Takeaways from Cvent Connect Group Business Forum

The Group Business Forum at Cvent Connect 2015 just started yesterday and already attendees are walking away with solid strategies to grow group business.

At Group Marketing Solutions, Bharet Malhotra, Senior Vice President, Sales, Cvent, explored how buyers and the buying process have changed and the implications for hoteliers and other event industry suppliers. Consider these statistics.

  • 75% of B2B buyers are influenced by social media
  • 97% of the time cold calling does not work

Malhotra highlighted the fact that event industry B2B marketers can glean best practices from industries.

  • Google has consistently demonstrated the power of innovation in the digital space.
  • Amazon has role modeled the effectiveness of you using suggestions at the point of checkout to boost sales.
  • the "Flo" Phenomenon - Flo, the "Progressive Girl" has transformed the way in which insurance companies approach marketing. Progressive uses both traditional and online channels to reach potential customers. Flo interacts with people from across the demographic spectrum through bus ads, billboards, TV commercials and social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Based on lessons learned and by studying how B2B buyers make purchasing decisions, the Cvent portfolio has expanded to incorporate CrowdCompass by Cvent, Cvent Social Wall, Speed RFP, and Elite Meetings with in-person, print and online approaches to marketing.

Key TakeAway: By incorporating effective strategies uses by in-class marketers, event and hospitality industry venues and suppliers can boost their marketing effectiveness.

Informational Sessions

In Group Sales Amplified, An Introduction to the RFP Showcase, Julide Gunduc, Manager, Cvent Hospitality Cloud explained how, by giving planners and hoteliers the tools to be more proactive, the group business process can flow a lot more smoothly. Event and meeting planners need to source venues in increasingly short windows. 

Like a Match.com for the events industry, RFP Showcase makes it easier for meeting planners and event venues to find each other. After submitting their requirements into the Cvent Supplier Networks, meeting planners can submit their RFP to RFP showcase. Hotels can apply filters to identify meeting planners looking for venues that fit the guest room accommodation, facilities, size, and meeting facilities they offer.

Key Takeaway: In a competitive market, sales can no longer be a waiting game. Proactive tools and strategies are important to help B2B marketers attract more group business.

More to Come: Success Sessions: Analytics 101: A Beginner's Guide to Group Business Data, Idea Muse: Helping Planners Dream Bigger, From the Art of Sales to the Science

In Harnessing the Power of Content, McNeel Keenan, Manager Strategic Initiatives at Cvent demonstated how the power of content is underscored by the following data:

  • 50% of social media users seek out user generated content before making major purchasing decisions
  • user generated content gets 10X more views than brand content
  • 25% of search results for the world's top brands are links to user generated content

A platform like Cvent Social Wall can accelerate the process of generating content from users.

Key Takeaway: To boost their exposure to potential customers, it is extremely important for event planning companies and event industry suppliers to devise strategies to encourage existing clients, guests, and users to generate and share content.

More to Come: Mini Theater: Know Your Audience, Driving Sales Efficiency, The Sourcing Journey

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