The Challenge

Bringing virtual and in-person audiences together

For the eighth iteration of its RTE conference — a real-time engagement event connecting the most innovative technologies, tools, and people in the world — the Agora team decided to go hybrid. The team began looking for an event management platform to connect and engage in-person and virtual audiences. The platform they had used the previous year had some issues, so the team knew they needed a new solution for RTE2022.

“We had some issues on the backend last year, where some technical things — like session recordings — didn’t flesh out,” said Claudia Oliva, Senior Manager of Creative Design and Production at Agora.

On top of that, their previous platform was challenging to navigate.

“If the experience isn’t easy or seamless, it causes frustration, and people drop off of the experience,” Oliva continued. “On top of that, attendees get frustrated with our brand. We knew we needed a partner that was better equipped.”

Seeking to deliver a stronger event experience in 2022, Agora began searching for a new event management solution. When it comes to investing in technology, the company tries to partner with customers that are leveraging its APIs whenever possible. As the team searched for a new event management platform, Agora considered a few customers that fit the bill, including Bizzabo.

Because Agora uses Marketo, the team knew that the right event software would be able to seamlessly integrate with the platform. That way, registration data could automatically get piped into their Marketo database, making it easy to nurture leads and keep customers engaged.

Additionally, the right solution would be intuitive for employees, attendees, and speakers and include email tools and robust analytics and reporting functionality.

The Solution

Powering a hybrid event with Bizzabo

After narrowing their options to a handful of customer platforms, Agora ultimately decided that Bizzabo was the winner. Not only did it include everything on their list of requirements, but it also had purpose-built features for hybrid events.

“When we saw Bizzabo had strong capabilities for both in-person and virtual audiences, it was a major factor in our decision. We tried a few different companies that were a bit smaller, and they didn’t perform as well.”

Claudia Oliva
Senior Manager of Creative Design and Production

In addition to functionality and the platform’s sleek design, the Agora team was also sold on the fact that Bizzabo has been around for more than a decade.

“Bizzabo has been in the industry for a long time, so we knew we were working with a reputable company with a solid team and great support,” Oliva explained.

The Results

Bringing 2,650 virtual and in-person attendees together

Thanks in part to Bizzabo, RTE2022 was a smashing success, with 150 people attending in San Francisco and 2,500 joining remotely (30% of those who registered to attend virtually). Agora had an AV company onsite broadcasting the event, and those video streams were fed through Bizzabo so virtual attendees could see the sessions live.

“Whether they were virtual or in-person attendees, people could connect on the Bizzabo app and comment and interact with each session,” Oliva said. “That part of the platform worked very well for us.”

Oliva and her team were also pleased by Bizzabo’s email features, which made segmentation a breeze. But the benefits of using Bizzabo didn’t stop there.

An easy-to-navigate platform

Thanks to Bizzabo’s intuitive design, all stakeholders — including speakers, employees, and attendees — could use the platform productively.

“The entire UX is critical to us, and we analyzed it in depth before committing. The team liked the interface and usability of the platform on the backend. It was easy to use and to bring new team members in to use it.”

Claudia Oliva
Senior Manager of Creative Design and Production

After the event, Agora surveyed attendees to see what they thought of Bizzabo.

“The majority indicated they liked it,” Oliva said, adding that Agora decided to use Bizzabo at RTE APAC a month after RTE2022 wrapped up due to a positive experience the first time around.

Best-in-class customer support

Above all else, Oliva was particularly impressed by how responsive and helpful Bizzabo’s customer support team was.

“The customer support team was really amazing,” Oliva continued. “We met with the team weekly, and they were very attentive to small issues that would come up, working quickly to resolve them as quickly as possible. Everyone was very responsive.”

Demonstrable ROI

The Bizzabo platform also helped Agora surface important metrics that empowered them to measure ROI.

“With a program of more than 35 sessions, our average session view rate was 65%, which tells us viewers were engaged with the content and platform,” Oliva said. “We saw some good traction there.”

Additionally, Agora’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the event was 6.5, including a 7.3 from in-person attendees.

“That was really great,” Oliva said.

Powerful analytics

Thanks to Bizzabo’s powerful analytics engine and reporting tools, the Agora team has a wealth of data they plan to use to ensure next year’s event makes an even bigger splash.

“Seeing the attendance and engagement data is really helpful,” Oliva said. “We can see what kinds of people attended most of the sessions and drill down to really understand what to improve on for next year.”

The Future

Planning more hybrid events

The Agora team is rethinking its event strategy for 2023 and beyond. Rather than holding large events this year, they’re considering breaking them up into smaller, quarterly events.

“We will absolutely consider Bizzabo as a platform for these,” Oliva said. “We are very happy with our experience.”

Any last words for someone considering Bizzabo as an event management platform?

“It’s a great choice — very comprehensive. Bizzabo is a true partner for your event and can help you get off the ground and guide you. Putting on a virtual event isn’t the easiest thing in the world; it’s an entire production, and many marketers and event managers don’t have that experience. But that’s OK; Bizzabo holds your hand throughout the process.”

Claudia Oliva
Senior Manager of Creative Design and Production