Sales partnership between Groups360 and RainFocus creates a comprehensive event life-cycle management solution for event planners
By Kemp Gallineau, CEO, Groups360
From the beginning, Groups360 has had a mission to simplify group bookings. We’re committed to empowering meeting planners through technology that addresses their needs from event ideation through post-con analysis.
We created our online meetings marketplace, GroupSync, to vastly improve the venue searching, sourcing, and contracting process, and we recently partnered with RainFocus, an event technology platform that simplifies event management, customizes experiences according to a user’s role, and consolidates attendee data for more tailored marketing opportunities.
Companies like RainFocus and Groups360 are advancing the events industry by not only addressing current customer demands but also tracking behavioral data from the beginning of the events life cycle to its completion. This data, which will include behavioral data, will inform marketing initiatives and ongoing technology development.
A pair of burgeoning disruptors
Our companies share a few interesting parallels. Both Groups360 and RainFocus were founded by event industry veterans who want to give complex, outdated legacy systems a run for their money. As tech innovators, we’ve long grown tired of the complicated, inefficient programs that don’t effectively capture and act on relevant data nor integrate with digital marketing in ways that are simple and easy to use. We wanted to create truly complete systems without redundant costs and clunky user experiences
RainFocus was founded in 2013, and Groups360 a year later, and both companies have experienced rapid, successful growth that led to significant cash infusions from investors enthusiastic about what we’re creating and how these technologies are transforming the marketplace. We also share the vision of becoming the most trusted and innovative software companies in our respective niches, and now we’ve banded together to offer corporate event planners a powerful solution for managing the entire event life cycle.
The power of marketing automation
Legacy event platforms were built more than 20 years ago and don’t effectively tie into digital marketing channels. Most of them are trying to make that transition, but for a lot of companies, it’s easier to build something new than it is to make old systems navigate the new world.
Groups360 wanted to find the best-in-class registration and event marketing platform so we wouldn’t leave any of our customers without access to offerings they need for successful events. RainFocus is a forward-thinking company with robust and agile technology that goes head-to-head with products from our shared competitors such as Cvent and Aventri.
RainFocus takes a different approach to the standard idea of registration, housing and badging by going beyond merely checking in attendees. The events industry as a whole is moving from standard registration software to a more integrated marketing platform that integrates with business systems and other technology stacks, all of which makes attendee data more actionable and helps measure event ROI.
RainFocus has modules that operate on conditional logic according to the person’s role: an attendee, speaker or exhibitor receives a tailored experience relevant to their engagement with the event. Their platform also integrates with digital marketing programs such as HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo and Salesforce, which allow data to flow both ways, both informing attendee engagement at the event and how the company can market to that attendee after the event is over.
Much like GroupSync, RainFocus designed their platform for ease of use. Both companies believe it’s the right way to empower corporate event planners and suppliers with powerful tools that streamline their efforts and amplify their event success.
One of the issues hampering true innovation in the hospitality industry stems from lack of transparency and a shared source of behavioral data. No one talks about the fact that no one really understands the true behavior and technology needs of the event planner because each segment of the industry sees only their particular piece of the puzzle.
Groups360 strives to understand the event planner’s thought process during each stage of the event life cycle: “When planning to host an event, I need to pick a place. I need to find a hotel and negotiate rates. And then I need to get people to attend the event, as well as engage in our activities and offerings. At the end, I need to measure event ROI and incorporate attendee data into a strategic marketing program.”
The sooner we can put all that together, the better our technology will be in driving the process from reliance on human capital — the manual processes that have become so inefficient — to what I would call digital capital, in which platforms like GroupSync and RainFocus guide and empower planners from the beginning of an event to its completion in the most efficient and beneficial way possible. This process also allows the suppliers to spend more time selling value to corporate event planners to win their business.
Understanding the event planner’s behavior from the time they search for a destination until the moment they execute their event informs technology that will then in turn supply better information to both buyers and sellers in the meetings and events marketplace. Groups360’s partnership with RainFocus will produce insights that will advance this kind of innovation. Over time, our combined efforts in understanding these needs and behaviors will help both our technologies progress so we can provide a better product.