In a bid to dominate the meetings industry, MeetingPlay and Aventri (MPAV), which merged in January, have acquired eventcore. The platform allows companies to completely optimize the digital registration experience for event attendees, especially for global companies that want every event to be new and exciting.
Mark Johnson, CEO of eventcore, is eager to combine the platform’s capabilities with MPAV’s wider reach. “We look forward to providing our valuable customers and partners with the same level of service, attention and quality that they are used to,” he said in a statement. “As part of the MPAV family, we will be investing to increase the depth and breadth of our platform.”
A Successful Merger
The MPAV merger intended to create a one-stop shop for meeting planners organizing in-person, hybrid and virtual events, Smart Meetings reported. MPAV CEO Eric Lochner said he foresaw better support and more services—Five months later, he is confident that the company has lived up to expectations.
With the combined experience of MeetingPlay, a meeting services platform, and Aventri, a software platform, MPAV was able to accommodate the rush of in-person meetings. The return to live events wasn’t anticipated until fall but changing Covid restrictions motivated event planners to convert virtual meetings to in-person affairs as fast as possible.
“We had clients literally saying, ‘I know I had this virtual event, but I want to do it in person, and it’s in two weeks,” said Lochner. He noted the fortunate timing of MPAV’s merger. Were it not for their combined in-person, hybrid and virtual services, they would not have been able to take care of the influx of clients.
Lochner credits the smooth merger of MeetingPlay and Aventri to the employees of each company. With more than 400 employees around the world, he knew it wouldn’t be an easy task, but their helpful, respectful and client-first attitudes made the process that much more efficient. Lochner said the same of eventcore’s staff—the integration of a “set of incredible people that love what they do” made for an easy transition.
Servicing New Markets
Acquiring eventcore gave MPAV the tool it needed to provide for the largest events by global companies. At the highest level, each event needs unique tools that can handle complex scheduling, data collection and communication. The customizable registration and customer support that eventcore provides is non-negotiable in large events. When it comes to eventcore’s technology, Lochner said, “We knew we had to build it, or we had to buy it.”
Eventcore isn’t the only new tool under MPAV’s belt. The company released version two of a bookable meeting space tool in collaboration with VenueBook, making communication, information and contracting easier on the event planner. Coming soon is a “data bus” service, which plans to make event information accessible from one centralized stream, as opposed to multiple companies juggling APIs with each other.
Seeking Global Expansion
MPAV has a stated goal of catering to the largest global companies and their tier one, two and three events, an industry the acquisition of eventcore allowed them to break into. Lochner said that MPAV has the most potential to grow in top-tier international meetings. With few companies competing in the space, MPAV can emphasize the customer service Lochner says the company is known for.
Currently, the majority of MPAV’s clients are based in the United States. Any meetings supported by MPAV’s international offices are mostly from American companies. Lochner wants to focus on servicing the needs of global enterprises based outside of the United States, creating steady organic growth.
In terms of inorganic growth, Lochner predicts there will definitely be more mergers and acquisitions in MPAV’s future. In collaboration with investor Sunstone Partners, MPAV will look to acquire the tools and products that will improve the event planning experience. Combined with its new event tools, MPAV wants to solidify its place as an industry leader.
An Industry in Flux
The acquisition of eventcore and sudden jump to in-person events is only part of a larger change in the meetings and events industry—especially when it comes to virtual platforms. The flurry of new virtual meeting companies with massive funding and even bigger expectations is starting to settle and consolidate.
As Smart Meetings observed last week, companies that couldn’t keep up with dwindling demand have had to lay off staff, agree to acquisition or fall behind hundreds of competitors. The virtual meetings industry is expected to shrink further, even with the highly contagious BA.5 Covid variant making its rounds.
MPAV’s diverse toolset has so far given it protection from this trend. A new name for the combined companies is still in the works and, according to Lochner, will be announced in the next few months with a large event.