Case Study: EcoVadis

EcoVadis Migrates Annual Event to 6Connex Virtual Event Platform and Attracts Thousands of Attendees Worldwide

Founded in 2007, EcoVadis’s vision is to create a global marketplace where sustainability intelligence influences every business decision – improving economies, people’s lives, and the planet.  Now a trusted partner to more than 450 leading multinational organizations, EcoVadis’ business sustainability solutions have helped procurement teams worldwide reduce risk and drive innovation in sustainable procurement.  EcoVadis solutions span the full spectrum of sustainability risk and performance management with broad-scale supply chain risk screening and mapping, reliable scorecards with actionable ratings on over 65,000 companies in 160+ countries, and complete audit and improvement management.

The Challenge

Over the past decade, EcoVadis has held an annual, on-site event in Paris: EcoVadis Sustain.  Consistently attracting hundreds of sustainability experts and procurement professionals worldwide, Sustain is a unique opportunity for companies to discuss corporate responsibility and sustainability trends, share insights into sustainable procurement, and explore new initiatives.

In early 2020, the EcoVadis event team was finalizing plans for their largest event to date, with 700+ attendees and a packed agenda including presentations from the CEOs and CPOs of HSBC, Mars, and Thermo Fisher, to name a few. Three weeks prior to the event, however, the COVID-19 outbreak made headlines worldwide, preventing travel for many.  While it was a difficult decision for EcoVadis to move Sustain to a virtual format on such short notice, they decided to undertake the challenge rather than cancel the event altogether.

The first step was to identify potential partners capable of meeting their requirements:

  • Enterprise-level security
  • Event flexibility and configurability: exhibit halls, booths, lounges, live presentations, and content downloads
  • Custom branding and communication, including live broadcast messages  Peer interactions: social networking and real-time Q&As
  • Global reach
  • Best-in-class professional services and support

Summarizes Emily Rakowski, Chief Marketing Officer at EcoVadis, “Platform flexibility was critical. EcoVadis Sustain has a full agenda, with numerous presentations from industry thought leaders, all of which include graphics, videos, and real-time Q&As.  In addition, we host an awards program, where we celebrate companies and professionals who have created impactful sustainability initiatives. And of course we wanted to ensure our sponsoring partners had meaningful opportunities to showcase their products and services, and there were plenty of occasions for attendees to network, just as they would at an on-site event.”

Salesforce Migrates to a 6Connex Virtual Benefits Fair and Improves Employee Participation

Salesforce is the global leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), bringing companies closer to their customers in the digital age. Founded in 1999, Salesforce enables companies of every size and industry to take advantage of powerful technologies—cloud, mobile, social, internet of things, artificial intelligence, voice, and blockchain—to create a 360° view of their customers. Today, more than 150,000 companies and 10,000 users leverage Salesforce’s suite of products and services to attract more buyers, win more customers, deliver amazing shopping experiences, respond faster to customer support issues, and automate time-consuming tasks.

The Challenge

If there’s anything more difficult than hiring great talent, it’s retaining it. Healthcare, wellness, and insurance benefits tend to be vital differentiators in the employment market, but for Salesforce, providing the benefits alone wasn’t enough.  With 30,000 employees throughout the United States, many of whom work remotely outside a Salesforce office, the real challenge was ensuring employees were aware of the Salesforce benefits package offered to support the wellbeing of them and their families.

Reaching the workforce to introduce benefits vendors and discuss employee benefits in real time had traditionally been a challenge for Salesforce’s Benefits team.  A significant portion of their time was used to liaise with benefits providers to arrange for on-site training and webinars, but feedback indicated these training sessions were time-consuming, costly to organize, and repetitive.  Furthermore, the majority of employees were attending webinars and viewing presentations online, even when they had access to on-site events. 

