Cisco Dives Back Into Events with Acquisition of Socio Labs
By Jim Lundy
Cisco was already updating Webex to refresh its webinar platform but on May 12, 2021, the company dove further into the events business by announcing the intent to acquire Socio Labs, a modern events technology platform. This blog discusses the reasons why and the growth of the events space. Event marketers, this one’s for you.
Why Is Cisco Acquiring Socio Labs?
In today’s environment, it’s often faster to buy vs. build. We think that’s the reason why Cisco decided to acquire Socio Labs to upgrade its overall offerings in the event space. This is due to the need for more robust event platforms that can enable conferences whether they’re virtual, in person, or both (hybrid events).
When the deal is closed, Cisco will not only have a revamped webinar platform, it will have a full events platform. Aragon views events as a growing market that really is an outgrowth of both conferences and webinars.
Why Is the Event Market Making a Comeback?
There are two main reasons: the most obvious reason is due to the pandemic. The other reason is that event platforms have gotten much better. Going forward, enterprises need to be able to offer hybrid events to reach both their virtual and in-person audiences, especially as pre COVID-19 conference sizes are likely to be a thing of the past. At least for the time being.
While it’s still difficult to execute a large conference online, increases in event platform capabilities have made them much more sophisticated than anytime previously, with features such as breakout rooms, virtual conference booths, easy ways to send conference swag, and more. This is all helping enterprises to bridge the digital divide and really engage with their audience.
The Aragon Research Globe for Event Platforms: Publishing Q4 2021
Given our extensive coverage in collaboration and communications, we are pleased to announce we will be doing primary research and evaluating major event platform providers, including Cisco. This report will be critical for event marketers looking to acquire new solutions. Stay tuned for a publication date. In the meantime, see more about our Aragon Globe reports, including the most recent Video Conferencing Globe, here.
Marketers need to run hybrid events to support their customers and to acquire new ones. I’m going to expect to see a huge surge in hybrid events for Q4. Enterprises will need to select existing or new event platforms to support these events.