Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Home DAS & In Building Wireless Convene looks to challenge Zoom in videoconferencing space

Convene looks to challenge Zoom in videoconferencing space

A decrease in demand for co-working spaces and a rise in videoconferences and are two trends that came to be during the COVID-19 pandemic. Flexible office space provider Convene found itself a victim of the first trend and is now looking to embrace the latter. The New York-based company recently created Virtual Meetings, a video meeting service that it sees as an alternative to Zoom.

“When we closed our locations at the onset of COVID-19 in the U.S., we had the choice to either keep our heads in the sand or to innovate our way out of a tough situation,” Convene CEO Ryan Simonetti told Connected Real Estate Magazine. “We chose the latter. I’m grateful that we had the right product and tech teams in place to build something new in a short period of time that our clients love. This time has shown us that people still want to meet and collaborate in order to create their best ideas and keep business moving forward. It’s Convene’s goal to create engaging work experiences that facilitate these moments, which are made better by hospitality.”

Convene Virtual Meetings’ offerings

Convene offers two Virtual Meetings packages: Pro and Plus that can accommodate up to 500 and more than 1,000 attendees, respectively. Pro package virtual meetings can last four hours per day, while Plus package events can go up to eight hours each day. Convene offers breakout sessions for simultaneous moderated Q&A sessions for meeting participants, an admin portal that allows planners to evaluate analytics in real time to monitor how attendees are engaging with the event, and a customizable event site builder to allow for a branded event page.

“Convene’s Virtual Meetings is a premium alternative to Zoom meetings and events,” Simonetti told Connected. “Virtual Meetings also allow for the creation of personalized agendas for attendees to add sessions they’re signing up for, a broadcast command center for Convene’s tech team to operate out of, and broadcast presentation capabilities to stream one-way video and audio to a large audience; live or pre-recorded.”

Convene’s plans for when tenants return to the office

There are a number of companies that plan to continue the telework model even as stay-at-home restrictions are lifted. Other businesses will return to their physical locations however, and Convene will work to accommodate them. Convene plans to continue to develop its Virtual Meetings product and enhance the Hybrid Meetings experience as it finds ways to further integrate the products into the company’s larger ecosystem.

“Many companies are struggling to figure out how to keep their remote workforce connected to company culture when in-person interaction isn’t as constant,” Simonetti told Connected. “Technology and communication play a large role in that, as do best practices in defining and defending culture.”

Convene’s “Hybrid Work Experience” will help office workers connect with their remote colleagues in a manner that makes the team more engaged and effective, according to Simonetti.

“Our products and services are designed to create your best day at work, wherever it happens,” he said. “Now, you can sign into the Convene WorkPlace app to do your COVID-19 screening, then attend a Convene Virtual Meeting from home before stopping by one of our locations, enjoying a freshly-prepared lunch from Convene Kitchen, working and meeting for a few hours in safe, clean spaces, before hopping on the Peloton, showering, and going home. It’s a complete workday experience that we design, build, and manage.”

Joe Dyton can be reached at

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