Cvent, a cloud-based enterprise event management and venue selection firm, announced Jan. 7 that it acquired Elite Meetings International (EMI), a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based hospitality marketing company specializing in high-end meeting hotels and resorts.
According to Cvent, EMI’s online venue-sourcing tools for meeting planners, EliteMeetings.com and SpeedRFP.com, will be maintained as a separate brand.
“We think Elite Meetings International is very complementary to the Cvent Supplier Network,” said Kevin Fliess, vice president of product marketing, Cvent Supplier Network. “We think it’s a natural fit.”
More than 218,000 hotels and venues in about 100 countries are part of the Cvent Supplier Network.
“We are excited about the acquisition,” said Reggie Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Cvent. “Cvent is dedicated to creating the most comprehensive marketplace for group business — connecting meeting planners with hotels and venues worldwide.”
While the Cvent Supplier Network focuses on corporate and professional planners, Fliess added that EliteMeetings.com fulfills another market.
“EliteMeetings.com has built a really loyal following with planners who focus on the luxury segment. It fills a gap for us,” Fliess commented.
Kelly Foy, founder and CEO, EMI, also supports the acquisition.
“We think this combination will bring powerful value to meeting and event planners across the globe, not only for locating the most attractive luxury and upscale hotels for group business but also for sourcing venues across all markets with the most dynamic, innovative tools and integrated solutions,” shared Foy.
A similar dynamic applies to the SpeedRFP Network and SpeedRFP.com, according to Fliess.
“They are lightweight, easy-to-use e-sourcing tools that are really focused on the casual, or what we would call ‘adjunct’ planner,” Fliess explained. “This is the executive assistant who has been tasked with planning the 50-person year-end off-site and is not a professional meeting planner, so they need something easy to use.”
Cvent also plans to maintain the brands of Elite Meetings magazine and the Elite Meetings Alliance live events.
“We hope with the marketing support of a bigger company we can make them grow,” said Fliess.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.