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Cvent: Time for Hotels to ‘Group Up’

Cvent CEO Reggie Aggarwal in the meetings technology company’s
third-quarter earnings calls fended off analyst questioning about a looming
recessionary environment, pointing to the diversification of the tech provider’s
platform to hybrid and virtual options through the pandemic. In a show of
confidence going into the fourth quarter and year end, executives raised revenue
guidance for both metrics.

“The total cost of an event can vary up to 90 percent,
depending on what format [the hosts] choose. Our platform’s flexibility ensures
organizations will be able to continue to host their events in whatever format
they like,” said Aggarwal about what the company refers to as the “triple threat”
of its onsite, hybrid and virtual meetings platform. “Due to how well
positioned we are for varying economic conditions, we believe Cvent will
continue to attract a disproportionate share of event tech spend going forward.
So even though our business is not recession proof, we believe we’re recession

For now, however, Cvent predicts a strong upside going into
Q4 and 2023. Aggarwal pointed to continued pent up demand for meetings, which hotel
industry executives also underscored in their third-quarter earnings reports is
expected to remain strong going into 2023. 

Indeed, even with a potential recessionary environment,
Aggarwal pointed to hotel economics as a positive omen for Cvent’s hospitality
cloud, which hosts hotel marketing information and facilitates request for
proposal activity for the meetings sector. He predicted leisure travel would draw
back in 2023, making events more important as “the largest segment of top line
revenue tends to be meetings and groups for the larger hotels.” But not only
are groups and meetings more profitable, he said, they offer financial

“They’re locked in,” Aggarwal said, contrasting contracted
meetings business to leisure travel that can cancel within 24 hours of a
scheduled arrival. “With event business you can’t cancel.”  

He continued: “There’s a term called ‘group up’ … Group up
means if a recession comes, lock that [business] in now, get the signed
contract, so if things go down [hotels] have this contracted business that people
can’t cancel at the last minute,” Aggarwal said. “So we’re feeling pretty good.
We’re going to Q4 and, like I said, I think hotels are really needing to group
up for 2023 because they’re kind of expecting a little bit of economic

Q3 Performance Metrics & Future Forecast

The company, which went public again just under a year ago,
overperformed its Q3 guidance by 1.4 percent, with total revenue for the
quarter hitting $161.3 million, an increase of 20.3 percent from the comparable
period in 2021. The company reported net loss of $18.2 million for the quarter,
compared to a $26.1 million loss for the same period last year. It reported $33.7
million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.  

Event cloud revenue was $112.9 million for Q3, representing revenue
from meeting host organizations, which climbed 22.1 percent from the same
period last year. Aggarwal claimed a number of “new logos” in the client base
and pointed to clients deepening their relationships with Cvent for more onsite
event technology that helps them digitize and gather data from in-person programs.

Hospitality cloud revenue, which comes from hotels, venues
and destinations that distribute and market through the Cvent platform, grew
16.5 percent year over year to $48.5 million. 

Cvent expects Q4 revenue to be in the range of $169.3 million to $170.3 million, representing 17.4
percent year-over-year growth at the mid-point. It expects full year 2022 to end
somewhere between $628.9 million to $629.9 million, representing 21.3 percent
year-over-year growth at the mid-point. This is a $2.8 million increase over
the mid-point of the company’s previous forecast.

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