These are interesting times for event-technology companies, to say the least. Given the notably steep drop in demand for virtual events, many (if not all) of the event-tech companies that benefited most during the height of the pandemic recently have been forced to downsize and restructure for a changed marketplace.
But event technology has long cast its net far wider than that of digital-event platforms. So while there is indeed restructuring — and very likely there will be consolidation as well — many tech suppliers see a bright future ahead and are adjusting to our current meetings reality. Take Hubilo, for instance: Just one month after laying off 35 percent of its workforce because of these changing market conditions, the company acquired Fielddrive, an innovative supplier of on-site event technology, to beef up its offerings for in-person meetings. That deal follows the pattern of similar mid-pandemic acquisitions by the likes of Hopin and Notified (formerly Intrado), each of which indicated they were preparing for a hybrid-meeting future. The fact that Hubilo broadened its face-to-face tech scope demonstrates that despite restructuring, the funds required to expand in a different direction still are close at hand.
The industry's whip-quick return to a focus on face-to-face meetings, coupled with the more in-depth understanding of digital engagement we've all acquired over the past few years, makes this a crucial time in the evolution of event tech. We at Northstar Meetings Group have long covered this evolution and engaged in thought-provoking discussions on the topic; now we're absolutely committed to collaboration in an effort to help all planners navigate the next phase of the marketplace. We're excited to partner with the U.K.-based team behind Event Tech Live on their inaugural show in the United States, taking place April 26-27 in Las Vegas. We’ll listen to the thought leaders driving the current phase of the event-tech marketplace, and help amplify the discussion to a wider network of meeting planners. Likewise, we want to help planners voice their tech needs, woes and goals. Event technology is and will remain a crucial tool to help organizations enrich engagement with their audiences and drive the success of their events.
We'll be conducting interviews with key event-tech players from the show floor of Event Tech Live, and we'll be covering their concerns leading up to and following the show, as well. Keep an eye on northstarmeetingsgroup.com for our coverage, subscribe to Meeting News and drop us a line if you'll be attending the show and want to connect with us to share your perspective. We look forward to seeing you there.