More than 400 meetings, events, and hospitality professionals from across Europe and the UK gathered at the inaugural Cvent CONNECT Europe at the Pullman London St. Pancras. The conference, hosted by Cvent, the market leader in meeting, events, and hospitality technology, showcased the latest trends in event and hospitality tech, as well highlighted the customer best practices and case studies from Cvent customers on how to implement the right technology to eliminate manual tasks and drive return-on-investment.
Attendees had the opportunity to experience the latest event and hospitality technology in the Innovation Pavilion. Featured in the Innovation Pavillion were the new Cvent Flex user experience, and Cvent Passkey and Business Transient – recent additions to the Cvent platform. The addition of these new capabilities enables planners to manage the entire event lifecycle, no matter the size, and gives hoteliers greater opportunity to grow their businesses.
“It was a breath of fresh air to hear from a tech company like Cvent that their key message and mission is to power the human connection,” said Amada Ford of the Tenet Group. “The content of Cvent CONNECT Europe was very well put together, nicely structured and delivered, and I was honoured to be invited to take part. Everyone I met from Cvent was helpful, engaging and represented the company very well. I’ve made some great new connections both at Cvent and with other planners.”
Industry expert-led sessions
More than 30 educational sessions were featured at the event across topics that included forecasting the future of event technology, strategic venue sourcing, mobile event apps and more. Attendees also heard from industry experts, including David Rowan from Wired UK, Chris Hughes from Brand Events, and Nicole Yershon of Lab for Hire on how technology is disrupting every industry and market, and how organisations must adapt to foster a culture of innovation.
Key sessions from the conference included:
Talking the language of the C-Suite
Chuck Ghoorah, Cvent co-founder and president of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, inspired a room of event planners to be more strategic in their approach to their meetings and events, and urged planners to utilise event technology in order to demonstrate ROI and business case to senior management, in order to prove the value of the marketing funds spent on events.
Next generation registration experience
Attendees were given a hands-on demonstration and inside look into Cvent’s largest technology investment to date: the Cvent Flex user experience, which features an updated user-friendly interface for planners to build highly customised event websites, all with drag and drop technology. The solution builds on extensive user research to provide both the planner and the event attendee with an easier way to create an event site on the back-end or navigate the attendee-facing website.
Important hospitality trends
Hospitality professionals heard the key trends affecting the industry, including the significance of brand differentiation, the importance of customer loyalty and technology innovation, and the impact of the buying dynamics of millennials. Kathleen Garcia, the presenter, urged hospitality professionals to focus on creating authentic experiences for their guests, and making these easily shareable through social media in order to further brand awareness and trust.
New approaches to event marketing
With the upcoming implementation of GDPR, attendees were given insights into the new regulation, and how alternative channels and techniques can reach audiences for their events, with real world examples on how to implement these. They learned how to use social media channels to help drive registration and to how to get the audience to be their greatest advocate for promoting an event.