Cvent Transforms Meeting Planning With SaaS, Cloud, Mobile Apps
This means that the focus on meeting planning needs to be on how to make them work best for the company. "The focus used to be cost control. Now it's about driving business," he said. "We're appealing to CMOs. The big focus is now the ROI for the event, to increase on the top line for the company and create intelligent engagement." Technology enhances face-to-face meetings, but does not replace them, Quattrone noted. In its effort to transform the events industry, Cvent created a vast database of the various factors critical to planning successful events and then put a SaaS front end on it. The front end includes a Web interface that lets whoever is planning an event assemble the necessary information ranging from the type of content to the location of the hotels and restaurants. The SaaS front end is then focused on Web and mobile apps for registration and for alerting the events staff to every detail of the event as it proceeds, including a means for handling glitches—whether it's a late arriving flight carrying the principal speaker or a flat tire on a shuttle bus. Attendees get mobile apps that can include personalized schedules for breakout sessions, information on social events, directions to meeting rooms, and locations for meals or transportation.Some of the features on Cvent's Website are useful even if the event is in the earliest planning stages. You can, for example, visit Cvent's Destination Guide to browse through potential locations for events. There you can find hotels, restaurants, convention centers and other event venues to get an idea of what's available. In the process of adding all of this functionality, Cvent focused on making its software easy for anyone to use and it made it secure. Quattrone said that the company designed security into the code as it was written, and the code goes through frequent security audits to make sure it meets compliance rules. What I found remarkable is that this database and the applications that surround it are deceptively simple. When you go to the Website, you'd never guess the power that lurks just beneath the surface. But that is really the idea behind a well-designed cloud service. The heavy lifting is out of sight, but it's there when you need it.
But the Cvent software includes more than just those nuts and bolts items. The software will set up a social wall, where attendees can see Twitter feeds of comments that include the event hashtag and that can be used to publicize the event or build interest in the broader community.