(Photo by Michelai Graham)
A tech-enabled meeting, event and flexible work space company, is growing rapidly, especially around the D.C. area.
Convene, a global network of flexible meeting and coworking space, was founded in 2009 by Ryan Simonetti and his business partner and longtime friend Chris Kelly in New York City. Simonetti is the company’s CEO while Kelly serves as Convene’s vice chairman. Beyond NYC, the company has locations in Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and right here in Washington, D.C, with plans to open up more locations by the end of the year.
So how does Convene operate? The company partners with property owners to deliver meeting and workplace experiences in Class A office buildings. At the end of 2018, Convene reported having 23 locations in its five cities totaling approximately 700,000 square feet and 500 employees nationally. The company makes money directly from companies paying them to use its space, whether from companies leasing flexible office space or from agreements with commercial landlords to manage building amenity space and services, Convene D.C.-Metro Area Director of Sales Jill McCluskey told Technical.ly.
The company currently occupies two locations in the D.C. area with 21 employees split between 1201 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn, Va., and 1800 Tysons Boulevard in Tysons Corner, Va. Though Convene’s D.C.-area locations don’t have coworking abilities, they are still equipped with the company’s notable amenities including meeting and event space, a culinary team and operation with menus updated seasonally, event planning services and more.
“Convene’s spaces can accommodate everything from small one hour meetings to a multi-day conferences for up to 600 people,” Convene’s D.C.-Metro Area Director of Sales Jill McCluskey told Technical.ly. “We’re focused on hosting company town halls, industry conferences, board/investor meetings, team offsites, and everything in between across all industries.”
Convene’s Tysons Corner location opened in April 2014 and it was the first meeting space launched outside of New York City. The facility was designed by Fox Architects and has 15,000 sq. ft. of space with room to accommodate 200 people. The employees at the nearby Hilton Hotel in Tysons Corner are prominent Convene clients, and they all of their major meetings there, McCluskey said.
Situated in CEB Tower at Central Place and the region’s tallest office building, Convene’s Rosslyn location recently opened in November 2018, offering full-service meeting and event space for up to 300 people and providing amenity services for the building’s tenants. Convene signed a 14.5 year, 35,000-sqaure-foot sublease with Gartner, a JBG SMITH-owned property, to occupy the top two floors of the building.
Inching closer to downtown D.C., will Convene actually come to the District next?
McCluskey told Technical.ly that Convene has “plans to grow its footprint further in the area soon,” but for now the company is focused on moving into Chicago with four new locations and internationally to London next.
After announcing a $152 million Series D funding round last year, the company said it will use this new round of funding to grow its footprint globally, expand its service offerings and launch a new workplace technology platform. Convene has raised $260 million in equity funding to date, the company said in a press release, with more than 50 percent of its revenue coming from Fortune 500 companies.
“Convene has been cash-flow positive since year one and is now among the most highly capitalized companies in the industry. On top of that, Convene has earned the distinction of being a culturally award-winning organization,” McCluskey said. “Convene has recently been recognized as one of Inc. and Fortune Magazine’s Best Workplaces in the U.S. in 2018.”-30-
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