Salesforce knew they had to change their benefits training to improve awareness and participation.  Given the employees’ already high participation rates in digital events, a migration to a virtual benefits fair seemed like a logical solution, and the Salesforce Benefits team set out to build a virtual benefits fair and accomplish the following goals:

  • Reduce time, cost, and manpower in employee benefits training
  • Provide opportunities for 30,000 employees across the United States to connect with benefits providers to obtain answers to individual questions
  • Tailor the individual employee experience and thereby increase interest and engagement in Salesforce benefits
  • Improve the convenience of benefits fair communications
  • Aggregate participation data to better understand how to further support employees  

The Background:

Connecting to a New Generation with 6Connex

As more millennials and Gen Z students aspiring to be doctors are starting to enter the medical school application process, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)—a nonprofit with a mission to improve the healthcare of all through medical education, patient care, and medical research—sought additional ways to connect their member medical schools with a new generation of prospective medical students.

The AAMC turned to the 6Connex virtual event platform to create an innovative and engaging experience connecting students with medical schools. Key features important to the AAMC included accessibility from all mobile devices, private and group chat options, and in-depth metrics on all aspects of the event program.  A big bonus of choosing a virtual event platform to supplement in-person events was the elimination of travel costs for students, as well as for medical school exhibitors.

Hosting the AAMC Virtual Medical School Fair provided access to a much broader population, so that people who could not travel to multiple schools or who could not take time off of work could attend the fair virtually, allowing a more diverse student population to connect with medical schools.

The Approach:

Unique Platform Engages Students

The virtual fair featured a diverse range of participating schools, with several MD-granting medical schools from the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada in attendance. The 6Connex platform enabled each school to have its own virtual booth where they could share everything they normally do at a traditional fair and provide resources on the application process, details about the school and curriculum, and videos from current and past students for attendees to peruse.

Unique platform features made connecting easy and comfortable for students, while real-time metrics made calculating ROI and future planning easier.

Privacy

Private chat conversations made it possible for students to speak one-on-one with school representatives and ask individualized questions, something not as easy to do at a large in-person event with many students waiting to speak with each school’s representatives.

The private rooms in the virtual fair allowed students to ask school representatives for tips and advice on anything from financial aid and credit ratings to MCAT scores. By doing it virtually, the AAMC gave students the freedom to ask private questions without others listening in.

Ease of Access

Using a virtual environment, the AAMC was able to meet the students where they’re comfortable: on their smartphones and tablets, without the need for travel.

The AAMC wanted to level the playing field to ensure travel and school visits weren’t an obstacle to attending. A virtual event allowed everyone to meet from the convenience and comfort of their devices, no matter where they were.

Reporting

With in-depth, real-time metrics, the AAMC was able to see vital event data during and immediately following the event, and easily share the results with their internal teams and member schools.

The AAMC team noted that the data from 6Connex was much more robust and user-friendly than what they had before, and it was easy to access directly. They were also able to look at the transcripts of the chats from the fair and use that to discover commonly asked questions and better inform the resources provided to schools and students.

The Results

6Connex Helps the AAMC Reach More Medical Students than Ever

The 2018 virtual fair was the second time the AAMC used 6Connex. While Year 1 was considered a success, Year 2 saw even greater results over the duration of the live eight-hour virtual event:

17000 +

Registrants

9000 +

Attendees

11000

Webinar Views

135 minutes

Average time spent at the fair

128 +

Resources downloaded by attendees

102 states and countries

From where prospective applicants attended


The Takeaways:

Working with 6Connex provided AAMC many options and benefits:

  • The flexibility to change the “event look” from the pilot year to its second year, adapting the visuals so that the virtual environment would have a more “real-life campus” feel.
  • Strong technical expertise and support, allowing the AAMC to deliver the live event smoothly, without unexpected technical setbacks.
  • The ability to reach and connect with a broader range of students by providing a virtual event easily accessed through smartphones, tablets, or laptops.
  • Both public and private chats, giving students options for speaking with schools and an ability to ask private questions and feel more comfortable.
  • Immediate, self-service access to detailed metrics and reports, enabling real-time analysis and post-event learning.
  • Robust registration capabilities and enhanced opportunities to offer students special attendee discounts on a subscription to the Medical School Admission Requirements™ (MSAR®) website.

 

With 6Connex’s mobile-friendly and configurable virtual event platform, the AAMC was able to successfully adapt and reach wide ranges of students in their Virtual Medical School Fair.

THE APPROACH

HELLO Voelkel IT is a German company that advises larger organizations how to effectively use online tools to communicate better. The company had previously resold a local German Virtual Event platform when they came to 6Connex. Voelkel IT took what started out as a client relationship and launched what is now a thriving business endeavor.

