Swapcard Acquires Avolio, Inc. and Integrates Registration into Event Platform

January 14, 2021
Swapcard Acquires Avolio, Inc. and Integrates Registration into Event Platform

Swapcard, the Paris-based leading AI-powered engagement and matchmaking platform for premium virtual and hybrid events, has acquired Avolio, Inc., a registration platform headquartered in Atlanta and its event management software, IPReg.

This move is the first step in Swapcard’s answer to the biggest challenge organizers are currently facing: finding one technology partner that can run all their virtual, hybrid and face-to-face events throughout the year.

Swapcard, which ran more than 1,570 successful virtual events in 2020, experienced unprecedented growth in 2020, with a 400% growth in projected turnover and an increase in employees from 45 to more than 100 during the global pandemic. 

With such a successful year behind them, Swapcard has a vision to become the leading all-in-one platform for virtual and hybrid events, according to the company’s executives. 

With audience engagement, attendee networking, virtual marketplace, event platform and live streaming services already covered, the next natural step was to integrate registration into the platform.

Swapcard Acquires Avolio, Inc. and Integrates Registration into Event Platform“We are entering a new area where data will power experience,” said Baptiste Boulard, CEO and co-founder of Swapcard. “Clients want to control the entire data journey and provide attendees and exhibitors with one single login step, as well as create a custom experience for each user.”

With this acquisition, Swapcard is now able to meet organizers’ needs for one technology platform for their events, no matter the region. Swapcard has offices in Paris, London, Seattle, Montreal, Dubai, Singapore and New Delhi.

SXSW, NAMM Believe in Music Week, Expo 2020 Dubai and Informa are just some of the clients who have put their trust in Swapcard for upcoming events and will enjoy the all-in-one platform for their virtual and hybrid gatherings in 2021. 

Swapcard and Avolio – a History

Starting in the spring of 2020, Swapcard and Avolio have collaborated on a multitude of virtual events. The integration between the two systems was seamless from the get-go. 

Since 2000, Avolio has been building software designed for global conferences and trade shows. Avolio’s event management software, IPReg, which was built from the ground up to minimize the need for multiple technology solutions, served as the perfect tool for Swapcard clients with complex events in 2020, such as Black Hat by Informa Tech.

Swapcard Acquires Avolio, Inc. and Integrates Registration into Event Platform

Avolio’s services for abstract management for attendees and exhibitors will help Swapcard achieve their goal of serving larger exhibition organizers and medical conferences. The team is looking forward to providing an improved experience for clients old and new.

“We realized in the Spring of 2020 that our clients needed to pivot away from face-to-face events and were requesting assistance with selecting the optimal virtual events technology for their companies and needs,” explained Mark Hubrich, CEO of Avolio. “We reviewed the marketplace of virtual events technology and deemed Swapcard to be the top solution in the industry. Every client we introduced them to agreed with our assessment and adopted the platform to engage their attendees and conferences.”

He added, “We believe 2021 will be another year of change and through Avolio’s technology platform and Swapcard’s leading technology for virtual events, we will be well-positioned to lead the industry with virtual and hybrid events. Joining the Swapcard team allows us to continue to guide the industry with creating technology solutions for the future of meetings, events and trade shows.” 

Swapcard will remain on an open platform where data can be pushed and pulled free of charge. The platform will continue to synchronize with other registration platforms on the market.

Swapcard is hosting their second virtual event, Evolve 2.0 Feb. 23-25, where experts speakers will be delivering insightful content, a community of more than 7,000 global event professionals will be networking, and where workshops and job boards will be available to all attendees. Register for free here


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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.