After announcing their expansion in Europe, Patrick Smith, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Cvent and David Chalmers, Senior Marketing Director of Cvent Europe talked with Boardroom during IMEX 2018 in Frankfurt about technological developments when planning a conference as well as the impact of GDPR on associations.
What can Cvent offer associations?
Associations are one of our biggest customers as they run events for their members. We can offer services in two primary areas, one of which is our event cloud solution, that is all about running an event end to end. We started out with our registration system, conceptualising an event, inviting people, putting up a website and printing out badges on site. During the actual event, we use tablets for a smooth check-in.
We have a global application with information on the venue, the attendees and the schedule, but this app also functions as an engagement tool. Participants win points for asking questions or participating in meetings for a prize, so it gamefies the event. The other area we cover is helping find a venue through our supplier network containing 255,000 entries with detailed information necessary for organising a meeting, all free of charge. Our network connects buyer with venue in a simple way.
What is new for associations regarding technology?
What we can now offer is tracking attendees during the event by scanning their badges using RFID sensors. This gives associations more interaction with attendees and intelligence around the event. Associations could profit by reporting back to their organisations with proof of a successful event as it can now be digitised. Even financial costs can be tracked electronically with this new technology in a way that was not possible before.
How can Cvent’s platform help associations tackle GDPR?
Using an online platform is the best approach in terms of complying with the regulations. GDPR is about data privacy as well as data security. Working with a company of our size which has all the security certifications is the safest way to be sure that the personal information you have captured for your event is kept safe. Using an event management software platform helps associations avoid hacking or leaks of emails and spreadsheets. Associations feel the risk of the regulations as they have a lot of subcontractors, freelancers and agencies, and that is a lot of passing around of data. Putting all of that on a platform makes it secure.
We also offer time stamped consent areas allowing us to store this information or even delete it according to the person’s request. This becomes much simpler if all the information is on one platform instead of different places. What’s more, we can anonymise an attendee but still be able to keep the count of an event. In fact, we are currently working on a campaign on the spirit of GDPR educating people through webinars and infographics. We believe that in this way we can build trusting relationships with our clients. GDPR is not something to be afraid of, it is something associations should embrace.
This interview was written by Boardroom Digital Editor Vicky Koffa (firstname.lastname@example.org)