Cvent was set up in 1999 and is now one of the largest event management technology companies in the world, with offices in the UK, US, Germany, Australia, Singapore and India. As a company, we offer software solutions to event planners for e-mail marketing, online registration, venue selection, event management, onsite check-in and badging, lead retrieval, mobile apps for events, and web surveys.

Today, there are nearly 200,000 active users of Cvent products across the globe.

Our products allow event organisers to handle the whole of the event life cycle from capturing data and attendee preferences before the event, creating a quick and seamless registration process, facilitating attendee engagement and networking at events, through to the integration with sales and marketing systems after the event.

Our recent merger with Lanyon will open up even greater possibilities with regards to the services that we can offer in the technology and event space. Together we will draw on our combined experience to push the boundaries of event technology innovation even further, whilst remaining focused on delivering outstanding technology, capabilities and service to the events industry.

With regards to the future of the events industry, if we step back and take a view on the evolution of technology within the events space over the past few years, it’s clear to see that it now plays an integral role and we expect this trend to only accelerate over the next 5 to 10 years, touching every phase of the event experience including before, during and after the event.

We’ve started to see more and more event organisers and planners integrating with sophisticated CRM Systems and Marketing Automation Solutions.  This is because the industry is starting to realise the true benefits of integrating these technologies with event management systems to automatically connect event data with the rest of the customer lifecycle.

Careful structuring of data captured at events ensures that sales teams using the software have direct access to far more valuable and timely information, allowing them to prioritise leads based on which companies were most engaged at the event. They are then able to follow up these leads with a far more personalised and targeted approach, rather than a generic pitch, which more-often-than-not fails to convert.

We’ve also witnessed a huge leap forward in the use of mobile technology. What started out as a nice to have feature used by only a few, is now finally making its way from the mainstream world into events and exhibitions and has become a musthave solution for many events.

Mobile apps for events these days offers far more than just replacing the printed show guide or brochure with sessions, speakers, exhibitors and floor plans that they used to have. Now these apps have rich features for audience engagement, from polling and messaging, to personalised schedules and booking one-to-one appointments with each other, as well as seamless integration with social media channels. Add to that the ability for event organisers to send push notifications for real-time updates for their attendees during the event which can be used to engage them after the event too, and the event app has become a critical engagement tool for any event.

Navigation assistance is also going to have a notable impact on events and large-scale conferences in the future. Event mobile apps lay out detailed floor plans and iBeacons or RFID now allow for indoor geo-location awareness.  The two together can allow an organiser to serve up a “door to door” path from where the attendee is standing to where he or she would like to be next.

Lastly, the increasing use of Crowdsourced and Real Time Content is a notable trend majorly influencing the future of the events industry from a technological perspective. Interactive presentation apps and live video sharing are becoming much more popular in the event space, as they have the capabilities of instantly capturing speaker and presentation content and broadcasting it to the wider world in real time.

David Chalmers, Marketing Director, Europe at Cvent