In the crowded but growing event technology space, standing out can be a challenge. With so many competitors and competing product lines, and a wider move towards selling access to a platform instead of individual products, one long-time player is moving forward with a clean slate.
Etouches has rebranded itself as Aventri to move towards a new positioning in the event technology market based on the suite of services it offers instead of individual product lines. The company, which has grown steadily since its start in 2008, was acquired last year by private equity group HGGC and has recently acquired event technology companies including Loopd (smart badges), Zentilla (event sourcing), and TapCrowd (event apps).
Aventri’s platform offers a variety of event technology services including event management software, registration tools, meetings management, and integration with other sales and marketing tools. The idea is that housing them all under the Aventri brand, and selling suites of products to customers, will reduce confusion for users.
“We started looking at where we were going to revisit our entire messaging platform to see if Etouches still really worked,” said Chalva Tchkotoua, Aventri’s chief marketing officer. ” With recent acquisitions and strong growth we didn’t really feel that Etouches accurately represented what we wanted to become. How do we help our customers navigate the complex world of event technology? When you keep legacy names from an acquisition it creates confusion.”
This change comes with future acquisitions in mind, particularly in the area of face recognition which the company has used to enhance its check-in solutions through a third-party vendor. The rebranding sets up the company for its next period of growth as it expands to include emerging technologies like augmented reality.
“We try to stay very close to the things that have made us a success,” said Oni Chukwu, CEO of Aventri. “In the last year had a major investment from HGGC that gives us a balance sheet to do a lot on the [mergers and acquisitions] side. I want to caution that we’re not going to go out there and just buy everything, just acquisitions that make sense to expand our operational footprint, what our customers need and what they need to use in their business to become more successful. Our market penetration is very strong because of how we work with our customers.”
The market itself has moved,” said Chukwu. “We were capturing that to more have a sharper focus on our vision to the market. We’re also growing very strongly internationally. Each one of our product acquisitions also pushed the industry in a direction as a whole. Our rebranding puts us in poll position to enhance our [growth] in a very large market.”
The big takeaway, according to Chukwu, is that using their suite of products allows meetings professionals greater insights into both customer behavior and ramifications of their pre- and post-event activities. This allows them to prove how strong a return on investment they are creating with their events and better target their efforts going forward.
Earlier this year, Aventri’s vice president of digital innovation Brian Friedman told Skift earlier this year that the melding of data-based personalization with the event experience will prove extremely valuable to event planners going forward.
“We’ve seen a combination starting as a personalized experience digitally and then having that personalized experience carried throughout the event,” said Friedman. “That way you’re really building an emotional connection with the brand and hopefully the attendees will come back.”