Event platform MeetingPlay and meeting management SaaS provider Aventri announced today that they will merge to create a full-service event software company. The deal, backed by a growth equity investment from Sunstone Partners and Camden Partners, is positioned as a blend of technology and service to close gaps in the planning process and deliver a full-service solution for meetings ranging from 100 people to more than 200,000.
New CEO Eric Lochner, who was previously president and CEO of Steele Compliance Solutions, saw the combination as a benefit for meeting professionals looking for seamless solutions. “We have a strong opportunity to deepen the process of hosting in-person, hybrid and virtual events and are excited to be able to better support meeting planners and event organizers while offering a wider range of products and experiences,” he said in a statement.
Each year, MeetingPlay and Aventri powered a combined total of more than 50,000 events for more than 10,000 companies and 7 million attendees. Washington D.C.-based MeetingPlay has been developing its virtual and hybrid technology for more 10 years. Joe Schwinger, co-founder and former CEO of MeetingPlay, shared with Smart Meetings in November that he was focused on enabling meaningful interactive content on all platforms with robust reporting. He will remain with the company in an executive role.
Aventri, which was founded in 2008, had grown into a global provider of data-driven solutions for event sourcing, marketing, registration, onsite technology, data security and reporting. Former Aventri CEO Jim Sharpe will remain a shareholder and advisor to the new company.
Combined Solution Set
The two companies will integrate their software platforms to create an array of products to fit the needs of technology, financial services, travel, hospitality, health services and association clients. Capabilities include:
- Event Marketing Website and Registration to create a seamless attendee journey from beginning to end.
- Virtual and Hybrid Event Platform using technology to create lifelike experiences for virtual attendees. The platform will provide virtual and onsite attendees with unified engagement features like chat, Q&A, network matchmaking, and video conferencing that enables participants in the same room and across the world to connect instantly.
- Mobile App to boost engagement and deliver ROI metrics, while keeping participants safe.
Last August, event-tech consultant Corbin Ball predicted that the robust landscape of virtual/hybrid companies would eventually be whittled down. “The problem is that there are more than 100 virtual/hybrid event platforms out there—many having started up during the pandemic. Not all will survive,” he said.
Some started making their moves last year. Videoconferencing company Zoom purchased contact center technology provider Five9 for almost $15 billion, Intrado (now Notified) acquired event management company Hubb, and Cvent Holding Corp. and Dragoneer Growth Opportunities formed a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to go public.