The challenge

Outgrowing a cobbled-together event tech stack

Michael DeJager, managing director for events at CMP, said that his team had relied on a suboptimal event tech stack for years: homegrown systems for its event website, Cvent for its mobile event app, and a unique vendor for onsite check-in and lead scanning.

We started to run into some real issues with all of these things working well together. There were integration breakdowns between the disparate tech platforms. One of our biggest pain points was that we were always updating things in multiple places because one platform didn’t talk to the other platforms.
Michael DeJager
Managing Director for Events

In 2021, CMP experienced a major issue with agenda viewing. The team had 15 simultaneous tracks at its largest event of the year, and their agenda solution couldn’t keep pace. It was the last straw.

“That broke some pieces of our internal team in a pretty dynamic way,” DeJager continued. “It shined a spotlight on how bad this all was end to end, and we realized something needed to change.” 

The solution

Investing in all-in-one event software with innovative high-tech wearables

In 2018, long before CMP’s events team hit its breaking point, DeJager had heard about Bizzabo at INBOUND

“Bizzabo was on my mind for a long time — even pre-pandemic,” DeJager said. 

After the agenda mishap, the team began a serious conversation with Bizzabo about how to solve CMP’s fragmented event tech problems. After liking what they heard — especially that Bizzabo would solve their duplicative data-entry problems — they decided to deploy Bizzabo for a smaller-scale event as a proof of concept.

“We started with the website, using the registration widget, the speaker widget, and the agenda widget, as well as the mobile app,” DeJager said. “We wanted to solve the problem and ensure the agenda, mobile app, and website were all connected.”

That proof of concept was a success, and CMP continued testing Bizzabo for a year.

“From there, we grew the relationship and became trusted partners,” DeJager said. “It’s been an amazing experience.” 

In 2023, the Bizzabo team invited CMP to its New York office to demo the Klik SmartBadge, Bizzabo’s wearable tech solution recently lauded in the inaugural Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Event Technology Platforms.  

The opportunity with Klik arose from Bizzabo getting to know our business as a trusted partner. They knew how important the onsite buyer and seller relationships are for us, and they could see the value Klik could offer us as a business.
Michael DeJager
Managing Director for Events

Liking what they saw, CMP decided to trial Klik at Customer Contact Week Austin in January 2024. They rolled out the wearable badge to 500 attendees and a little more than half of the 50 exhibitors, and the experience went off without a hitch. With its flagship Customer Contact Week Las Vegas scheduled for June 2024, CMP plans to deploy Klik on a larger scale to thousands of attendees. 

“We wanted to absolutely guarantee it was going to work at an event with 500 attendees before we pulled the ripcord on something that was more like 5,000 attendees,” DeJager said.

The results

Delivering a next-level, Klik-driven experience for all participants

Although moving to Bizzabo was a “big switch for the ops team,” according to Kelsey Wind, deputy director of events at CMP, “the migration was worth it.” 

“We had a trusted vendor we were working with, so moving on to something new was challenging,” she said. “I knew that whatever we did implement had to be really amazing — or it wouldn’t be worth the switch to break up with our existing vendor.”

The CMP team is confident it made a wise decision to extend its relationship with Bizzabo.

Everything we’ve seen from Bizzabo and Klik has been the awesome piece we needed to elevate our events. It’s a badge with a purpose.
Kelsey Wind
Deputy Director of Events

When CMP demonstrated how to use the SmartBadge, “the oohs and aahs that came from the attendees were so much fun to hear,” Wind said. “I’m so glad we used it. You can be very intentional about how you use Klik to make your event more fun.” 

In fact, Wind’s favorite Klik feature was the light cues. CMP used magenta to indicate networking events were happening, navy blue to indicate sessions were starting, and purple to indicate it was time to draw prizes. At the end of the event, the badges flashed repeatedly to ensure attendees knew it was time to return them.

It’s rare that you can find a solution that will help all attendees get more out of the experience. Lo and behold, Klik did that. It greased the wheels of lead scanning for our sponsors. On the flipside, our buyer attendees could network with each other seamlessly. It was a smoother process — a win on both sides.
Kelsey Wind
Deputy Director of Events

Building a new revenue stream

While deciding whether to extend its relationship with Bizzabo, the CMP team’s biggest concern was cost.

“We’re always trying to make sure we’re making the right investments in the right places,” DeJager said. 

By working with Bizzabo, CMP ensured revenue would go through them instead of the vendor. The CMP team realized that Klik would deliver another revenue stream and unlock an opportunity to cover most of the cost increase while delivering a better experience across the board for both sponsors and attendees.

“With a very minimal increase in cost for exhibitors, we could actually use the revenue we generate on the back of Klik and funnel that revenue into the entire end-to-end Klik experience,” he said.

Offering a streamlined check-in experience

Because Klik was new to the CMP ecosystem, the event team had to educate attendees on how to use the devices effectively. Even so, Klik optimized the check-in experience.

“Overall check-in — even with having to explain Klik — is smoother and more streamlined than ever before,” DeJager said. 

Championing modern networking and event management 

According to DeJager, Klik represents a “fundamental modernization” of the entire networking experience.

If you think about a QR code on a badge and a clunky hand scanner, it’s a bit intrusive to just scan someone’s belly button. The Klik experience simply feels more organic since everyone has the badges. It levels the playing field for networking and engagement and allows you to pull in more leads as an event sponsor. Plus, no one has to go to happy-hour offsites carrying a clunky lead scanner.
Michael DeJager
Managing Director for Events

Instead of exchanging business cards (if people actually have them) or awkward “let me find you on LinkedIn” conversations, attendees just “click” their badges together to share contact information.

“That’s all it takes,” DeJager said. “Klik is making it easier and more accessible for folks to network meaningfully.” 

Additionally, thanks to Klik, CMP didn’t have to dedicate employees to scanning badges outside of each session — attendees automatically check themselves in using their SmartBadges.

“Bizzabo’s Klik SmartBadges freed up our staff to focus on other onsite tasks,” Wind said. “After all, there are more important things we can have our team do that don’t involve  standing in front of a room and scanning badges.” 

The Future

Scaling confidently with Bizzabo as a trusted partner

For DeJager and Wind, Bizzabo delivered more than powerful event technology alone. 

“The team blended in like our own staff,” Wind explained. “They also sent end-of-day recaps, which were so valuable. Otherwise, we’d have to pull that info after the event.” 

Looking ahead, CMP plans to offer new sponsorship upgrade packages with multi-tiered options to add Klik to the mix. The team is also trying to find creative ways to incorporate more Klik use cases. For example, attendees can click their badge on a Touchpoint and get content or sales collateral sent to them via the mobile event app, reducing printing costs and the environment impact. 

Wind is also thinking creatively. Currently, attendees can enter a raffle by going booth to booth, attending demos and getting stamps on a piece of cardstock, but Wind wants to digitize the demo drive. 

“Maybe we can use Klik Touchpoints instead of cards,” she said. “When we have ideas, we can come to Bizzabo and they welcome those conversations. It’s great to work with the Bizzabo team!”

Hear more from CMP about achieving event success with Bizzabo by watching the on-demand webinar:

CMP bizzabo webinar klik smartbadge