Cisco announced its intent to acquire privately-held, U.S.-based Socio Labs, a modern event technology platform that provides event organizers with everything they need to successfully host in-person, virtual or hybrid events of any size and format. Together with Socio Labs, Cisco will enrich Webex Events beyond meetings, webinars and webcasts to also include large-scale, multi-session hybrid events and conferences. The solution will enable live streaming, sponsorship, networking and advanced analytics, along with continuous engagement before, during and after events – as well as Webex features like polling, Q&A, chat and real-time translation.
The pandemic has permanently changed events. Almost overnight, event planners adopted a virtual-only format. As recovery continues and in-person events gradually resume, the hybrid event model—a combination of in-person and virtual — is emerging as the new norm.
"The future of events, like the future of work, will be hybrid," said Jeetu Patel, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Security and Collaboration. "With that comes increased complexity of creating inclusive experiences, and meaningful and measurable interactions for both virtual and in-person attendees. Socio Labs offers Webex powerful technology to provide customers with an unparalleled hybrid event management solution to engage participants whether they join in person or virtually."
As part of Cisco Webex's vision to deliver inclusive, engaging and intelligent meeting and event experiences, the acquisition of Socio Labs complements Cisco's recent acquisition of Slido, an industry-leading audience engagement tool, which together will create a comprehensive, cost-effective and easy-to-use event management solution that spans the following best-of-breed event capabilities — all through a single portal:
- Webex's cutting-edge virtual meeting innovations like background noise removal and speech enhancement, gesture recognition, immersive share, real-time translation, customized stage layouts and more;
- Slido's audience engagement capabilities such as polling, trivia, Q&A and gamification, which make virtual meetings and events more interactive and effective; and
- Socio Labs' hybrid event technology platform that manages the full lifecycle of large-scale virtual, in-person and hybrid events – from registration to post-event analytics.
"We are delighted to join the Cisco Webex portfolio to continue our common goal of enabling seamless, personalized hybrid events of all sizes," said Yarkin Sakucoglu, Socio Labs co-founder and CEO. "Teaming up with Cisco gives us an amazing opportunity to apply our technology and expertise at an outstanding scale. We look forward to finding new ways to support the recovery and transition of the events industry."
- The acquisition is expected to close in Cisco's Q4 fiscal year 2021. Subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals.
- Upon completion of the acquisition, the Socio Labs team will join the Webex Customer Experience team led by Omar Tawakol, vice president and general manager, reporting into the Security & Collaboration Group led by Jeetu Patel, senior vice president and general manager.
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- Read the blog from Javed Khan, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Collaboration.