The initial discussions focused on how to re-launch the Voelkel IT’s Virtual Events offer. Both sides wanted a solid offering for the German market, and both were prepared to invest resources to adapt to the local market.

Since the launch of the partnership 6Connex and Voelkel IT together have launched a Virtual Event for the German market that was run by Voelkel IT. The event was a success and lead generation kicked-in immediately after the event.

6Connex was prepared to listen to what is needed in our local market, and have assisted us with integration of German Software Tools inside of the Virtual Event.”
– Jürgen Voelkel, CEO, Voelkel IT

THE RESULTS

Established Credible Voice

The strategy was to lead by example by creating a Virtual Event where sponsors were invited to participate. Since Jürgen had already presented a successful Virtual Event he was able to clearly showcase the vast benefits and a few of the kinks that he encountered.

Generate Direct Business

By creating his own Virtual Event, Jürgen was able to generate direct business and direct profits.

Strong Lead-flow

Attendees were quickly intrigued by the virtual platform’s instant access to various content, webinars, training rooms, and social media/networking tools. Participants from all over the globe were astounded by their capacity to view a live format from the convenience of their desktops, tablets, or smartphones.

Repeat Business

Within 6 months of launching the initial Virtual Events with multiple clients, Voelkel IT’s clients whose initial license expired extended their contracts for a new 12-month period. The ability to effectively communicate product information, training, and education has proven immeasurable to business development. Virtual Events reselling offers these capabilities and more.

“Working with 6Connex we have been able to listen to the local market and become a strong voice in the German Virtual Events industry. 6Connex has proven to be a partner that delivers the platform, but also assist us on the business side of our partnership to make sure that Voelkel ITK are a competitive player in Germany.”
– Jürgen Voelkel, CEO, Voelkel ITK

“We knew from the start that we didn’t want to go in with a view to implement a US vision in Germany. Working with local partners like Voelkel ITK allows us to be responsive to needs in different markets.”
– Mike Nelson, CEO, 6Connex

THE GOAL

The partnership with 6Connex set out to re-establish Voelkel IT in the German market. The strategy was to lead with example and create an event where sponsors were invited to participate.

The goal with the initial event was to establish Voelkel IT as a credible voice for German companies to come to for advice on Virtual Events.

The long -term goal with the initial Virtual Event was to create a strong lead-flow for direct business with companies wanting their own Virtual Event.

“We knew from the start that we didn’t want to go in with a view to implement a US vision in Germany. Working with local partners like Voelkel IT allows us to be responsive to needs in different markets.”
– Mike Nelson, CEO, 6Connex

THE APPROACH

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) has implemented multiple Virtual Conferences for its members to provide ongoing information and training. NEHA targets anyone in the environmental/public health arena, addressing specific environmental and public health topic areas. Subjects can be from anything having to do with environmental/public health, such as air quality, food, water supply/safety regulations, daycares, pest control/mosquito abatement, etc. NEHA contacted 6Connex about implementing a Virtual Conference to allow participants instant access to pertinent information.

THE RESULTS

833

Total Attendance

7317

Total Content Views

4250

Total Webinar Views

1985

Total Booth Entries

7 hour

Average Attendee Duration

TRACKING

Implementing the NEHA Virtual Event allowed environmental health officials to track how information was received. Capturing initial registration details informed department leaders how often their participants were interacting using statistical analytics.

“Utilizing the Virtual Conference platform allows us to reach a diverse audience from around the US, and provide cost-effective education and networking opportunities to remote and rural areas.”
– Christl Tate, Programs & Partnership Development, NEHA

THE GOAL

6Connex set out to create an online event where participants from all environmental health vantage points can receive professional development ad training in areas that affect various environmental and public health sectors. In addition to offering training and networking, attendees can get detailed information on state and local regulations and guidelines. The ability to drill down into very specialized areas of environmental subjects is not easy to achieve in a traditional, physical environment because of budget limitations. For example, many topics in last January’s Virtual Conference focused on recreational and aquatic health facilities. With its convenient innovation, the 6Connex Virtual Environment allowed NEHA to reach more participants without having to consider travel expenses.

