Planning a successful first-time healthcare conference
When Ashley Ronkowski joined Experity as the senior manager of strategic events and field marketing in January 2021, her first priority was planning the company’s first annual in-person conference: Urgent Care Connect.
“We really want to be the thought leadership event of the year for the urgent care space,” Ronkowski said. To this end, the Experity team had three key goals for the event: generating brand awareness, delighting clients and attendees, and driving revenue.
Most urgent care industry conferences are held on a regional level, so many of the people Experity hoped to attract didn’t know what to expect from this new, large-scale, world-class conference. To ensure attendees had the best experience possible, Ronkowski needed a powerful event management solution that would enable her to efficiently plan and orchestrate all the details while meaningfully engaging attendees — giving them an enticing preview of the opportunites for learning, networking, and fun offered at Urgent Care Connect.
“Having a strong event management tool to support a strong attendee experience is integral to the success of any event,” she added.
Choosing a sleek, feature-rich event management solution
When Ronkowski joined Experity, the team had already used Bizzabo’s Event Experience Operating System (OS) for six to eight months.
“The team told me they had this tool for virtual events,” Ronkowski said. “And I said, ‘I’m going to look at everything on the marketplace.’ I wanted to make sure we had the right tool for where we are and where we’re going.”
To say Ronkowski did a lot of research is an understatement.
“I explored every other solution on the market,” she said. Then, she began looking deeper into Bizzabo, which is also used by one of Experity’s sister companies. “Honestly, I was impressed.”
At that point, Ronkowski decided to stay with Bizzabo, and she’s happy she did.
“I used pretty much every feature in Bizzabo — the onsite software, full registration, website widgets. Once attendees register, they then start receiving Bizzabo emails that include their tickets, know-before-you-go content, where to book your hotel, and all the information they need without any complexity. I wanted to make it easy.”
Senior Manager of Strategic Events and Field Marketing
In addition to its feature-rich functionality, Ronkowski is also impressed by Bizzabo’s sleek user interface and intuitive design.
“I appreciate the drag-and-drop functionality within specific tools and being able to quickly run reports,” she said.
Setting the standard for events in the urgent care space
The Experity team set a goal of 300 attendees for its Urgent Care Connect event, but turnout exceeded expectations with 384 registrations and 365 attendees.
Thanks to Bizzabo, Ronkowski orchestrated an event she suspects attendees won’t forget about any time soon.
“Many attendees hadn’t been to a upscale event like this before,” Ronkowski said. “When they experienced a beautifully produced event, with drummers, LED lights, and everything else we delivered, they were surprised and thrilled. We made a big and lasting impression that really elevated our brand. It was really fun.”
Within just three short weeks after the event, Experity knew Urgent Care Connect was a success due to several impressive metrics:
- ROI: 19x pipeline and 6x revenue
- Pipeline influenced at the conference: $9 million
- Pipe generated after the conference: $5.4 million
- Closed/won influence since the conference: $332,000
- Sponsorship revenue: $80,000
Enabling content repurposing
Thanks to Bizzabo, Experity was able to repurpose all event content after the event, using email nurture streams to communicate with different segments of the audience, and giving the conference life beyond the closing party
According to Ronkowski, attendees who were eager to dive deeper on how Experity can drive their urgent care to the next level were immediately connected with sales. Those who didn’t show up were sent emails in the spirit of “Sorry we missed you, but here’s all the awesome content you missed, really creating FOMO.” All other attendees were sent a gracious, “Great to see you, here’s the event recap, and we look forward to seeing you at Urgent Care Connect 2023.”
Building a true partnership
Since using Bizzabo, Ronkowski has had some ideas for new features, like adding different packages to tickets. When she voiced these ideas to Bizzabo, Ronkowski said the team was receptive to the feedback and is eager to work on a resolution to resolve her challenges.
“Things like that make a big difference because it shows the partnership in the relationship and that Bizzabo understands us and what we’re trying to accomplish,” she said. “Bizzabo is willing to work with us, and I think that’s great.”
Building better event experiences with Bizzabo
Ronkowski is planning the next iteration of Urgent Care Connect, slated for February 2023 in Miami. With Bizzabo powering the experience, she’s confident Experity will enjoy an even more successful event this time around.
Looking ahead, Ronkowski plans to optimize the post-event experience to keep attendees engaged.
“Events are such a huge pipeline driver,” she said. “There’s so much you can do to extend the event. Next year, I hope to take it to the next level.”
Because Bizzabo is constantly adding new features to the product, Ronkowski is confident she has a solution that will grow alongside Experity’s event strategy.
“You can tell that Bizzabo invests a lot into its software, and I think that’s important. They listen to feedback, and you see new functionality incorporated into the tool.”
Senior Manager of Strategic Events and Field Marketing
Would Ronkowski recommend Bizzabo?
“This is the strongest option for event marketers,” Ronkowski concludes. “It’s got everything you need to be successful.”