Client Overview

The Events Industry Council (EIC) is the global voice of the business events industry on advocacy, research, professional recognition, and standards, and one of the world’s largest certification providers for event industry professionals. With over 30 member organizations, nearly 20,000 firms and properties, and just over 100,000 professionals, they seek to be “the global champion for event professionals and events industry excellence.”

The Challenge

Like many other sectors, the events industry has seen its own set of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic as conferences, trade shows and many other large events were paused. As the sectors’ own teams were displaced due to furlough or reallocation, EIC saw, after a 12-month steady pace through Q1 of 2021, a not unexpected decline in new applications for its Certified Meeting Professionals (CMP) program. As a result of the disruption and, as the economy began to ease back toward normalcy, EIC sought to ensure it was best positioned to connect with business event professionals coming into the sector or adapting to new career opportunities, and so embarked on a journey to re-educate the market in the benefits of being and becoming a CMP emphasizing the benefits of this professional designation and the peer-to-peer community it offers. They were eager to quickly find effective and low-cost insights that would lead to a growth strategy, bring in new applicants, and ultimately ensure a strong foundation for the future.

With Cobalt’s experience in Dynamics 365 and Power BI, we reached out to EIC and offered to provide a free jump start in a retrospective analysis that would help them reinvest their energy strategically.  

The Approach

Cobalt and EIC acknowledged that simply looking at total certification application numbers would not provide enough meaningful insights for a new strategy. We needed to drill into the demographics using the existing data in Dynamics 365, leverage Power BI, and identify actionable next steps that EIC could take to confidently improve certification rates.

Our goal was to understand the common attributes of people who applied for certification, how much of the six-step application process they completed and identify the user segments most likely to pay the application fee and achieve certification. Using this data, EIC would then be able to target marketing and engagement campaigns to invite the right people to fully complete the certification process.

Insights & Results

We expanded EIC’s outreach potential.

One of the first successes for EIC came as the Cobalt team unearthed additional contacts for their marketing team. They were surprised to discover roughly three times as many viable contacts inside Dynamics 365 than they realized, which immediately bolstered their outreach opportunities and returns.

A clear marketing campaign opportunity.

Using Power BI, the Cobalt team was able to identify a significant drop-off between two of the stages in their six-step application process between 2020 and 2021. This represented a prime opportunity to target highly qualified prospects with a clear reengagement marketing campaign that would encourage them to finish (and pay for) their application with EIC.

Correcting critical data loss.

Cobalt and EIC’s joint analysis of their data records surfaced the unintended results of some process changes over the years: applicant records early in the process were missing essential contact information and other data that would be helpful in understanding their customers. Together, we were able to identify key points in the application process to collect that data, which will directly impact their future marketing outreach efforts.

“With almost every sector experiencing negative impacts as a result of the pandemic, the disruption to our audience base, especially across our CMP community, was a critical challenge to address. Cobalt recognized our need and offered to step in and collaborate with our team. They brought creativity and a depth of expertise with Dynamics 365 that presented strong, viable opportunities for us — and it worked. We were able to identify and connect with the prospects we needed to reach and help them complete their application process. That has quickly made a positive impact to our business and given us a clearer picture for long-term growth and possibilities. Cobalt made an exceptional offer of help to us in an exceptional time and set of challenges. In this industry there are vendors or providers — and then there are true partners. If you’re looking for a team that brings real partnership to your relationship, connect with Cobalt”

Amy Calvert, CEO, Events Industry Council

What Might You Be Overlooking?

You could be missing valuable opportunities with data in Dynamics 365 today — or better opportunities to collect and leverage data in your sales and marketing efforts. Let us show you how D365, the data visualizations in Power BI, and other tools in the Power Platform can give you actionable insights that will make a difference for your organization.