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Mosaic Events

Going hybrid with a large, content-driven conference
9 Events

hosted in 2021

136 Sessons

at the SLS Annual Conference

76% Attendance

at the SLS Annual Conference

Pivoting to virtual in 2020

In early 2020, Mosaic faced the all-encompassing challenges brought by the pandemic. “What a journey it’s been!” recalls Sarah Byrne, Director. “It’s certainly been tough for event planners. When it first happened, everything stopped and we had to consider our next step –which was to move everything to virtual. It was great to have used Cvent for the past eight years; we knew they would be ahead of the curve, thinking about virtual and hybrid events as soon as they needed to.” Mosaic used Attendee Hub® as their primary virtual platform, along with Cvent’s Event Management Solution to handle registrations. “Straight away we were able to enable delegates to register for our clients’ virtual events,” Sarah shares. “We were able to create personalised agendas, as we always had, and brilliantly were able to insert links to online sessions within these agendas and email them out to individuals. Cvent has continued to grow their virtual offerings throughout the pandemic, and we make heavy use of Zoom integrations too.”

Bringing the best of virtual to hybrid formats

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Mosaic’s clients have seen many positive event outcomes from their embrace of virtual formats. “It’s been great to see many associations’ events grow because of the virtual experience, and the ability to reach out internationally more easily,” explains Sarah. “The majority of our events have seen increased registration numbers from the transition to virtual.”

Once the return to in-person events became viable, Mosaic began advocating for and delivering hybrid event formats for their clients. “I would urge anybody to seriously consider the hybrid model,” says Sarah. “Many want to return to in-person events but are hesitant to include hybrid elements because they think it will be a lot of work, or very expensive, but often don’t recognise the potential for growth they provide.”

Crafting a hybrid conference with Attendee Hub®

In September 2021, Mosaic delivered the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) Annual Conference, itself a hybrid event. “SLS were really ahead of the game in their sector for opting for a hybrid event at this stage,” recalls Sarah.

“We opted to use Attendee Hub®, largely because we had so much experience with Cvent, and so it was very simple to use because we were familiar with the processes from other Cvent products. Plus, the training Cvent offered was excellent –we were assigned a designated individual who we had regular recorded meetings with which we could refer back to.”

The conference was very content-driven: “We had around 350 speakers participating in the event,” Sarah explains. “We used the Speaker Resource Centre to enable the speakers to upload their own photos, bios and content. As planners it offered us a central point to access this content, and allowed us to set up notification emails, improve our own efficiency and save a lot of time. All this content also filtered straight through to the free Event App which accompanies Attendee Hub as well.”

Event exhibitors were offered virtual booths as well as physical, enabling them to engage directly with the two thirds of attendees who were present online. Mosaic also implemented Cvent’s Appointments feature, which allows delegates and exhibitors to schedule one-on-one meetings, either in-person or virtually, generating a Zoom link directly if needed. “We opened the Appointments feature two weeks before the event, which gave exhibitors time to look through who was attending and plan who they wanted to see. It was very well-received by both delegates and exhibitors.”

“The exhibitors’ experience was very positive”, explains Sarah. “As well as the Appointments, the Virtual Booths offered a lot of flexibility. They were able to host as much content as they wished, but were also able to interact with groups of people at the booth, not just one-to-one. They very much liked the ability to download their own reports, examining what content was popular as well as the number and types of leads they generated.”

The event drew around 600 registrations –200 in-person and 400 virtual. “Interestingly, overall feedback was stronger from our virtual attendees than our in-person ones,” Sarah shares. “Delegates consistently found the platform easy to use. We only had one attendee who was unable to log in, which turned out to be an error on their end ultimately. We’ve used other platforms in the past, and one of the ways Attendee Hub® stands out is by making it very quick and easy to switch between virtual sessions, which has been quite complex in the past. As part of our package we’re able to host the content for 90 days after the event closes, which delegates really valued and adds to the event’s legacy. It was a great experience overall and we’ll be using it for next year’s event too.”

Getting certified and learning from other users

Sarah makes active use of Cvent’s support and training opportunities, is an active Cvent Community participant and has completed several Cvent Certifications. “Overall I would say the training and support offered is excellent. We’ve made use of the 24-hour phone line, and have opened up cases for individual queries, but even more importantly we use the Cvent Community, which has event planners worldwide sharing their experiences of organising events, best practices and workarounds.”

Cvent offers multiple certifications for its products, which assess a user’s knowledge and expertise and give them a way to showcase it. “Getting certified was really interesting,” shares Sarah. “Even though I’ve used Cvent for such a long time, there are still some functions I’m not too sure about because I don’t use them enough. It was a great opportunity to test my knowledge, but also to see how much I didn’t know. There are new Cvent releases every quarter, and so much is added, I’ve found the advanced certifications really useful in keeping up with the changes and maintaining my skillset.”

Preparing for the future

Having seen success with hybrid formats already, Mosaic plan to continue advising their clients to consider getting on board.

“With a couple of hybrid events behind me, I can see they don’t actually have to cost a fortune,” Sarah says. “If you’re clever about what you’re doing you can make it really cost-effective, and once you’ve delivered one you’ve developed the template, tools and knowledge to improve next time–over time I expect they’ll become quicker, easier and more efficient to deliver successfully.”

“I would advise anyone planning a hybrid event to really think about the kind of content they want to push,” suggests Sarah. “Not only to think about content in terms of what will convince people to attend, but also what should be part of the virtual package compared to the in-person experience? It’s important to make clear why you want people to make that extra effort to attend in-person, and what you can offer them that doesn’t translate to virtual. The virtual experience however offers a great means to grow your audience; it’s important to think about it not only with regard to content but also the opportunities online attendees have to engage with each other.”