Events and Hospitality Industries Urged to Harness the Power of Digital Transformation to Thrive in 2021 and Beyond
Cvent CEO Reggie Aggarwal predicts “Golden Age of Events” during his keynote to more than 7,000 virtual attendees at Cvent CONNECT Europe
LONDON - Cvent CEO and Founder, Reggie Aggarwal, delivered an inspiring keynote to more than 7,000 event, marketing, and hospitality professionals at Cvent CONNECT Europe today. In his opening presentation, Aggarwal urged attendees of the virtual event to seize the digital transformation opportunity in front of them to drive the industry's recovery in 2021 and beyond.
"The pandemic has forced all of us to adapt our practices, evolve our mindset, and adopt technology to drive our businesses forward," said Aggarwal. "Technology has taken centre stage. It has become the new medium for our industry to drive the human connection, and it is revolutionising the way we interact with one another. The industry is still connecting, learning and lifting each other up - just in a virtual environment. It is this technological revolution that will ultimately accelerate our road to recovery."
Aggarwal's overriding message for attendees was that the future is not just about recovery and survival alone but crucially, adapting and embracing technology, and laying the foundations for what he termed the "Golden Age" of events - a time in which events reach a broader audience and when they become an even more critical part of the business landscape. The three event models now available to event professionals, in-person, virtual and hybrid, will allow the industry to uncover untapped potential across an organisation's entire event programme.
"The combined power and opportunities these event models can offer our industry is huge. A smart mix of virtual, hybrid, and in-person events is our future. The quicker we accept and work towards this events outlook, the faster we can take advantage of it. We truly have never had this much potential just waiting for us to harness," he continued.
Referring to Cvent CONNECT Europe as an example, Aggarwal illustrated that this year's virtual event saw a more than 400% increase in attendance over 2019's in-person event, and stated that there are firm plans to continue this exponential growth by hosting next year's CONNECT Europe conference in 2021 as a hybrid event.
While Aggarwal highlighted the important role technology and digital transformation will play in the recovery and ultimate growth of the meetings industry, he also reminded attendees of the enduring value of in-person events - and the power of the human connection.
"We learned during the pandemic that face-to-face meetings are more important than we ever imagined. Organisations have felt the loss of fewer business opportunities and a reduced sales pipeline. And most importantly, the loss of that emotional connection with their customers and their employees. The silver lining is that from now on, organisations will never underestimate just how integral events are to driving collaboration, building relationships, and powering their businesses. So, as event professionals, we have a duty - I'd even say a higher calling - to bring people together and to drive the human connection."
"We will emerge stronger, more connected, and better equipped to harness the power of events. The events industry will not only recover, but together, we will transform it and usher in a Golden Age."
Cvent is a leading meetings, events, and hospitality software company with nearly 4,000 employees, 30,000 customers, and 300,000 users worldwide. The Cvent Event Cloud offers software solutions to event planners and marketers for online event registration, venue selection, event management and marketing, onsite solutions, and attendee engagement. Cvent's suite of products automate and simplify the planning process to maximize the impact of events. The Cvent Hospitality Cloud partners with hotels and venues to help them drive group and corporate travel business. Hotels use the Cvent Hospitality Cloud's digital marketing tools and software solutions to win business through Cvent's sourcing platforms and to service their customers directly, efficiently and profitably - helping them grow and own their business. For more information, please visit Cvent.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.