A pair of event tech companies rooted in the Baltimore area are coming together in an acquisition deal.
With the deal, all of 21-year-old EventRebels’ six-member team will join Cadmium, which has been adding to its event and learning platform through acquisitions.
“We are very excited to bring EventRebels into our expanding portfolio of industry-leading products and scale it even further by highlighting the value of working with a single strategic partner for all events and learning needs,” Cadmium CEO Jim Obsitnik said in a statement.
The companies both seek to provide technology for management of larger events for nonprofits and associations, and both Cadmium President for Event and Video Technology Michelle Wyatt and EventRebels founder K.C. Hopson said they aligned on internal culture and outward approach to customers. The companies also knew each other well, as EventRebels has done integrations of Cadmium’s software, Hopson said.
When it comes to the acquisition, Cadmium saw the opportunity to add to its offerings. The primary motivator behind the deal was EventRebels’ software for large event registrations. Hopson said online registrations for conferences and trade associations aren’t as simple as ticketing. And with funds changing hands numbering in the millions, the process can be “like its own business model” for a company to figure it out, he said. The registrations have a number of different pricing tiers, and make distinctions between members and non-members of groups. With specific technology, EventRebels sought to hit the sweet spot between mass ticketing platforms and customized software.
Wyatt said EventRebels’ registration capabilities “have significant strengths but to date have been under-marketed.”
“With the acquisition, we are prioritizing integration of EventRebels registration technology into the Cadmium event technology products, and plan to quickly expand on current product features,” she said. This includes online and onsite event registration, membership authorization for conference and trade show attendees, and access to leads for exhibitors.
This will also add features for hybrid events, which incorporate both in-person and virtual offerings. It’s an approach the events industry will likely take more coming out of the pandemic, mixing the interaction that comes with face-to-face gatherings and easy delivery of content facilitated by virtual platforms. EventRebels added virtual capabilities last year. Going forward, hybrid will bring together event technology and learning platforms, which Cadmium is setting out to do under one company.
It’s the latest in a series of moves for Cadmium. Its owner, Symphony Technology Group, made a number of acquisitions over the last year, including what was then known as CadmiumCD, as well as Columbia-based online learning company CommPartners, Philly-based healthcare learning management EthosCE and Durham-based education video platform WarpWire.
The companies were combined under the name of Cadmium, led by Obsitnik. Now, it has 100 of its 167 employees local to Maryland, as a result of the existing presence for CadmiumCD, CommPartners and EventRebels. The proximity was already apparent when EventRebels’ team went to the Forest Hill offices late last week.
As we’ve noted, Hopson and EventRebels have been active in Baltimore’s tech community through a number of years of its growth. Hopson reflected fondly on the connective power of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council, and said participating in a leadership program with the Greater Baltimore Committee helped him, too. The company was also formerly based out of the hive of activity at ETC (Emerging Technology Centers) with a number of other tech companies. And in the last year in particular, he found the value of a strong relationship with a bank when an economic downturn hits an industry — in EventRebels’ case, it was M&T Bank.
Entrepreneurship is a lot more than getting the technology right. It’s also running the business, leading the team and doing what’s necessary, even when that’s hard. Now, Hopson said he is ready to step into the role as head of registration at Cadmium. He doesn’t mind hanging up the CEO role.
“I’m very excited to be an employee,” he said.