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How RepFest Made a Virtual Conference Feel Like a Festival and Raised over $10,000 for Charity using Cadence
By Jon Quénard January 12, 2021 4 min read
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About RepFest

RepFest was a global virtual festival that celebrated travel and connected upscale travel experiences from around the world to the travel advisor community. Born from the collaboration of five companies, KAI, Bennett + Mercado Hospitality, Index Select, TL Portflio, and Janine Cifelli Representation, RepFest was about supporting the travel industry during the pandemic, and raising money for the non-profit Every Mother Counts.

RepFest wanted to create an experience their industry had never seen before, with 125 sessions on 5 simultaneous stages.

The organizers put aside their natural competition and focused on what they could do to benefit the travel industry. They worked as a whole to empower attendees with new inspiration to share with their clients. In the interest of combatting Zoom fatigue, they also wanted to stay away from a typical conference format with a fixed schedule that can get dull quickly.

We wanted to do something revolutionary by modeling RepFest after a music festival, where people could choose their own path and join tons of entertaining sessions on their own terms. It was also important that we pick a great charity that would receive 100% of the profits.
David Kartagener

David Kartagener,

President, KAI

They were looking for an event experience platform that could:

  • ✅ Run five simultaneous virtual stages for two days
  • ✅ Easily mix live content and pre-recorded videos
  • ✅ Allow multiple admins to upload content on the platform
  • ✅ Create a vault for 100+ on-demand content that would be available for 30 days
  • ✅ Create a resource center for attendees to learn more about destinations, suppliers and partners
  • ✅ Work with a team that understands the vision for RepFest and that would provide consulting services before, during and after the event
Cadence was a no-brainer. What really spoke to us was the appearance, the layout, and how much we could customize the platform for the festival vibe we were going for. After the initial call, I was confident the Cadence team saw our vision and would help deliver it.
David Kartagener

David Kartagener,

President, KAI

RepFest used the following features for their virtual event:

1. Schedule to present a mix of 125 live and pre-recorded sessions playing on 5 different stages. They renamed the schedule tracks to 'stages' to match the festival-like theme.

Schedule
Dulini Collection
Glenapp Castle

2. Custom Menu Items to rename to match their purpose, order the menu based on importance, and keep the event theme.

Custom Menu Items

3. Live Feed for capturing the best moments, making announcements, and allowing attendees to connect with one another.

4. Push & Email Notifications to personalize the festival experience by sending customized notifications based on attendees’ answers submitted in the registration form. For example, RepFest asked the question: 'Where's the first place you want to go when travel restrictions are lifted?' Everyone who had answered a location related to beaches and islands received a notification about the Maldives session before it started.

Push & Email Notifications

5. Companies to give each presenting company a profile page with administrative rights to upload their own information. Attendees could learn more and connect with each destination, supplier and partner at their own pace.

Companies
Partner

6. Collections to upload and organize the recorded sessions in a resource center that the attendees could watch on demand. To increase viewership, RepFest communicated to their audience that they would keep the content available for 30 days after the event had ended.

7. Analytics to provide their partners with the list of attendees who attended their session, viewed their profile, or watched the on-demand video after the event.

My favorite features are the schedule and notifications. It's so easy to use and I love the freedom to format sessions. With notifications, we were able to personalize the festival experience like no other.
David Kartagener

David Kartagener,

President, KAI

RepFest was all about collaboration. The ability for everyone to have their own administrative right to write and edit their own copy was key. Instead of having one person who uploads all the content, Cadence really let us own our own areas of the platform.
Beatrice Mercado

Beatrice Mercado,

Co-President, Bennett + Mercado Hospitality

Salsa

RepFest was such a success that they're hosting another one with Cadence in April 2021.

The organizers decided to extend RepFest to three days in April 2021 to continue inspiring and educating the travel advisor community on the future of travel.

  • ✅ Raised ~$11K for Every Mother Counts from ticket sales
  • ✅ 1,151 people registered for the virtual event and 86% showed up
  • ✅ Provided new leads to each partner and presenting company
  • ✅ Learned what content resonated the most with their audience with content analytics
One of the most impressive things to me was how easy the platform is to use. Only 1% of people reached out for assistance. We thought RepFest would be a success, but we had no idea just how incredible it would be.
David Kartagener

David Kartagener,

President, KAI

Everything was so seamless. There was no lag time. No buffering. No app crashes. The navigation was so easy too. Other event platforms aren't as user-friendly and you need several clicks to get anywhere.
Beatrice Mercado

Beatrice Mercado,

Co-President, Bennett + Mercado Hospitality

What attendees said:

  1. “This whole event is just, wow!”
  2. “Do you all feel as if you are at a festival? Chatting with people and seeing such a variety of global content? I'm overwhelmed with joy. THANK YOU all.”
  3. “I don't know about everyone else, but I am inspired and blown away by all the incredible sessions so far at REPFEST!”
  4. “Saaaad, I don't want it to end! Anyone else wishing we could have one more day of RepFest?!”
  5. “I loved that you could jump in and out of rooms within a single session… I thought the format was perfect.”
  6. “RepFest far exceeded my expectations! It was seamless, informative, creative, and fun.”

Interested to see how Cadence could work for your upcoming event? Schedule a free consultation. We'll recommend the best solution based on your goals—even it's not Cadence.

Jon Quénard
Jon Quénard
Marketing Director
Jon Quénard, or more lovingly and commonly known as JQ, is the Marketing Director at Cadence. He is always brainstorming new ways to delight event organizers, and he strives to make emotional intelligence skills as accessible as McDonald's. His dream event is to partner with Lewis Howes and his team who put on The Summit of Greatness, and he'd never get tired of listening to the tranquil sound of snowfall or music from the label Anjunadeep.
Jon Quénard, or more lovingly and commonly known as JQ, is the Marketing Director at Cadence. He is always brainstorming new ways to delight event organizers, and he strives to make emotional intelligence skills as accessible as McDonald's. His dream event is to partner with Lewis Howes and his team who put on The Summit of Greatness, and he'd never get tired of listening to the tranquil sound of snowfall or music from the label Anjunadeep.