Two weeks ago, the Coterie Spark team jet set to Las Vegas for the Cvent CONNECT Conference hosted at the Venitian | Pallazo Las Vegas for an in-depth week of professional development. Cvent is a platform investing in the future of Strategic Meetings + Events by establishing themselves as a leading think tank in events- one of few industry leaders investing in real time metrics & research demonstrating both attendee experience and the value of meetings and events to business and the economy. This is the second year we’ve attended the conference and the first as an entire team, so we are brimming over with ideas and inspiration for how to approach the work we produce and the clients we consult.

Cvent Connect Main Stage 2016

Here is a recap of the 4 key takeaways we look forward to bringing into the work that we do:

1. Strategic Meeting Management is the key to getting C-Suite Buy In

As Co-Founder & President of Worldwide Sales for Cvent, Chuck Ghoorah explained in his keynote session- it’s crucial for planners to adapt to the C-Suite Mentality, adding “The true value of meetings and events is that power of human connection.” He contends that while we are all well familiar with the power of human connection, he’s not certain the C-suite knows it as well as they should. The answer, he said, is to speak the language of the C-suite: How are your meetings increasing revenue? How are they decreasing costs?

Following Cvent CONNECT, we are investing in helping our clients track the value of meetings and live experience by implementing real time tracking with attendee tracking, polling and measuring metrics. This includes keeping a keen track of savings met and revenue built that our clients can show to their C-suite & internal stakeholders. Every dollar negotiated as saved for our clients is an value proposition for the services we provide and the investment in live events. See the recap of this session by visiting the Cvent Planning Blog here.

2. Mini Meetings + Deep Dive Expo Sessions really work

This year, the conference debuted a new system- the Meeting Exchange- where Exhibitors were afforded the opportunity to schedule 1 on 1 meetings with attendees in 20 minute increments and the conference programmed an entire afternoon of “free time” for attendees and exhibitors to participate. Exhibitors drive revenue for conferences, so providing them value in exchange for their investment is crucial. Mini Meetings allow them a direct connection with attendees for focused time.

As attendees, we participated in this exchange. In addition to discounted attendance, Cvent’s real time tracking of our participation in the exchange by way of RFID tracking in our name badges added that extra benefit for guests + a sponsor. #Connect sponsor Maui Jim, provided guests with a display of their packaged corporate gift experience- sunglasses.

Coterie Spark in Maui Jim Sunglasses As an additional enhancement to break out sessions, many of the presenters from Cvent offered 15 minute mini expo sessions to continue a deeper dive from what they presented in sessions.

These are two valuable first hand experiences and expo hall engagement tactics we will definitely recommend to clients in the future.

3. Event Mobile Apps Amplify the Human Connection in events

From arrival to departure, Cvent CONNECT displayed the power of a CrowdCompass mobile app in enabling Event Planners to leverage technology to connect attendees with one another, the content presented and key stakeholders in the conference. After experiencing the hands on, multi-level engagement and content on the conference app, we’re more driven than ever to implement meaningful mobile app technology to foster attendee engagement at the client events we produce.

Our team followed session content along by way of app, provided real time questions to presenters by as well as engaged with fellow attendees with social features and completed session surveys real time as the experience unfolded.

Coterie Spark Screen Grab CrowdCompass

4. Adapting to Current Technologies is a must in our industry and Meeting Planners are the driving force of implementing new technologies

As meeting and events consultants, it’s our duty to aide clients in not only the planning and execution of events but also helping to map out the plan for reporting and evaluation of the events we plan. The future of meetings is reliant on data driven technology. Cvent provides a robust array of tools and technologies to help Meetings and Events Professionals navigate the process in planning, Cvent CONNECT was about connecting ideas, thoughts and tools to enable planners to excel.

Our experience included hands on learning about the Cvent product portfolio featuring tools for all phases in planning from the budgeting & RFP phase in the Cvent Supplier Network, surveys & data gathering, polling, connecting metrics to Salesforce in advance. This flow continues through to the execution phase including basic websites, the OnArrival registration platform and CrowdCompass Mobile App for aide in learning & engagement.

In short, Tech enables us to connect with and build our team of expert suppliers- these tools enable us to ourselves with those experts.

Reggie Aggarwal Cvent connect 2016

“Embrace technology and change,” said CEO & Founder of Cvent Reggie Aggarwal encouraged in his keynote, “Make sure you are always learning new skills, and keep focused on the attendees by engaging and delighting them. The best way to predict the future is to create it, together.”

The bottom line, is to drive the industry we represent, we’re bound to use more technology to get the results clients are looking for while also amplifying the value of what guests seek in human connection.

See more on the recap of 3 trends in event technology here.

For more, see an examination on the future of events here.