As in-person events make a comeback, event professionals are being tasked with creating immersive, event experiences that drive ROI for attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors.  

Core’s story is the embodiment of what it means to launch digital-forward, in-person events that prioritize the attendee experience from start to finish.   

Get to know Core

Core is home to North America’s best property damage restoration service providers and specialty contractors, whose only job it is to give you peace of mind when disaster strikes. This member network in the restoration space works to create a seamless experience for the property owner and bridge the gap between contractors and insurance companies when there is a home or commercial loss caused by a natural disaster. 

“In our industry, we’re kind of in the bad news arena, which is tough, and why it’s so important to have companies like ours that really want to create as good of an experience as you can have in a difficult situation, and just cheer on the restoration contractors that are out there,” Beth Thompson, Senior Director of Events at Core, says. 

Core members undergo an extensive vetting process that helps Core ensure that all members provide high quality services.  

“If someone wants to do business with Core, then they know these people have been vetted and are very high quality, trustworthy, honest, and good business people,” Beth says. 

Core Events: focusing on building relationships

Connection is what drives Core’s events program. Throughout the year, Beth coordinates regional events hosted at Topgolf locations, where restoration contractors and insurance carriers can network and identify business opportunities. 

Core also hosts two major events: the Summit is a retreat-style event experience which is designed specifically for Core members. The Summit is a three-day event where members network and receive help with creating enablement content for their staff.  

In 2019, Core launched its first-ever industry-wide event: The Collective. In just three years, Core has significantly grown the event, which now welcomes 600-800 attendees.  

“[We’re focused on] building foundational relationships. We believe that that’s where business really is at its best,” Beth says.  

Attendees turn out at Core’s events because of networking opportunities and resources, including sessions and workshops to help them keep a pulse on how to evolve their business. Core offers a variety of sessions that cover topics including “Why Workers Quit,” “Digital ROI,” and “White Glove Service Training.”’ 

They also create content geared toward professional and personal growth, with topics such as “Authentic Leadership” and “How to Unleash your Potential.” 

Core’s The Collective event plays an important role in the industry, as it’s one of the unique industry events that creates a space for both restoration contractors and insurance carriers to network and understand each other’s goals.  

“It’s a time where they can come and talk to other people that are dealing with the same things they’re dealing with day-to-day. There is something really big about the camaraderie and recognizing that other people are living some of the same struggles you are,” Beth says.  

The key to event success: partners committed to the details 

For Core, creating a positive attendee experience is all in the details.  

“We sincerely think about every detail from the time an attendee walks into the hotel to the time they leave – everything from the registration experience, their hotel check in… we need to be able to rely on our partners to deliver [a positive experience],” Beth says.   

When Core set out to find an end-to-end event management platform to power their events, they had three main criteria: 

  • Ease-of-use  
  • Attendee adoption 
  • Centralization of event content  

Core evaluated several event management solutions, but Webex Events stood out for the platform’s ease of use, attendee engagement features, and ability to keep event content in one place.  

When Beth joined the Core team in February 2022, planning for The Collective had already begun. Beth needed to quickly get up to speed on how to use the platform. 

“[Webex Events] was so easy for me to learn very quickly. I needed something that was simple but effective. To me, that’s the trick with software: how do you have something that’s robust but easy to learn? I feel like [Webex Events] checks those boxes, and that’s hard to do,” Beth says.  

In this new era of digital-forward in-person events, Beth says it was important to leverage a solution that was both easy-to-use and housed all in-person event capabilities in one platform.  

“Recognizing that you can house everything you need in one place and do things like [gamification], which adds so much value, is huge. It’s all done through the same [solution]. You’re not having to bring in all these different things to reach your goals. It’s all there.” 

Most importantly, Core wanted to leverage a solution that worked effortlessly in the background so that the team could focus on building and investing in their relationships with attendees.  

“I want to use tools that help take care of things that [the technology] can take care of, so I can focus on people,” Beth says.  

Raising the bar for in-person events: The Collective ‘22

The shift away from in-person events was jarring for many industries, particularly for restoration construction. Beth says that the lack of in-person interaction during the pandemic reminded everyone of the importance of community.  

“I honestly feel like there’s a renewed vigor for [in-person events],” Beth says.  

When Core announced The Collective 2022, hosted at the J.W. Marriott in Austin, Texas, the Core team, Core members, and their industry partners were ready and excited to reunite in-person. 

Kickstarting the event with sunrise yoga 

Core strives to create events that help attendees better themselves from a professional and personal perspective. The team attends many industry trade shows throughout the year and saw an opportunity to differentiate their event with a wellness activity to kickstart the conference.   

After seeing success with a sunrise yoga experience at a previous Core event, they decided to incorporate the activity into The Collective 2022.  

“We weren’t sure how people would respond, but [the yoga sessions] were maxed out every day. People loved it,” Beth says.  

