Back in December VEI predicted more convergence of event technology saying “the competitive edge will go to those vendors who have the ability to converge registration, website, mobile, community/networking and virtual extensions into a single solution. Most digital event solution providers will continue to move toward open architecture and a modular approach that will allow the embedding of elements driven by physical event registration and mobile communication systems.”
Recently Active Networks and Sonic Foundry announced a strategic alliance to provide an integrated conference solution for associations and meeting professionals.
Their joint press release reads “The alliance pairs Mediasite Events webcasting services, which delivers live and on-demand streaming to remote audiences through their desktops and mobile devices, with ACTIVE Network’s Business Solutions portfolio which serves customers of all sizes, including small and medium-sized businesses, enterprise corporations, associations, tradeshows and expos, with a single technology suite for their event management needs.”
This is just one of other “joint ventures”, “partnerships” and “alliances” that are being developed and announced. As you may recall INXPO not too long ago partnered with JIVE the community software provider and then there is always Cvent who is on an acquisition binge to bring these technologies together under one roof. The trend will continue if not accelerate and the event technology companies left standing when the music stops will have a tough time of it. Especially hard hit will be the legions of mobile app vendors followed by the registration companies and lead retrieval companies.
Though associations and independent event producers currently have to suffer with multiple disparate systems for content management, member management, registration, community, hybrid, mobile, lead retrieval, event management, web site (and I’m sure there are others), this will not be for that too much longer. Unfortunately, the transition to highly integrated systems may be a bit bumpy for the early adopters. But it’s hard to imagine that this is not the future of event technology. The questions will be who are the winners, who are the client owners and who are the service providers brought along as part of the solution and who are the losers. As we also predicted, there will be consolidation as well.
In the end, event planners will benefit as will their attendees and members and their sponsors and exhibitors.