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National Association of Realtors

Heidi Henning, VP of Meetings and Events at the National Association of Realtors describes working with MeetingPlay to bring the 2020 Realtors Conference and Expo online.

Tell us your name and role at your company and a little about the events you manage.

My name is Heidi Henning and I'm the vice president of meetings and events at the National Association of Realtors. We have a couple of large events throughout the year, two major conferences and expos, but then we also have 80 other meetings ranging from 20 to 2000 attendees each year.

Our 2020 Realtors Conference and Expo, our biggest event, in November went fully virtual. It was originally scheduled for New Orleans and we ended up having a very successful experience for both our attendees and our exhibitors by using MeetingPlay for our virtual platform.

Why did you make the decision to choose MeetingPlay?

We vetted and demoed dozens of vendors throughout the year on a couple of different platforms. And there were a few reasons why we chose MeetingPlay. One was our business development contact, Kelly. She came from an association world, and she really understood what was required of our event and was able to demonstrate MeetingPlay's value to our conference, especially when it came to our governance meetings. The platform had all of the items we were looking for, and we really needed to meet those goals I mentioned above, and it was engaging and professional looking.

What specific feedback did you receive from your audience?

We received some great feedback from our audience on the platform, the ease of navigation was the number one feature, almost 80% of attendees said the platform was easy to use. And many said that the virtual format made it much easier for them to attend and participate when they may not have been able to, in an in-person setting. The session recordings really fit better into their schedules. And a big thing was also the ability to customize the experience so they could choose the sessions that they were interested in. Our speakers, they were really amazed at how easy it was to moderate and engage in prerecorded sessions. It was totally seamless.

What was your experience working with the MeetingPlay team?

Our experience working with the MeetingPlay team was excellent. Especially the customer service that was provided. It was amazing. Everyone from sales to our project managers, to the tech support during the events. All performed and exceeded our expectations. We loved the custom design that was made for our lobby and MeetingPlay came up with solutions to solve any challenges, especially with our complicated governance meetings.

Even during the event MeetingPlay was able to program a change related to time zones during those meetings, something that we did not expect.

How did you measure your results and whether your attendees walked away with a great experience?

So we surveyed our attendees, and 72% were satisfied with the events, and only 7% expressed dissatisfaction. So those are really great numbers, especially for a virtual conference. When our members really all wanted to be together in person and could not. And those that paid to attend the conference portion were significantly more satisfied than those that attended only governance meetings. So that shows that those that actually were able to take advantage of all of the different activities and networking opportunities that we offered, they had a better experience, not surprisingly.

Would you recommend MeetingPlay?

Yes. MeetingPlay's staff was outstanding, and delivered as promised.