it could easily have been a logistical nightmare.
Optimising the User Experience with the Virtual Attendee Hub
The opening General Session, awards programme, and a majority of breakout session were therefore managed live via Cvent’s Advanced Production services. The opening General Session offered a mixture of live and pre-recorded content that needed to appear entirely live for the audience. Cvent producers worked closely with Brenda’s team to configure the event from strategy to event build, coordinating session creation, speaker training, and livestream execution. Full webcast support ensured a smooth digital experience for all attendees with dedicated session producers creating a polished production strategy featuring custom graphics and overlays, video layout configuration, and content capture and casting. “We were able to stream that compilation of live and pre-recorded content to our attendees and the keynote was one of the highest-attended sessions, with more than 500 attendees,” Brenda says.
For the 25 dedicated breakout sessions, Siemens used the Cvent Video Player live with a Brightcove backend. These sessions offered 30 minutes of interactive content with 15 minutes for dedicated Q&A. As part of the professionals services, Cvent’s team managed dedicated speaker training for all presenters, with the number of planned speakers doubling in the final two weeks before the event. Brenda knew the session configuration would require more than a simple Zoom integration. “When comparing a full collaborative Zoom session with Cvent Video Player live, we could only imagine the logistical difficulties for our presenters. It would be a nightmare with hundreds of people registered for each session,” she explains. By using the Cvent Video Player, presenters could manage the interactive sessions with ease while presenting live. Brenda’s team could also seed questions in the live Q&A and view upvoted favourites to guide the interactive discussion. This ensured a smooth and engaging experience for all attendees while offering the team the ability to help manage session flow for high engagement. They were also able to showcase speaker profiles for all 120 presenters within the hub to garner more visibility for presenters. Content was instantly recorded and stored in the Cvent backend for post-event campaigns and follow-up, and remained open to attendees for 90 days as a means of fostering continued engagement. "What a relief it was that with the push of one button we could stream the content to the Virtual Attendee Hub and the sessions were recorded and automatically posted," she says.
During the event, interactive workshop sessions used full Zoom collaborative instances within the Virtual Attendee Hub. As workshops were highly participatory and lasted up to three hours, session managers could create sub-breakouts using Cvent Video Conferencing solution and a Zoom integration. Without having to manually manage and populate meeting links for hundreds of attendees across various breakout configurations, Brenda’s team could ensure a frictionless user experience for all. She adds, "These were absolutely loved by everyone who experienced them. Our business leaders from our Partner community were very happy to have their sessions by and large fully collaborative."