“Utilizing the Virtual Conference platform allows us to reach a diverse audience from around the US, and provide cost-effective education and networking opportunities to remote and rural areas.”
– Christl Tate, Programs & Partnership Development, NEHA

THE APPROACH

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) has a history of conducting training and technical assistance webinars for its members to provide ongoing information and training to Chronic Disease practitioners. Each month, participants would call in to hear presentations from specialists regarding various Chronic Disease topics. To further educate and engage state departments and share information from the CDC, NACDD contacted 6Connex about orchestrating a virtual event. This would allow participants to instantly access pertinent information when the CDC does not have the resources to offer on the spot technical training. As a result, the NACDD was able to offer live webinar sessions embedded into the conference platform.

“Professional development and workforce development is a vital part of our day-to-day work.  Being able to provide valuable content virtually helps us to offer training and technical assistance in a cost-effective and innovative way.  Our organization works to ensure that educational content is easily accessible and engaging for the audiences. The virtual conference serves (NACDD) as an innovative and cost-effective venue/platform that allows collaboration between state leaders, decision makers and practitioners working in environmental health and chronic disease prevention.”
– Stephanie Mathews, MPH Public Health Consultant, NACDD

THE RESULTS

TRACKING

Implementing the NACDD event virtually allowed public health officials to track how information was received. Capturing initial registration details informed department leaders how often their participants were interacting using statistical analytics.

“The virtual conference event allows us to feature all the elements and benefits of a live conference event at a mere fraction of the cost. In addition, we can host a secondary virtual event long after the main event has occurred. The options are limitless. The 6Connex Virtual Platform far exceeds many of the other online virtual platforms I have seen. 6Connex’s Virtual Environment offers the most realistic interaction and aesthetics. Their features and options are the perfect way to engage audiences.”
– Stephanie Mathews, MPH Public Health Consultant, NACDD

“In the midst of travel restrictions and budgetary constraints, having the ability to provide professional development opportunities virtually has been a tremendous advantage.”
– Stephanie Mathews, MPH Public Health Consultant, NACDD

SHARING CONTENT AND TRAINING

The NACDD was able to efficiently share valuable information content areas to its 6,000 participants across all states. Engaging State Health officials in important chronic disease discussions made them more aware of potentially broader, related public health issues. This was seamlessly achieved through 6Connex’s Virtual Event Platform.

Even with the transition of moving away from traditional dial-in webinars, attendees responded well to the convenience and ease of the virtual event platform’s instant access to various content, webinars, training rooms, and social media/networking tools. Participants were astounded by their capacity to view a live format from the convenience of their desktops, tablets, or smartphones. Additionally, materials were accessible from any location with the ability to watch and review as often as necessary.

THE GOAL

6Connex set out to create an online event where Chronic Disease specialists can receive professional development and training not only in specific areas of Chronic Disease, but in the public health arena as well. In addition to offering training and mentoring for NACDD members, the goal was to educate policy makers and state leaders by enabling partnerships with specialists. The 6Connex Virtual Environment made it possible for attendees to view information at their conveniences without having to budget in travel expenses. This was especially beneficial for hard to reach areas affected by US territory travel restrictions.

THE APPROACH

With 6Connex’s 100% HTML5 virtual event platform, the University of Alberta’s International administration recently created an online open house to encourage international student applicants. This virtual event gave the administration an online venue to reach out to students located around the globe who may not have the awareness of certain programs or the means to travel.

Individuals working the virtual open house event were regional experts in their respective fields. Since language and immigration information is region-specific, using a virtual environment made it easy to focus on specific topics. Recruiters were also able to target graduate students and others who start school at different times. With the convenience of online tools, recruiters can pick up where they left off at any part in the recruitment process.

THE RESULTS

1500

Registrants from around the world

30 %

Attendance Rate

The University of Alberta launched the initial event online and captured an audience of 1,500 registrants from around the world. It was expected that roughly, ⅓ of those registrants would actually participate, but the event ended up with 580 attendees, exceeding expectations.

Since recruitment is a process that requires follow up after the initial contact for a successful outcome, the University of Alberta contacts and engages with those students that attended the virtual open house and showed in interest in the university.

Overall, the University of Alberta Virtual Open house was engaging and piqued students’ curiosities.

