Flexible mindset key to industry’s Covid-19 recovery, says Cvent

Event professionals across the globe will need to adopt a flexible mindset and be prepared to adapt and evolve their business practices in order to succeed in a post-pandemic world, according to Patrick Smith, senior vice president and CMO of Cvent.

Smith kicked off EduMonday at PlanetIMEX with his session, ‘Adapt, Evolve, Accelerate,’ offering attendees insights into how to find success as many take their first steps towards business recovery. More than 1,000 event professionals across Europe registered for the session.

Smith spoke about how Cvent has had to adapt to the new environment, helping clients adjust event strategies and adopt new ways of thinking. Nearly all of Cvent-hosted events in the second quarter of 2020 will pivot from in-person events to virtual ones, and Cvent has been working to support these efforts since early March.

Smith said: “What we’re finding, and what our customers are finding, is that even when we’re faced with lockdowns and social distancing regulations, the show can (and will) go on. Our customers are driving significant positive results because they made the decision early on to go virtual rather than cancel.”

Following the cancellation of IMEX Frankfurt, IMEX organisers launched a virtual experience in partnership with Cvent, giving attendees unlimited, free access to a comprehensive agenda and unique activities.

“PlanetIMEX is a great example of how the industry is already adapting in spite of the current environment,” added Smith. “IMEX organisers had three options: cancel, postpone, or pivot. They chose to adapt and be nimble. By leveraging existing tools and partnerships, as well as exploring new ones, a new range of possibilities was uncovered and it’s exciting to see it all in action.”

Smith also told M&IT how the current crisis differs from previous economic downturns.

He said: “This is different to previous ones. People are positive because they know it’s going to come back. And if they’re at the front of the curve when things do come back, they’re going to get the best space. You might see attendance take a bit of time to pick up, and increasing over time as people get more comfortable. You’re going to get normalised to the new world.”