Skift Take

Hopefully meeting and event tech startups get more VC love in 2017 because it's one of the industries that requires the most innovation to keep up with growing worldwide demand.

Event and meetings tech startups had a slow year for venture capital funding compared to other travel sectors, raising only about $40 million in 2016.

Social Tables, a Washington, D.C.-based event planning software company, had the largest funding for the year raising a $13 million Series B round in October, while Bizly, an on-demand meetings booking platform based in New York City, raised $1.5 million last year.

Skift noted last year that the meetings industry doesn’t have a cohesive vision going forward, and we outlined our own long-term vision for the industry in our Manifesto for a New Generation of Meetings and Conventions. The meetings and events sector has traditionally viewed itself from a micro standpoint rather than developing a macro, industry-wide perspective.

As outlined in the manifesto, the biggest potential of the sector revolves around a three-point strategy prioritizing community building, cross-sector collaboration, and more sophisticated content development — all of which are facilitated by advanced event technology.

We also see that the top three trends in the meetings industry in 2017 will revolve around convergence, the festivalization of meetings, and business events positioned as experiential brand marketing platforms. Event tech startups like the ones charted below can help the industry adopt and scale those trends.

This week, Maryland-based MeetingPlay raised a $2 million Series A round from undisclosed investors, which puts the company’s total funding at $2.6 million since it was founded in 2013. The company helps meeting and event planners build custom apps for events and conferences, with the option to integrate iBeacon, social media, conference registration, and event reporting functionality.

Each week we highlight the latest crop of travel startups that have received or announced funding that week. You can check out all our previous startup funding roundups here.

Event Tech Startup Funding in 2016

Company Round Amount Raised
Social Tables Series B $13 million
Event Farm two Series A rounds $8.7 million total
SplashThat Series B $7 million
Festicket Series B $6.3 million
MeetingPlay Series A $2 million
Attendify seed $1.7 million
Bizly seed $1.5 million
Total $40.2 million


Source: Skift and Crunchbase


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Tags: funding, vcroundup

Photo credit: MeetingPlay helps meeting planners build custom event apps. MeetingPlay

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