We recently spoke with Chuck Ghoorah, Cvent co-founder and president of worldwide sales and marketing, to ask him about Cvent's continuing evolution, and what it means for the meetings and events industry.
"Our goal at Cvent
is to provide world-class technology to both sides of the ecosystem - the planner side and the hotelier/supplier side," Ghoorah
"That number is only going to increase," Ghoorah
"What we wanted to do was give tools to hoteliers to help them manage that demand."
Easing the pain associated with too many eRFPs is something Cvent hopes to achieve with its brand-new Cvent Hospitality Cloud.
Designed for destination marketing organizations, convention and visitors bureaus, hotels, and other event venues, it delivers targeted marketing, group demand management, and analytical tools.
explained, "With the Hospitality Cloud, we've built a platform where our goal is to handle, from a technology point of view, the entire life cycle of an eRFP or group business lead going through a hotel or venue."
To that end, Cvent
has added new features to the process that make it easier for suppliers to receive the right leads.
These include lead scoring capabilities that let suppliers know whether or not a certain lead is high value or not, proper routing to the right contact at that particular supplier, and seamless information sharing with the hotel's own back-end system.
The company also debuted a white-label version of its eRFP system that hotels can utilize on their own websites to generate and capture leads.
"The eRFP ties into the hotel's back-end system so the hotelier doesn't always have to log into Cvent
to respond to the lead," explains Ghoorah
"We're enabling the meeting planners," explained Ghoorah
"If they can use all that technology that we provide, they can be more strategic and they don't have to worry about all the tactical details."
Some of those tech tools that Ghoorah
noted include using the Cvent Supplier Network to source a meeting and send out eRFPs; using Cvent's
email marketing system to market an event; and employing Cvent's
And while Cvent
has traditionally worked primarily with planners who plan annual or regional conferences, the company now wants to reach planners who also plan simpler, higher frequency meetings and events with its new Cvent Express platform.
"These types of meetings or events might be a planned by someone who doesn't even view themselves as a planner, but they do this all the time," said Ghoorah
"These events require a large amount of on-site technology," noted Ghoorah
is focusing on its mobile apps for both planners and for meeting attendees.
"We productized [the mobile app]," he
"Each app can be unique to the event and has the look and feel of the organization but that's Cvent's
technology behind it.
The mobile app is integrated into the platform; everything talks to one another."
"Tech companies like Cvent and our competitors?
It's good for the meetings industry."
continues to refine its platform and technologies, Ghoorah
says it's all a part of the meeting industry's own evolution, too.
"The No. 1 megatrend that we see in the meetings industry is moving from manual processes to online automation," he
"Things are moving online."
"The second," Ghoorah
said, "is mobile.
said, "Attendees are demanding mobile apps more and more.
Right now, it's nice to have but I think in the next couple of years, it'll be a must have.
believes mobile apps can create higher engagement at meetings and events, assist with networking, and use feedback to help planners make necessary real-time adjustments to their meetings.
Social media is another major trend, Ghoorah
Most of all, Ghoorah
emphasized, meeting planners and suppliers should learn to embrace technology.
"Sometimes with technology, people think it's another thing to learn," said Ghoorah