Event Software Leaders MeetingPlay and Aventri Merge, Appoint New CEO

January 7, 2022

Two of the biggest names in event tech, MeetingPlay and Aventri, have tied the knot, creating an industry powerhouse that aims to provide an innovative, full-lifecycle event planning and management solution.

In conjunction with the merger, the company, now known as MeetingPlay and Aventri with plans to eventually rebrand with a new name, received a growth equity investment from Sunstone Partners and Camden Partners and named Eric Lochner its new CEO. With more than 25 years of experience in building technology and technology-enabled services companies, Lochner has a solid record of mergers and acquisitions. 

“We are excited to bring these two inventive companies together to create a new cutting-edge experience for the meetings and events industry,” Lochner said. “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.”

Through visionary technology and best-in-class service, MeetingPlay and Aventri aims to set itself apart by closing all gaps in the planning process for meetings and events of all sizes, from conferences of 200,000-plus people to meetings with less than 100 attendees. 

"There are very few event technology companies that provide solutions for every step or module in the event management software platform area, across the capabilities needed for the smallest of meetings to the largest meetings globally," Lochner said. "We are now able to confidently say we can do that."

In addition, MeetingPlay and Aventri’s net promoter and engagement scores far exceed the industry standard, according to Lochner.

"This is what it takes to produce transformative events for the premium market," he said.

Each year, MeetingPlay and Aventri host a combined total of more than 50,000 events with more than seven million attendees, and the new company is planning a fast-growth trajectory to work toward further expanding and bringing new features and solutions to the platform.

"We've already implemented an aggressive joint product development plan, which will bring new products to market before the second half of the year," Lochner said.

Lochner said the merger comes at a critical time in the industry, as meeting and event planners and organizers continue to adopt the benefits of virtual and hybrid gatherings with fewer software integrations. The two companies will combine their proprietary software platforms to set the brand apart and elevate event experiences through a robust lineup of products for leading companies in the technology, financial services, travel, hospitality, health services and association markets. 

Highlighted capabilities of MeetingPlay and Aventri include:

  • Event Marketing Website and Registration to create a seamless attendee journey from beginning to end.
  • Virtual and Hybrid Event Platform, which uses novel technology to create lifelike experiences for virtual attendees. The platform provides 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 and imaginative Onsite Event Solutions, which enrich the attendee experience start to finish, boost engagement and deliver ROI metrics, while keeping participants safe.

With the merger, Co-Founder and former MeetingPlay CEO Joe Schwinger and Co-Founder and former MeetingPlay COO Lisa Vann will remain with the new company and undertake executive roles to continue enhancing the event technology industry and working with their valued customers. Former Aventri CEO Jim Sharpe will remain a shareholder and advisor to the new company.

Founded in 2011, MeetingPlay is an award-winning technology pioneer centered on creating innovative solutions for premier in-person, virtual and hybrid events. The company is known for pushing the envelope on technology advancements and has successfully powered many of the largest, most complex global events to date across numerous industries.

Aventri, a global leader in data-driven, end-to-end event management solutions for virtual, hybrid, and in-person events, was founded in 2008. Today, the award-winning platform provides a suite of premium solutions for the entire event lifecycle, from venue sourcing to event marketing, registration, onsite technology, strategic meetings management, data security and privacy and ROI reporting.

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