More than 1,000 meetings, events, and hospitality professionals from across Europe and the UK converged in London at the second annual Cvent CONNECT Europe conference. Held at The Business Design Centre in the heart of the city, Cvent’s event more than doubled in size year-over-year highlighting continued market strength and increasing interest in the brand’s market-leading event and hospitality management technology. The conference brought together both sides of Cvent’s customer base offering event and hospitality professionals two days of in-depth product training and insight sessions led by both Cvent experts and industry influencers.
CEO and Founder Reggie Aggarwal kicked off the conference with a call to event and hospitality professionals worldwide to embrace new technologies that are part of what is being hailed as the Fourth Industrial Revolution and highlighted the importance of continuing to drive innovation. Biometrics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), facial recognition, and machine learning were all highlighted as elements of this new technology-fuelled era that will have a profound effect on the meetings and events industry worldwide.
“It’s my first time here at Cvent CONNECT [Europe]. I heard such great feedback from last year when it was held at The Pullman. At BMA House, we use Cvent as one of our tools so it’s great to get on board and find out how we can use it more and how it can benefit our venue,” said Jameela Douglas of BMA House.
The Power of Live
The theme of this year’s conference was "The Power of Live" which highlighted the positive impact that live events have on the business world. The conference and meetings sector in the UK drove £18.1 billion in revenue in 2017 and many of the 60+ sessions during the two-day conference educated attendees on how to maximise the impact of their events programs and MICE business through technology. The night-time events also put “The Power of Live” at the forefront as attendees took the opportunity to engage and network with their industry peers face-to-face.
“It is the first time I’ve attended Cvent CONNECT Europe. I’m very impressed because of the level of networking opportunities and also the level of target audience. It’s very impressive and it’s been very good for making connections and to share insights,” said Gianluca Polenta of MCI-Benelux. “Now, [Cvent CONNECT [Europe] for me, is a getaway to attend every single year if I can because the level of networking is amazing.”
The conference offered attendees the unique opportunity to explore Cvent’s latest technology developments across both their event and hospitality platforms in the Innovation Pavilion – including a deep dive into the company’s next-generation user experience for its flagship event website and registration solution. Described as “Registration Reimagined,” the new experience puts all the design control in the hands of event professionals and marketers who can now create completely customised, mobile-responsive event websites in a user-friendly, drag-and-drop site designer. It will be launched later this month. Hospitality professionals explored the new Cvent Supplier Network (CSN) microsites and were able to delve into new comprehensive reporting capabilities within the platform offering greater opportunity to grow their businesses.
“Cvent CONNECT Europe is really special because of three key ingredients that you have here,” said Emma Cartmell of CHS Group. “The first is content. People want to come to an event for what they’re going to learn, and you have great content. Secondly are great speakers that people want to hear from. And then a destination and London is just a fantastic city to host Cvent CONNECT [Europe].” Emma Cartmell, CHS Group.
Cvent expanded on the agenda from 2017 and brought three keynote speakers to the main stage offering a wide variety of industry expertise and insights for conference attendees. Kate Ancketill, Founder and CEO of GDR Creative Intelligence, Laura Schwartz, Former Director of White House Events, and Paul Cash, Founder of B2B marketing agency Rooster Punk drove home messaging that highlighted the importance of humanising your brand and engaging with your audience to drive results and strengthen brand affinity.
“[Cvent] CONNECT Europe 2018 was amazing. I found it extremely informative and engaging and innovative, I absolutely loved it,” said Paulomi Debnath of Meetings and Incentives Worldwide. “The hotel selection [at the supplier showcase] was brilliant. It was not just London. It was more international, which I personally quite liked. We will absolutely come back to Cvent CONNECT Europe 2019. 100 percent.”
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.