ETA and Ultimate Software
Creating a "Wow" Effect since 2013

THE PROJECT

Ultimate Software is a leading provider of human resources, payroll, and talent management solutions. Each year, the company hosts over 1,600 of its customers over 4 days at their annual User Conference in Las Vegas, and looks to provide those in attendance with an educational, fun-filled, and memorable experience.

THE CHALLENGE

For Ultimate Software’s meeting planner, Susan Vaughan, the task of creating a successful User Conference starts with surveying Ultimate’s loyal customers and listening to what they want. “We just build the content of the program based on what drives our customers,” she explains. “We listen to them, we survey them every year and we modify the program content based on what they want. Its been really successful the last couple of years.” Planning typically begins 6 months before the event, and Ultimate’s goals are crystal clear: to top last year’s successful customer-driven event and to stay within budget. “We want to hit it out of the park.”

“Working with ETA raised the production quality of our conference exponentially. From the staging to the audio, the ETA team was professional and experienced in every capacity. Beyond the quality of their work, the team was a pleasure to work with from start to finish – willing to stay up late nights making changes and contributing to a flawless event. They were outstanding.”

Jody KaminskyChief Marketing Officer

CALLING ETA

In 2012, When it came time to hire a production company to help make Ultimate Software’s annual User Conference a home run, Susan Vaughan put out an RFP. After reviewing various proposals from a number of companies, Vaughan and her leadership chose to partner with ETA. “Jeff came through with a great proposal, and we loved the images he provided us,” Vaughan recalls. “We are very pleased with him and the team. Ultimately, what you want is to partner up with somebody who has your best interest at heart. ETA does that for us.” After a very successful 2012 User Conference, ETA continues to produce this event.

GETTING THE BALL ROLLING

Once in the planning phase, ETA’s team sprang into action, performing an early site visit, initiating creative discussions and providing Ultimate with detailed cost analysis. Ms. Vaughan describes the process of working with ETA as “very, very easy.” “They asked the questions that need to be asked. They are very knowledgeable in the industry and what they do, so there’s a comfort level when you know that the team you’re working with has got your back.” Ms. Vaughan also reports that the team from ETA came in having done their homework, having internalized Ultimate Software’s messaging. “They are true partners in every sense,” she says.

CAPITALIZING ON ETA’S CREATIVITY

ETA’s creative choices, a lavish Carnival-themed welcome reception, a content-rich general session with keynote speakers and live demos, and a learning environment and sponsor exhibition floor (named The Ultimate Experience), were all met with resounding approval. “ETA’s creativity is top notch,” Vaughan reports. “They have a can-do attitude. I’ve never had anyone on the ETA team, say ‘we can’t do that.’ They always find a way to accomplish the end result. They have a great creative team.”

STAYING ON BUDGET

According to Ms. Vaughan, ETA not only helped Ultimate Software stay on budget, but offered many cost-saving ideas to give them the greatest impact for the money. “They are extremely budget conscious, and are able to reduce the cost without affecting the integrity or quality of the program. From a cost analysis, the quality of the work we are getting for the budget makes hiring ETA a no brainer.”

TURN KEY SERVICE FROM START TO FINISH

“They do all of our production. They do all of the set up. They build it. They make it work right.” With ETA on the job, Ultimate Software’s meeting planner, Susan Vaughan, feels calm, relaxed and confident. “If they see a problem, they handle it. And that’s a great relief – to have a vendor who is a true partner.” From 6 months out, in creative sessions and budget discussions, to the week and day of the show, ETA worked step-by-step and hand-in-hand with Ultimate Software to design, refine and deliver a “home run” User Conference. “It was just amazing,” Vaughan recalls. “Everything was great. We got a wow effect. Our customers loved it. We wanted a home run and ETA helped us hit a grand slam.”

THE “ULTIMATE” DOCUMENTARY