Innovation was a running theme in presentations at Cvent CONNECT 2017, Cvent’s annual technology showcase and client event broken up into separate tracks for hospitality and event professionals. The 2017 event was held from June 12-16 at Mandalay Bay’s Resort and Convention Center in Las Vegas.

The event was said to be Cvent’s largest annual event yet, with 3,400 in attendance. Which is good news for the company, since it announced plans to hire 200 employees by the end of 2017 amid rapid growth to better support its expanding client base.

“Real value is created when you jump the curve,” said Cvent CEO Reggie Aggarwal, channeling his inner Guy Kawasaki during the opening Keynote, which also included celebrity guest Jay Leno.

Aggarwal dedicated most of his Keynote presentation to declaring how Cvent was stronger than ever following its acquisition by Vista Equity Partners and merger with Lanyon Solutions, Inc. in 2016. He also revealed the company’s plans to focus on innovating and simplifying its array of products, post-merger, now that many of its tech tools have matured.

Meetings Today was on hand for the entirety of the event professional portion of the event from June 13-16 to learn more about Cvent’s upcoming product offerings, innovations and updates, which were revealed during the 2017-2018 Product Roadmap General Session held on June 15. Cvent Co-Founder and President Chuck Ghoorah and the Cvent Technology Team led the session, which included a reveal of Cvent Flex.

Cvent Flex seeks to simplify the event website design process so that meeting and event planners can make style updates and changes to registration forms via a widget interface instead of using HTML/CSS. A live demonstration by Product Lead Nathan Chin showcased the ease of the drag-and-drop interface.

Cvent Flex is currently only available to planners through an early adopter program, but it will be made available to all Cvent customers within the year as part of the existing Event Management Product.

Cvent also announced major upgrades to its Cvent Supplier Network, including integration with Google Maps and more relevant venue information for planners, and updates to its XRC speaker/exhibitor scheduling tool.

The annual conference also included a variety of educational sessions that covered everything from specific software training to the latest updates on technology, event security and social media. Planners could pick and choose which sessions they attended and session popularity was tracked using RFID scanners.

In addition, Cvent CONNECT 2017 served as a celebration of employees and planner clients. Optional night-time events included a Mandalay Bay Beach Party Bash and closing reception at LIGHT Nightclub.