THE GOAL

The goal was to increase the international student applicants for the University of Alberta by building excitement via a virtual open house. With the International Virtual Fair slated for March 2018, their deadline for recruitment was fast approaching.

The University of Alberta and 6Connex collaborated to design virtual rooms that resembled some of the University of Alberta’s physical buildings, creating an authentic user experience. Students were able to genuinely partake in the university atmosphere by roaming the scholarship, immigrations, and lobby areas. When the International Virtual Fair officially went live, students were able to explore these rooms in greater depth in addition to faculty-specific rooms, such as engineering or the arts.

“Recruiters and participants felt less anonymous and it was nice to have an easy way to follow up after the in-person meeting. Millennials prefer an instant response and this virtual event allows just that. They (students) can be referred to a different room if they are seeking specific information.”
– Jones-Bourque, BCom, Marketing & Communications Manager, University of Alberta International

THE APPROACH

Vero Solutions and Rio de Janeiro’s Center for Company-School Integration (CIEE Rio) recently combined resources with the 6Connex Virtual Event Platform to successfully implement Expo CIEE Rio 2017. This 5-day regional virtual career fair was collaborated to provide high school, technical and University students in Rio de Janeiro with the tools they need to successfully develop professional careers. Students of intermediate, technical and higher education were able to explore opportunities with recruiters and industry professionals for internships or apprenticeships, putting their education into practical applications.

Using the 6Connex highly-configurable, cross-platform software, students and recruiters had access to a variety of online informational resources without having to travel to a physical location.

The Results

28191

Virtual Expo Visits

241284

Content Views

66000

Booth Entries

77162

Jobs Applied

3523

1:1 Chats

80 minutes

Average Visit

Company Takeaways

With 77,000 job applicants received, companies were very satisfied by the outcome of Virtual Expo CIEE Rio 2017 and CIEE was pleased that they were able to accomplish a Virtual Environment where applicants would get the most exposure to companies eager to hire.

“As CNA representative at CIEE, I participated in the chat and forums. One of our objectives when participating in the fair was exposure of the brand, so that the participants could know a little more about our work and ask questions. Throughout the week we had a lot of interaction. Both chats and forums were extremely positive. We were able to ask a lot of questions regarding international certification, methodology, course time and the importance of speaking a second language. The balance was very positive. It was a great time to introduce the CNA to those who had not yet had the opportunity.”
– Michelle Carraro Person, Regional Supervisor, CIEE

THE GOAL

The goal of conducting Virtual Expo CIEE Rio 2017 was two-fold: 1. To offer professional training and education to students 2. For companies to fill their positions by applicants having the best-matched skill sets.

During the live Virtual Event, students learned how to apply to jobs, sharpen their interviewing techniques, and write resumes while communicating and showcasing their abilities to recruiters. Expo booths consisted of downloadable material and video capabilities, allowing for exceptional interactivity. For example, the lounge created an environment where students networked and engaged with industry experts. This virtual tool allowed for responsive discussions and fluid communication. Students were able to attend subject-specific conferences and training suited to their skills.

After maneuvering through training courses, students’ skills were assessed and showcased to recruiters and companies looking to fill job positions.

Students Gained Professional Awareness

Young, intelligent Millennials were attracted by the ability to attend the virtual job fair from any location and any device (including a smartphone). Students were excited about learning and were exposed to a variety of online tools that advanced their marketability. They were able to network with a multitude of companies looking to fill job positions, educational institutions and CIEE Rio.

Students responded particularly well to the 6Connex gamification feature. Assigning points to tasks proved to be an especially invaluable tool, as recruiters were able to immediately view participant rankings based on points accrued by ability. Furthermore, knowing their professional strengths boosted the students’ confidences when applying to internships and apprenticeships.

Attendee Takeaways

Analytical data upon completion of the 5-day Virtual Expo CIEE Rio 2017 reflected that attending a virtual career fair is by far the preferred way over traditional physical events of this new generation.

  • 91% felt it was equal or better than physical expo
  • 87% participants would recommend the expo
  • 73% of attendees would attend again

Recruiting Opportunities for Companies

The results offered great satisfaction for companies looking to fill job descriptions. Recruiters were able to promote and develop fresh talent on the spot while companies were able to hone in on the applicants that best met their professional requirements. From 18,546 registrants, 18,048 records were made available to companies and educational institutions. From those records, 13,885 resumes were attached for review.

