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by Leo Jakobson | January 08, 2015
Cvent today announced that it has acquired Elite Meetings International (EMI), a Santa Barbara, Ca.-based hospitality marketing company specializing in high-end meeting hotels and resorts. 

Cvent, a cloud-based enterprise event management and venue selection firm, said EMI's online venue-sourcing tools for meeting planners, EliteMeetings.com and SpeedRFP.com, will be maintained as a separate brand. 

"We think Elite Meetings International is very complementary to the Cvent Supplier Network," says Kevin Fliess, vice president of product marketing at the Cvent Supplier Network. "We think it's a natural fit."

While the Cvent Supplier Network focuses on corporate and professional planners, Fliess says, "EliteMeetings.com has built a really loyal following with planners who focus on the luxury segment. It fills a gap for us."

A similar dynamic applies to the SpeedRFP Network and SpeedRFP.com, he adds. "They are lightweight, easy-to-use e-sourcing tools that are really focused on the casual, or what we would call 'adjunct' planner," Fliess says. "This is the executive assistant who has been tasked with planning the 50-person year-end off-site and isnot a professional meeting planner, so they need something easy to use."

Cvent also plans to maintain the brands of Elite Meetings magazine and the Elite Meetings Alliance live events, Fliess says. "We hope with the marketing support of a bigger company we can make them grow," he adds. 

More than 218,000 hotels and venues in about 100 countries are part of the Cvent Supplier Network.

"We are excited about the acquisition," said Reggie Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Cvent, in a statement. "Cvent is dedicated to creating the most comprehensive marketplace for group business -- connecting meeting planners with hotels and venues worldwide."

Kelly Foy, founder and CEO of EMI, added, "We think this combination will bring powerful value to meeting and event planners across the globe, not only for locating the most attractive luxury and upscale hotels for group business but also for sourcing venues across all markets with the most dynamic, innovative tools and integrated solutions."

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.