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Convene's Convenient UK Expansion Means The Events Sector Just Got A Lot Beefier

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Convene's location at Citadel Center, 131 South Dearborn, Chicago.

Convene, the  New York-based meeting and event hospitality business, has bought its way into the UK regional market and expanded in London and New York with the acquisition of etc. venues.

Convene debuted in London in April 2022, launching a 50K SF venue at AXA IM’s 1.4M SF, 62-storey 22 Bishopsgate skyscraper in the City of London. 

The 450K SF deal with etc. venues brings it 16 new conferencing spaces across the United Kingdom including 11 in London and outlets in Manchester and Birmingham. It also adds three Midtown venues in New York City. 

The deal makes it the largest single provider of dedicated meeting and event venues in the U.S. and UK, Convene said, amounting to a network of 38 meetings, events and flexible office locations.

The move allows for operating efficiencies and economies of scale, Convene said.

"The London and New York City markets continue to rebound at a tremendous pace post-Covid with demand for outsourced premium meeting and event solutions accelerating from clients and landlords alike," CEO and co-founder Ryan Simonetti said. "The workplace of the future is a meeting space." 

Founded in 1992, etc. venues has a 450K SF portfolio covering 13 UK locations and three New York City outposts. In 2019, the company served more than 3,100 clients and more than 1 million delegates across 19,000 events. 

Like all events venues, the pandemic has hit its revenue hard. Accounts at Companies House showed that it made a £25.7M pre-tax loss in 2020 and a £19.2M pre-tax loss in 2021. 

This acquisition follows Convene's merger with SaksWorks in 2022 and the arrival of its new San Francisco location opening later this year.