To deliver content from 120 speakers to almost 1,000 attendees across four days of conference sessions, workshops and a virtual awards ceremony, Siemens turned to Cvent for help.
For its annual Americas Solution Partner Conference (ASPC), Siemens sought to translate the live experience to the screen in order to empower business partner executives, technical resources, marketing experts and sales teams.
The ASPC brings together all partners from the U.S, Canada, and Central and South America for networking, expert instruction in business leadership, sales, technical, and marketing.
With the health and safety of Solution Partners and employees at the forefront of its business priorities, Siemens knew that the in-person event would need to shift to virtual for 2020.
Brenda Ainsburg, channel programme manager for the Americas Partner Channel had less than seven weeks to create an almost entirely live virtual event.
The four-day event was comprised of a mix of general sessions, breakout seminars, workshops, and networking opportunities for attendees. This also included a fully-live awards ceremony honouring key partners from across the business.
As an experienced Cvent user for Siemens’ in-person events, Ainsburg knew the power of centralising event data within a single platform. In moving to virtual, she anticipated difficulties in managing duplicate registration lists, virtual platform configuration, and manually syncing data between multiple systems.
To execute a seamless live experience for all stakeholders and attendees, Ainsburg therefore knew the production process needed to be flawless.
By leveraging the Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub and partnering with Cvent’s Virtual Event 360 Advanced Production services, she created an engaging digital experience that captured key attendee insights with on-demand reporting to prove success for senior leadership.
With less than two months to plan and execute the event for over 820 registrants, Ainsburg realised each session type would require an entirely different production strategy.
Not only did they each have unique configuration requirements, but up to six concurrent sessions at a time would need to take place each day.
“We needed fully-collaborative virtual rooms, a separate use-case for Cvent Video Player live with Q&A moderator, and we needed a fully-collaborative virtual room with language interpretation,” Ainsburg explains. “With over 120 presenters in different regions, all presenting live across sessions, it could easily have been a logistical nightmare.”
The opening General Session, awards programme, and a majority of breakout seminars were managed via Cvent’s Advanced Production services.
The opening General Session offered a mixture of live and pre-recorded content that needed to appear entirely live for the audience.
Cvent producers worked closely with Ainsburg’s team to configure the event from strategy to event-build, coordinating session creation, speaker training, and livestream execution.
Full webcast support ensured a smooth digital experience for all attendees with dedicated session producers creating a polished production strategy featuring custom graphics and overlays, video layout configuration, and content capture and casting.
“We were able to stream that compilation of live and pre-recorded content to our attendees and the keynote was one of the highest-attended sessions, with more than 500 attendees,” Ainsburg recalls.
For the 25 dedicated breakout sessions, Siemens used the Cvent Video Player live with a Brightcove backend. These sessions offered 30 minutes of interactive content with 15 minutes for dedicated Q&A.
Cvent’s team managed dedicated speaker training for all presenters, with the number of planned speakers doubling in the final two weeks before the event.
By using the Cvent Video Player, presenters could manage the interactive sessions with ease while presenting live. Ainsburg’s team could also seed questions in the Q&A and view upvoted favourites to guide the interactive discussion.
This ensured a smooth and engaging experience for all attendees while offering the team the ability to help manage session flow for high engagement.
They were also able to showcase speaker profiles for all 120 presenters within the hub to garner more visibility for presenters.
Content was instantly recorded and stored in the Cvent backend for post-event campaigns and follow-up, and remained open to attendees for 90 days as a means of fostering continued engagement.
“What a relief it was that with the push of one button we could stream the content to the Virtual Attendee Hub and the sessions were recorded and automatically posted,” Ainsburg says.
During the event, interactive workshop sessions used full Zoom collaborative instances within the Virtual Attendee Hub.
As workshops were highly participatory and lasted up to three hours, session managers could create sub-breakouts using Cvent Video Conferencing solution and a Zoom integration.
Without having to manually manage and populate meeting links for hundreds of attendees across various breakout configurations, Ainsburg’s team could ensure a frictionless user experience for all.
She adds: “These were absolutely loved by everyone who experienced them. Our business leaders from our Partner community were very happy to have their sessions by and large fully collaborative.”
There were also unique language requirements for certain session types, including the opening general session and networking sessions.
While most of the networking sessions used Cvent Video Conferencing with a Zoom integration within the hub, certain sessions required a third-party translation service for Portuguese or Spanish speakers with their own Zoom instance.
As a solution, Ainsburg used the Cvent Event Management session management feature to integrate the third party Zoom link into the session description.
She also used an internal info field to indicate “yes” for translation needs if the country location was in Central or South America.
With segmented attendee lists housed directly within Cvent, Ainsburg could target those specific invitees with a tailored invitation in their native language. This offered clear instructions for accessing the third-party Zoom instance where they could view content in real-time with a live audio translation.
Five breakout sessions in all were translated, including high-level business leader presentations.
To ensure navigability to the correct Zoom instance, Ainsburg also hyperlinked the Zoom URL within the session description for all relevant sessions, including the opening General Session.
This ensured attendees could view the content through the correct Zoom instance for simultaneous Spanish or Portuguese translation.
At the close of the virtual conference, Ainsburg’s team managed a live awards ceremony honouring key partners.
She worked closely with Cvent’s Advanced Production team to foster an engaging digital experience for attendees.
Using a Brightcove integration, the Advanced Production team collaborated with Siemens’ vice president of the Americas Channel and other stakeholders to coordinate programme logistics, graphics, video layouts, and other elements.
In addition to leveraging offline engagement tactics like swag boxes stuffed with gifts and snacks, Ainsburg’s team relied on engagement scoring to track attendee behaviour across the conference.
They were able to incentivise engagement with exciting prizes for the attendees who were most engaged across the event.
Capturing engagement scores, session attendance, and other key data points helped showcase event success through on-demand reporting directly within Cvent.
A partner-specific event survey also offered key insights into highly positive feedback, with an overall satisfaction rating of 88%.
Specifically, they measured an averaged 91% satisfaction rating for ease of access and navigability of the Virtual Attendee Hub.
Siemens more than doubled registrations and tracked an 83% attendance rate, easily surpassing industry benchmarks.
“We more than doubled attendance, spent only 20% of what we’d normally spend on an event at a hotel with conference facilities, and executed a high quality, highly engaged event that our attendees loved,” Ainsburg explains. “All the reporting and ROI, from budgeting to session attendance and engagement info, is in the Cvent Event Management platform. One-stop shopping for all my event needs and reporting.”