Event Software Giants Ungerboeck and EventBooking Merge
Staff of Ungerboeck and EventBooking recently broke bread together in St. Louis. Think of it as a “getting to know you” event with the specific purpose of smoothly combining the forces of two of the event industry’s leading software companies.
The merger, announced in May, pools the resources of leading technologies for event and venue management. It is part of a growing trend of consolidation as companies in all sectors seek a path forward in a post-pandemic world and recovering economy.
In this case, said Ungerboeck President and CEO Manish Chandak, the real winners will be the organizers and planners using the joint company’s tools.
“Deals like this are needed to disrupt a highly fragmented market where it seems like everyone is providing a very similar service and no one is breaking out with true innovation that makes it seamless for organizers to put on high-quality events,” said Chandak. “This tells us how investors think about the long term potential of in-person gathering.”
Indeed, there is a third piece to this puzzle that made the merger possible. Cove Hill Partners made a sizable investment in Ungerboeck, giving it the vote of confidence to unite the companies. Chandak will be president and CEO; Steve Mackenzie of EventBooking will serve as executive vice president.
“This gives Ungerboeck a tremendous scale so that we learn from a breadth of customers and our innovation investments go further,” noted Chandak, adding that the focus will squarely be on in-person gatherings with hybrid being a secondary concern.
Ironically, the slowdown made such a large move possible, as pre-pandemic, Ungerboeck was too busy assisting clients to make a transformational move, Chandak explained.
“The fact that it was a bit slow for us gave us some time to get ourselves organized, get investment and merge with another amazing events company,” he said.
Reaction to the news has been positive.
"IAVM is delighted with the news of this merger,” said Brad Mayne, CEO of International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). “Not only have Ungerboeck and EventBooking been long-standing IAVM members, but they have also contributed immensely to areas such as our education and diversity initiatives that make the lives of industry professionals better. I'm looking forward to the innovation and service levels that this merger will bring to our members."
The meeting in St. Louis is the first step in a journey of bringing together two successful organizations, which is not always an easy task.
“Then there is the hard work of creating the strategy that maximizes the assets of both companies while sunsetting things we don’t need,” Chandak said. “Both teams are very excited. Ask me in six months how we did.”