Carnival Cruise Line hosted Agentpalooza, a multi-city bus tour, to engage the travel advisor community, thank them for their support, and celebrate Carnival’s 50th anniversary. From June 1 to June 4, Carnival team members traveled by bus to four U.S. cities along the east coast - Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; Norfolk, VA; and Charlotte, NC. The four-day extravaganza featured giveaways, speakers from Carnival’s sales leadership team, and opportunities for travel advisor partners to connect with the Carnival sales members. The event also raised over $53,000 for their charity partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Carnival restarted operations in July 2021 and wanted to bring ‘Back the Fun’ to the travel agent community in the summer of 2022. Typically an in-person event, the team knew they wanted to include a virtual component to Agentpalooza this year. “We wanted to extend the event’s reach to as many travel advisors as possible while taking into account the health and safety comfort of our travel advisor community. Integrating a virtual experience was a top priority to help us have our travel advisors choose fun and engage with Agentpalooza whether in person or at their home or work offices,” said Jerry Estrada.
The Carnival team chose Accelevents for their first hybrid Agentpalooza with the following event goals in mind:
The Carnival team took advantage of several key Accelevents features for Agentpalooza. The following platform solutions contributed to the overwhelming success of Carnival’s first hybrid event:
With four events rolled into one and the option for people to attend in person or virtually, Agentpalooza required eight different ticket types. Accelevents’ registration tool allows multiple ticket types that can be easily edited and monitored. Event organizers were able to set each city’s in-person ticket capacity and separate start and end dates for registration.
Agentpalooza used the expo feature in one of the most creative ways. Typically used for exhibitors at events such as conferences, Agentpalooza turned the expo space into the same four Carnival Fun Zones found in each city for in-person attendees. Virtual attendees could easily click into each of the zones to view live photos collected via hashtags on social media, play a word game to win prizes, scan a QR code for a unique booking offer, and donate to St. Jude. “The expo was super user-friendly and was a great way to replicate our in-person fun zones,” said Heather Krick, Senior Specialist, Trade Events & Programs, Carnival Cruise Line.
Agentpalooza’s most significant component is the main stage programming featuring Carnival’s sales leadership team members and cruise giveaways. As this year’s event visited four east coast cities, it was imperative to event organizers that travel advisors from all over the country could tune into the festivities. Accelevents’ seamless livestream capability allowed over 2,000 virtual attendees to view the live programming and engage with the Carnival team.
Agentpalooza organizers needed an efficient way for virtual attendees to connect with Carnival’s sales team members to ask questions. Virtual attendees typed their questions using the Q&A feature in Regular Sessions, and the representatives answered on camera in real-time. Post-session, the Accelevents platform allows organizers to download a report of all questions asked through the Q&A feature.
With several ticket types for a multi-day event, it was important for Agentpalooza organizers to have clear communication leading up to the event. Accelevents’ Engage Email feature allowed organizers to segment reminder emails by specific city to in-person attendees or virtual attendees.
The main stage programming in each city featured multiple speakers and giveaways, and included a break. Therefore, event organizers needed an effective way to notify virtual attendees when the programming was about to start back up. This way, virtual attendees could visit other parts of the event, like the Fun Zones, without missing any programming on the main stage.
Accelevents’ customer support team stood by event organizers’ side at each step of Agentpalooza, from building the virtual event to day of event support to post-event debrief. Agentpalooza opted for a dedicated customer success manager to assist them each day of the event. “Kinner was with us from the initial event build all the way through to the event. Your support chat was also so helpful - someone from your team was always there to speak with me. One time, I sent a chat at 8:30 at night, and somebody responded immediately. It is definitely a 24/7 chat service!” Heather raved.
Agentpalooza reached a total of 3,500 people nationwide. By choosing Accelevents for a virtual component to Agentpalooza, the Carnival team connected with over 2,000 travel advisors who would have otherwise not been engaged. Extending the reach of Agentpalooza proved to be a great success, and the Carnival team envisions all of their future marquee events to be a hybrid experience. “We feel like we certainly achieved what we were looking to do and surpassed that as well.Thank you to the Accelevents team for really being with us along the entire event journey!” said Heather.
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