Cvent CEO Reggie Aggarwal at the company’s Connect 2022 event in Las Vegas this week announced the company’s new go-to-market strategy, which he says will “enable a more unified ecosystem” for users. of Cvent and will expand Cvent’s reach beyond its own technology platform and beyond its traditional vendor. network of places and hotels.
Cvent adds expanded provider set
Cvent’s new Vendor Marketplace, launched this week, loops new vendor types into the traditional Cvent vendor network and connects them to the overall RFI or RFP process. It expands to 18 vendor categories with 300 new vendors, including accessibility specialists, audiovisual vendors and event hire companies as well as meeting management agencies, incentive specialists and from health and safety support to events and the like, creating something closer to a one-stop-shop for meetings. supply.
“We worked with planners, including those from ConferenceDirect and HelmsBriscoe, to create the Vendor Marketplace,” said Jim Abramson, vice president of product management at Cvent. “[Cvent is] one platform, but we want to be able to connect partners to be part of this ecosystem in an integrated way, so planners can see everything in one place.
Users can populate the Cvent Procurement Platform with meeting details, then use this data to request information and proposals from many types of vendors without repeating data entry into multiple auxiliary systems or third-party forms.
Customers can tag their preferred vendors in the marketplace to prioritize preferred vendors, but they cannot “exclude” vendors from the marketplace.
HelmsBriscoe’s senior director of global accounts, Valerie Hodgson, said in a statement that the system works for her business. “Being able to quickly submit a request for meeting support services within our preferred venue sourcing platform…allows our team to work more efficiently and tap into a trusted network of suppliers who we know will get the job done.”
App Marketplace aims for faster collaboration
The App Marketplace exposes meeting buyers to technologies from Cvent’s partners who build products and services on top of the company’s platform. Add-ons range from data analysis tools and reporting specialists, to big data-based value-added tax recovery service providers, to renowned travel apps like Uber for Business. Thirty-nine app makers currently participate in the Cvent App Marketplace.
“We’ve always had a handful of technology partners, but we haven’t marketed them,” said Brian Ludwig, Cvent’s senior vice president of sales. “The creation of this interface facing the world for [enable buyers to] finding these tools makes a big difference. We are really excited about developers building on Cvent.
An App Marketplace participant told BTN, on condition of anonymity, that he saw his role as filling in the gaps in the Cvent tool, which seemed like clear issues to users that Cvent might not have. be not the urge or the resources to resolve.
“They’re a really big company,” they said. “So customer pain points may not seem so urgent, but we can step in and fill those gaps and provide intuitive functionality.” Other app participants provide entirely different functions and services that leverage the information provided in the centralized meeting data platform.
Cvent’s market moves echo those of other corporate travel and meetings providers. Online booking and spending platform SAP Concur launched the Concur App Center in 2013 with integrated technology partners that could offer additional functionality to its enterprise online booking tool or integrate tightly to automate expense data for reports. In 2018, BCD Travel launched SolutionSource, a marketplace for third-party technology companies to innovate on top of the BCD platform, opening APIs and development opportunities to a number of business travel technology startups. American Express Meetings & Events promoted a similar concept before the pandemic and accelerated it with the rapid increase in meeting technology needs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the advantages of the marketplace concept in all of these cases is the “pre-approved” nature of the technology partners. By reviewing them as part of the Cvent ecosystem, the meetings tech giant can help customers adopt new technologies without the level of information security oversight that would come with independent sourcing from these third parties. .
That said, travel tech consultant Guy Snelgar told BTN last fall that many companies are re-examining this kind of driving tech concept, often late in the game because buyers haven’t disclosed. the details early enough in the process.
“Before, it was seen as an easy option: [existing partner] said everything was fine; I can tick the box in the tender and I don’t have to worry [infosec]”, Snelgar said. “Now enterprise IT security comes back and says, ‘Well, you checked off the RFP, but I want to know about this and what about this part of the system? “Some companies go straight to the kickoff…and they have to go back. So we’ve kind of gone beyond that simple option now.”