for event technology companies like Mixtroz. Ashlee Ammons and her mother, Kerry Schrader, founded the meeting engagement software company based on their own experiences at live gatherings.
But they quickly pivoted in March 2020, accelerating the release of their virtual feature to meet a new market need in a digital-first world. The following month, April 2020, the company hosted its first clients on their virtual platform.
Today Mixtroz has over 100 customers in the higher education, events, and enterprise spaces, from Johns Hopkins University to Amazon, Ernst and Young, Southern Company, and Deloitte.
“Everyone got online. It was necessary to do that,” Ammons said. “There were so many great companies that went out of business because they couldn't pivot quickly enough to accommodate the new normal. As an entrepreneur, adaptability speaks to you being able to not only survive but thrive in these challenging times.”
A common thread for companies that have survived is their ability to meet users’ evolving demands quickly.
Cvent, an event registration software in business since 1999, had to quickly adjust its product roadmap and technology development strategy to accommodate users’ rapidly changing needs at the outset of the pandemic, Vice President of Engineering Mark Lawler said.
So the company’s engineers worked over six months to create the Cvent Attendee Hub, its virtual, in-person, and hybrid engagement platform. By August 2020, the platform was hosting over 28,000 attendees in a single virtual event.
“In-person events were nearly non-existent for much of 2020, but we found that customer use and registrations picked up once virtual events emerged as an effective way for corporate events to continue during the pandemic,” Lawler said. “Our customers were still leveraging our technology for their events, and they were still engaging their customers, employees, and prospects at scale. They were just doing it in a new way, virtually.”
Those customers have flocked to newer startups as well.
Founded in 2019, Run the World has hosted more than 40,000 virtual events globally, on topics from politics and entrepreneurship to science and sports.
"As an entrepreneur, adaptability speaks to you being able to not only survive but thrive in these challenging times."