Australian meetings technology player Ivvy
has entered the North American market
with the goal of building out inventory within its global distribution platform for meetings and events. The company has opened
its North American offices in New York.
A global distribution system for meetings
and events that connects all the players—
venues, caterers, florists, speakers and intermediaries—has been an elusive concept
for the industry. Ivvy has spent eight years
building and refining enterprise technologies and software services in the Australian market, with its eye on the $400 billion
North American market since the beginning.
“I wanted to create a platform that would
connect this entire ecosystem, so buyers—
whether individual consumers or business
buyers from corporate—could actually have
access to live inventory, rates and availability
of all products and services needed to cre-
ate an event,” said Ivvy co-founder and CEO
Lauren Hall, who worked on the planning
side before venturing into meetings technol-
ogy. “I organized large local and international
events, and it would take six weeks to source
suppliers and get responses on the RFPs and
get all the information and budget signed off.
All the processes were manual, so 10 years
ago, I started on this journey to solve the
problem. I want to take a six-week process
down to six minutes.”
With inventory in place in Australia, Ivvy
opened its first marketplace as a proof of
concept a year and a half ago to ensure live
Ivvy Meetings Distribution Enters N.A. transactions could take place and that there were cus- tomers who wanted to access the inventory. It worked.
“The industry is ripe for change,” she said, also citing
the small meetings technology vendors and “hot desking” platforms that have emerged in the market.
But Ivvy has bigger goals. For now, the company
is building its meetings inventory across the supply
chain in the U.S. to open a consumer marketplace. In
the meantime, it has the capacity to build customized
marketplaces for corporates to include all preferred
suppliers, configure to policy and support customized
processes. “We are working in the corporate market
to create real-time procurement platforms where
they can manage all their spend,” Hall said, citing 40
percent to 60 percent lost visibility in meetings and
events budgets. “We can slice and dice the data in
terms of the vendors, rank them, price them according to procurement policies, and [the marketplace] can
be deployed to every user in their organization.” Hall
claimed the technology could drive 25 percent to 50
percent in direct savings—not to mention the human
capital savings from driving efficiencies.
Ivvy has appointed to advisory positions both Flo
Lugli, founder and principal of Navesink Advisory
Group, and Kathy Misunas, co-founder and principal of
boutique advisory firm Essential Ideas. Both have extensive background in hospitality and global distribution, with senior roles at Sabre and Travelport between
them. Hall told BTN Ivvy will develop a 150-person U.S.
sales force within six months.
of meetings & events spend
is invisible, according to Ivvy’s