How Cvent is Adapting to Globalization and New Tech Demands
At the recent CMITE conference at Atlantis in the Bahamas, we met up with Christopher Rost, Cvent’s regional sales manager for partnerships, about how the event tech company has changed since going public, and what trends are on the horizon.
Cvent went public a year ago, and Rost said that the company has been “very successful” with the new support of Wall Street’s analysts and investors. “They see our ability to take this brand and build an international company,” he said. “Every country has its providers, and we have competitors in the tech space, but there’s no one clear leader.”
As such, Rost said, the biggest initiative Cvent has as a company is internationalizing their product, setting up an interface that will translate the company’s apps and websites to any client’s native language. “You could have a local solution that the local office uses,” he acknowledged, “but the world is a small place.” With the BRIC countries attracting more business travel--especially in the pharmacological industries--Cvent is looking to build an “umbrella solution that planners around the world can use and manage their groups and meetings,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s one platform. We have to configure it to the company’s needs, or the needs of each client.”
Beyond the BRIC countries, Africa is also growing as a MICE destination, Rost said. While acknowledging that certain countries present different challenges, the continent as a whole, seems like “a new frontier,” he said. These are almost secondary markets that have never really been tapped into, and I think, as the markets evolve and become more sophisticated, there’s a lot of opportunity...As the infrastructure continues to develop, meeting planners are always looking for next best thing.” Clients want to visit “the newest, best, untapped destination,” he added, so planners need to know what is available and what unique experiences can be arranged.
This of course, can also be a problem for locations that simply aren’t ready for an influx of visitors. The Olympics in Sochi, for example, became a “pain point” when all of the promised hotels were not ready in time for the first arrivals. “It boils down to infrastructure. Brazil being able to host the World Cup and the Olympics gave a huge shot of money and development for hotels and roads,” Rost said. Even better, one country’s growth in a region can help neighboring countries as international travelers look to see more than just one area.
New Tech Demands
With increased demand for paperless events, Cvent is also working to push its mobile options further. “Trends come and go,” Rost said, “but mobile is here to stay...From any kind of planner or supplier perspective, everything must be mobile-friendly...When someone goes to an event, they are starting to demand mobile information. They don’t want paper. I don’t want to carry things around.”
At the end of the day, Rost said, event technology matters less than the individual connections that make events come together. “The Internet can help you plan, but...it’s about personal relationships. It’s about the people you trust who will get the job done.” When event planners partner with other companies for an event, he added, “a lot” can depend upon that relationship. “They can't just use any DMC. They must use one they trust...Their job is on the line, depending on the nature of the event.”