THE APPROACH

With healthcare programs becoming more complex and workplaces becoming more abstract, open enrollment can be a confusing time for some employees. How effectively employers communicate employee benefit plan intricacies can have a significant impact on overall employee loyalty, satisfaction, and production. Open enrollment events where employees have the opportunity to ask questions can be instrumental when it comes to clarifying confusing human resource lingo, introducing a new plan option or making modifications to existing networks or benefits.

The virtual environment housed a lobby area, where employees entered and were then steered towards the auditorium where the live sessions occurred. Employees were able to chat with human resource personnel during live sessions. Booths were also available to showcase different healthcare plans and options, such as medical, dental, and vision and help employees navigate through the decision-making process.

“With over 4,000 employees geographically dispersed across the U.S. eligible for health benefits every year, it just made more sense to take open enrollment virtual.”
– Catherine Carney, LAZ Parking Wellness Coach

Because the 6Connex virtual online conference platform was easy to access and intuitive, all employees were able to fully participate and engage in discussions. In fact, the event allowed LAZ Parking to go virtually paperless, as their enrollment, medical, and claim forms were directly linked to their human resources portal from the online conference site.

THE RESULTS

With the 6Connex virtual platform in place, LAZ Parking was able to send a consistent message to their employees regardless of location. This eliminated redundant inquiries when it came to weighing health benefit preferences.

721

Attendees

1325

Total Content Views

1441

Total Booth Entries

133

Minutes Average Duration

721

Devices

“In the past, we use to train our Human Resource representatives so that they can communicate the message to their departments. This required travel and training, costing money and taking time away from daily work activities. Now, corporate can just send the consistent message across the board. This year it was worth its weight in gold.”
– Catherine Carney, LAZ Parking Wellness Coach

THE GOAL

LAZParking, one of the nation’s largest parking companies, decided to help their employees make informed benefits selection decisions by bringing their annual open enrollment process online. With most of the employees only having a mobile phone – because they are not at their desks due to the type of work that they perform- the virtual environment provided an ideal platform to communicate the benefit options for the year. Hosted on the 100% HTML5 6Connexvirtual event platform, LAZ Parking’s Open Enrollment conference was accessible to employees to join online twice a day for 3 weeks. Presentations were recorded live for on-demand viewing. This made the annual open enrollment process very convenient, especially for those employees constantly on the go.

THE BACKGROUND

SonicWall, a global cyber security company, needed an efficient way to host their Sales Kick-Off (SKO) event. It had to be easily accessible to a global team and highly engaging, without adding additional costs. They turned to the 6Connex virtual environment platform for a cost-effective solution that allowed SonicWall to get their product training out quickly and easily, with the same excitement as a physical event.

THE APPROACH

Using 6Connex’s innovative and highly-configurable platform, SonicWall took their latest SKO to the virtual world, facilitating live webcasts and Q&A “Hot Topic” sessions, along with a robust library of informational resources throughout the exhibit hall. An Executive Lounge created a unique environment where the product and leadership teams were readily available for questions directly from the sales team and a Video Wall provided direct access to key content. SonicWall maintained unity by requiring their global sales force to participate in the live sessions, ensuring that all reps were connected to the content and to each other.

THE RESULTS

The 6Connex virtual event platform enabled SonicWall to host a very successful live program, with

THE TAKEAWAYS

SonicWall’s sales force were able to log into the virtual SKO from their home offices, using their desktops, tablets or smartphones, to view content and connect with peers while viewing the latest security solution updates from the product management team.

SonicWall was able to record the training content for valuable re-use, for both new employee training and channel partners.

While some of the sales force were hesitant to participate in a virtual SKO because they preferred to connect face-to face, the virtual conference experience allowed for exceptional interactivity, responsive discussions and fluid communication.

“The return on our investment on the virtual platform far exceeded our initial expectations. We received a much richer, more dynamic experience well beyond what most were expecting from a standard webinar. It felt like we were all there.”
– Chris Szarlacki, Director North America Channel Marketing

Harness the power of virtual events to connect with a global audience