Taking Event Planning to the Next Level

Aventri

Aventri, formerly Etouches, is an event planning and management platform that provides access to a wide range of integrated software tools that can simplify the process of managing an event and increase the return on the event planner’s investment.
~
Aventri grew out of what began as an event management services company. Established by event planners in 1998, the company quickly expanded beyond the role of a simple service provider into an innovative technology company. Its mission was to develop a software platform that would contain the best event management tools on the market. It became a subscription service called Etouches, a comprehensive event management system designed for event planners by event planners.

Today, the company is in the midst of a complete rebranding. As Product Marketing Manager Nate Slayton explains, the name is a portmanteau connecting the company’s identity to its mission. “Our brand’s story is all about creating new avenues in the events industry,” says Slayton in a video on the company’s website. “We’re entering new markets in new ways. Avenue plus event plus entry – you get Aventri.”

After a decade of evolution within the platform, the organization, and its overall vision, the company decided that it was time to redefine what it stood for by taking a new name and establishing a new identity that could clearly reflect its values and its goals. At its core, Aventri is centrally focused on the power of connecting people.

This new focus is built on a foundation of three core concepts: curation, navigation, and connection. Curation is about streamlining the event planner’s experience for clarity and ease of use. The platform is so rich with functionality that using it could potentially become overwhelming. As described on its website, Aventri mitigates this problem by customizing the interface to meet the unique needs of each individual client, a specially crafted experience suited to the event at hand. Navigation is about helping clients chart their course. Planning and managing an event is a significant undertaking with many moving parts, and Aventri aims to provide its users with tools that will simplify the process, and to help clients find a clear pathway to their destination at the completion of a successful event. Finally, connection is about Aventri’s mission to facilitate more meaningful relationships between event professionals and their clients. The company believes that strong connections are the key to successful events, and under the new brand it has adopted the maxim: “Connect Better.”

According to the company’s rebranding press release, events account for 24 percent of the $60 billion spent annually on business to business marketing, and that number is growing by six percent per year. Aventri can help clients develop a thorough and comprehensive plan, execute an event seamlessly, and measure the event’s success using real-time analytics. Considering the substantial investments that are being made in this area, Aventri’s ability to help its clients improve their management workflow and maximize their returns makes the company a valuable asset for any event.

The Aventri platform is a complete toolbox providing event managers with everything they need to run an event. Beginning with delivering a fully customized registration experience to attendees, the platform can help build a professional quality web presence, manage the budget, organize seating, develop a floor plan, provide analytics to help managers better understand what attendees are interested in, and much more. Aventri provides everything that an event planner needs to manage events at any scale seamlessly while maximizing the value of every single interaction as a networking opportunity for exhibitors and those in attendance.

One of the first steps in engaging attendees for an event is through the event’s website. Aventri can help an event planner easily build a professional, mobile-ready web presence that is fully integrated with the rest of the Aventri platform so that registration, event agendas and more are easily accessible and automatically updated with any changes the planner makes within the platform.

From the website, prospective attendees will be given the opportunity to fill out a registration form. This component of the platform enables planners to provide a fully customized and branded registration experience. For events with global reach, the platform can simplify the payment process by collecting fees in more than forty currencies. In order to manage and record attendance, event staff are provided with a simple sign-in system complete with printable nametags that can help foster better connections between people on the event floor.

Prior to the event, the registration system can help maintain the planner-attendee relationship by scheduling personalized email reminders. Attendees can be categorized, and each category can be customized so that different groups can have access to different sessions. Carefully crafting a positive and pain-free registration and sign-in experience for attendees helps to facilitate repeat attendance. It can even provide travel and room booking options. This comprehensive registration system helps managers and staff take command over one of the most daunting aspects of running an event.

During the planning stages, finding a venue can be a significant hurdle, but Aventri’s venue sourcing module simplifies the process. First, it can help an event planner focus on suitable venues by eliminating those that don’t meet certain criteria such as a minimum size, distance from the nearest airport, the venue’s brand, and more. Once venues are selected, Aventri can help with the bidding process by tracking all negotiation and communication in one place. Finally, there is a built-in review system that allows clients to share their experiences, facilitating better connections between event professionals that will help them make more informed decisions in the future.

Managing an event’s budget can be challenging for a number of reasons. Expenses and revenue scale with attendance of course, meaning that a projected budget will often differ from the actual budget. Aventri’s budget management program is synchronized with registration and other modules so that everything can be tracked and updated in real time.

Aventri’s networking module helps to set up valuable interactions for each attendee based on their availability and their interests. During registration Aventri can collect information about an attendee’s interests, and the networking component can use that to help connect the right people during the event. Face to face meetings can be valuable networking opportunities, and Aventri’s networking program can maximize their potential.

The Aventri smart tag is an innovative Bluetooth device that enables managers to track attendees as they traverse the floor, monitoring what sessions they attend and what exhibitors they interact with. This data can later be used to determine what exhibits drew the most attention. Attendees can use the device to exchange contact information with each other like digital business cards, creating improved networking opportunities.

These represent only a few of the many features of the Aventri platform. Over the last decade these tools have assisted in the management of over 20,000 events, and they have so improved the planning workflow that the company has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades. In 2017, Aventri was given an SIIA Codie award for the platform and an IF Design award for the Aventri smart tag, known at the time as the LOOPD smart badge. And in 2018 the company was recognized with its third Stevie Bronze award for the quality of its customer service.

These are just three of eighteen prestigious awards that reflect the value Aventri has brought to the event planning sector. For ten years the company has been developing the industry’s most comprehensive suite of tools, and under its new identity it is committed to innovating further still. By keeping its focus on maximizing the value of every interaction, Aventri promises to help event planners and their clients connect better.

March 25, 2019, 12:35 PM EDT

Woman-Owned Businesses

In the U.S., more than 9.1 million firms, mainly small-to-medium enterprises, are owned by women. They generate $1.4 million in sales and employ nearly 7.9 million people, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). Canada is keeping pace, as research cited by Susan Ward in ‘Statistics on Canadian Women in Business’ indicates that the country “is a global leader in women’s entrepreneurship, with participation of Canadian women business owners comparable to those in the United States.” But it has not always been this way, nor has it been easy.