Elevating the show floor with an on-site IV bar

The Core team didn’t stop there with immersive event activations. After The Collective 2021, they had received feedback that attendees were looking for local IV bars to help them feel refreshed and ready to go each day. For The Collective 2022, Core brought IV stations into the event.

The IV stations received overwhelmingly positive feedback. The stations were completely booked during the event, with the line often extending through the show floor. 

In 2023, Core will launch the “Core Spa” and add massage stations that attendees can access throughout the event.

“We really strive to make our experience something that you can’t go anywhere and get. That’s very important to us,” Beth says. 

Not your average trade show: boosting game adoption and exhibitor traffic 

With excitement brewing around The Collective 2022, the Core team was determined to ensure that the show floor was interactive and engaging. To achieve this, Core leveraged the in-app game feature to engage attendees, boost exhibitor traffic, and add some fun to the show floor. 

The reaction? Attendees were enthusiastic about participating in the game and seeing their names up on the leaderboard on live display throughout the venue.  

“[Attendees] were like kids on field day. They had to win!” Beth says.  

Beth also saw an opportunity to boost exhibitor engagement through the game. She gave each exhibitor a game code and coached them on having a conversation with attendees before revealing the code.  

“The exhibitors loved [the game] because it increased traffic,” Beth says. 

Attendees completed a total of 1,702 challenges and gained a total of 102,050 points! To top it all off, game participants with a certain number of points were entered to win a grand prize: a Yeti package worth $1,000.  

Promoting staff and attendee connection with the social wall 

Leading up to The Collective 2022, Core had hired new staff members and wanted them to have a chance to connect with attendees. Beth posted on the social wall that some Core staff members had a code for 100 points, and if attendees introduced themselves, snapped a selfie, and posted it on the social wall, they would receive the points. This helped boost app adoption and offered another way for attendees to network at the event.  

“We are very strategic in that we all have on [the same Core t-shirts], so attendees knew who we were [at the event]. It allowed people an easy way to get 100 points, and it got people going on the wall,” Beth says. 

Registration questions drive personalized content

For the Core team, personalization is the perfect way to make sure attendees know that they’re thought of at every step of the planning process. When attendees registered for the event and input information like their job title, Core analyzed the registration data to craft session and workshop content.  

“If we have 65 project managers [who have registered], then we want to think, ‘Okay, do we have enough sessions geared towards project managers?’ If we’re really strong on the accounting side, ‘Do we have enough finance content?’” Beth says. 

Core also added registration fields to capture attendees’ t-shirt sizes for personalized event merchandise and a question about dietary restrictions to ensure that attendees with food allergies or sensitivities had something to eat at the event. 

Simplifying the check-in and badge printing experience 

When Beth approaches Core events, she is always looking for ways to simplify and enhance the attendee experience – from start to finish. The Collective attendees’ on-site experience started the moment they entered the door and arrived at the check-in desk. Core needed a check-in and badge printing solution that required minimal set-up and allowed attendees to quickly get on their way to the rest of the event.  

“What made the check-in experience wonderful is that it was easy to set up. Our IT guy came in and set it up in 10 minutes. It was easy to figure out what we were doing… which was important because any of our staff needs to be able to help set up,” Beth says.  

Beth also notes that the simplicity of the check-in experience allowed Core staff to focus on the human-centered aspects of the event. Since the check-in process was seamless, staff members were able to be more present at the check-in table and have quick conversations with attendees.   

“It was super easy because all you have to do is enter your name, and it starts printing… It allowed us to have conversations while [attendees] were printing their badges. It was seamless,” Beth says.  

Letting data do the talking: proving ROI with the data dashboard 

For event planners like Beth, once an event wraps up, the work is far from over. Core hosts a quarterly presentation where areas of the business present the results of their recent initiatives. 

“When you’re in events, the million-dollar question for people who do not understand events is what is the ROI?” Beth says.  

Before using Webex Events, Beth says this was challenging because it’s near impossible to quantify personal relationships. Now, Beth can tell the story of Core’s events using data captured in the live data dashboard.  

“What I love about [Webex Events] is that in my report and presentation I was able to say, ‘We had 613 registrations, 72 exhibitors, 22 core team members, over 50 speakers, 102,000 actions across all users through clicks, 3,270 associate user contributions,” Beth says. “For me, [that data] is priceless to meet the need of the person that asks, ‘Did people really get involved?’” 

Check out the presentation slide that Beth created based on metrics pulled from the event:  

Webex Events for next-level in-person event experiences

Core is excited to continue launching in-person events that foster connection, engage attendees, and drive ROI for sponsors and exhibitors.  

By leveraging event technology built to power in-person events, the Core team has simplified the event management process while also creating an engaging experience that keeps attendees coming back for more.   

Beth added, “Core highly endorses and recommends Webex Events if you prioritize ease of the attendee experience and efficiency for those managing the event. We could not be more satisfied with Webex Events and view it as an asset to help us reach our company goals.”