Reggie Aggarwal, CEO and Founder of Cvent, delivered an optimistic keynote at Cvent CONNECT Europe last week, highlighting the strength of the events industry and its ongoing digital transformation. He emphasized the accelerated adoption of technology, which enables intentional, purposeful, and measurable connections. Aggarwal stressed the importance of embracing technology to automate processes, integrate systems, and collect data throughout the customer journey, with AI playing a crucial role.
Aggarwal highlighted the intersection of people and technology as a means to achieve goals, especially in the face of resource constraints and economic uncertainty. He encouraged attendees to leverage new technologies to transform event programs and enhance MICE business strategies.
In a Q&A session with Claudia Winkleman, Aggarwal shared three key business lessons:
- Learn More On The Way Down: Aggarwal emphasized the value of learning from challenges and setbacks, encouraging individuals to recognize opportunities during difficult moments. This approach helped shape Cvent’s foundation and culture.
- Be Persistent & Consistent: He stressed the importance of determination and resilience in business, sharing his experience of weathering the dotcom bubble burst and recession in 2001. Belief in the ability to bounce back is essential.
- Go Back To The Fundamentals: Aggarwal underlined the significance of hiring the best people, building quality products, and listening to customers. Cvent’s strong culture fosters intrapreneurial thinking, where employees act like entrepreneurs.
Other insights from Aggarwal’s interview include:
- Cvent Going Private with Blackstone: Aggarwal highlighted the benefits of Cvent’s transaction with Blackstone, including their sector expertise and commitment to long-term investment, aligning with Cvent’s growth vision.
- Cvent’s Inception: Aggarwal transitioned from a corporate lawyer to an industry disruptor by identifying event planning pain points and creating Cvent as the solution.
- Influential Women: Aggarwal acknowledged the role of influential women in his life, from mentors to family members, and stressed the importance of inclusivity and equity for women in the industry.
- The Future of The Industry: Aggarwal referenced the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on the events industry, including AI, IoT, facial recognition, and machine learning. He urged the audience to embrace the evolving tech landscape.