The Road to Vegas blog series chronicles the planning of Cvent’s two marquee events: The Corporate Meetings Summit and Association Meetings Summit, which are being held June 18-20, in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Venetian Palazzo hotel. Click here for Part One.
Where does all the time go? Ah, time. Think about all of the songs written about time over the years. The central theme of most: there’s really not enough of it. This is particularly true from the planner perspective. Time is “planner enemy number 1.” But, since we can’t stop the clock, we need to find ways to work with the hours we have to get our jobs done. That’s true with any single meeting or event.
In our case, we had to begin the process of planning two events simultaneously. Two meetings with unique agendas, content, speakers, and overall theme. And, in our case, the cards were stacked against us.
We began in earnest a full year before the events were to be held. Events of this scope require that we begin sourcing early, work out logistics, seek out partners and secure speakers, set up activities, and book entertainment. There’s a lot to do, and as planners we know a year seems to go by in a flash. This is the inaugural year of the Association Meetings Summit, and with the Corporate Meetings Summit coming off of two straight years of success and amazing growth, we had to think big. It was time to find the ideal home for our meetings.
Sourcing two events at the same time is a bit of a high-wire act, one major slip and, well, things wouldn’t be so pretty. Now, we had to find a venue, or venues, that could accommodate a high volume of guests for our sessions and enough room space to house our out-of-town attendees. And at Cvent, we like to dive right in, so, with this task at hand, we started sourcing. One of the bonuses of being on the planning team at Cvent is access to a premier planning platform. We use all of the tools Cvent offers when we plan our events, and this is where the Supplier Network comes in handy. It gives us a chance to quickly search and review venue and hotel specs side-by-side, helping us quickly locate hotels that fit our unique criteria.
With as many meetings and events as we plan internally, this tool has become essential to our success, because it saves us so much time (see a theme coming into focus?!). After sending out some carefully prepared RFPs (I can’t stress enough how important this is), it didn’t take long at all to receive several proposals from cities all over the country. We were thrilled that so many properties were eager to partner with us. After comparing the proposals side-by-side, conferring with senior leadership, and negotiating with a few properties, we decided it was time for Cvent to become a high-roller. So, we decided to go west to the land of high-rollers, glitzy shows and world-class restaurants on the famed Las Vegas Strip, and chose the amazing Venetian Palazzo hotel for our summits. Vegas, baby!
Now that we had a Vegas home, it was time to secure sponsors, set entertainment and plan some extracurricular activities. With two headlining events, we worked to find the ideal partners for a mutually beneficial pairing. Again, our history using the Supplier Network has helped us build key relationships throughout the industry. Also, as a big player in the meetings and events world, we were able to quickly find appropriate organizations to partner with. The agreements came together quickly and the stage was set for the next step of the process.
In our next blog post, I’ll share with you how we marketed these events to our attendees, built a winning social media campaign to promote them, and made final preparations for opening night!