2017 seems to be flying by! As the summer winds down and our team gears up for our busiest season yet, I wanted to take a moment to reflect and share our progress on the business and our future.
Within a period of tremendous change in the world – political, economic, and social – we were fortunate to have an incredible team of talented professionals and the best clients in the world to anchor us. The Age of Acceleration has proven that disruption is the new normal. The companies that thrive moving forward will be able do so because of ingenuity, culture, GRIT, and a relentless commitment to their customers – the core principles that our company is founded on and we believe in deeply.
More Places, More Ways
June marked the opening of our first Boston facility, making it Convene’s fourth city!
We’re now operating 13 full-service meeting and conference venues across the East Coast, with 12 additional locations planned to open in 2018 and early 2019, including two locations on the West Coast, one in Chicago, and a new corporate headquarters in NYC. The value of our national network means that we can deliver on the promise of offering a consistent, premium outsourced workplace experience in major marketsfor our enterprise clients.
When Chris Kelly and I co-founded Convene in 2009, we set out with a very ambitious vision to change the way the world works. With the opening of our new tenant amenity spaces at One World Commons and Park Avenue Tower, and our soon-to-be-announced flexible workspace offerings for companies and teams between 10-100 employees, we’re officially more than a “meetings” company. We’re now a workplace experience company!
By partnering with the world’s largest landlords, we are designing and servicing the next generation office building – one that feels more like a full-service lifestyle hotel. Our mission is to humanize the workplace experience for our enterprise clients and in-building tenants; inspiring creativity and bringing happiness to their work.
Win of the Year: Series C Financing
We are extremely proud that we secured $68M in funding in May to accelerate the growth of Convene’s business. This new funding has and will continue to help us expand our growing network of on-demand workplaces in our existing markets and in new markets such as Los Angeles and Chicago.
In addition, we’re investing in the development of a revolutionary mobile technology platform that will seamlessly connect Convene’s products and services within a commercial office building to building tenants and their employees. What “Android” is to a smart phone – this new software will be to a “smart” office building. More to come on this exciting new product later this year.
Word of the Year: “Systematize”
The engineer and scholar W. Edwards Deming famously said, “94% of problems in business are systems-driven, and only 6% are people-driven.” In order to efficiently grow Convene’s platform, we needed standardized systems and processes in place to ensure we can deliver a consistent and magical experience to our clients at scale.
Our “systematizing” efforts so far has included:
- Acquisition of Assemble Design Group, making design a true core competency at Convene
- A standard research-driven process for global site selection
- A standardized launch process for new Convene products
- Enhancements to all core financial, construction, and CRM systems
Developing Our Bench Strength
We are also thrilled to announce that two new board members have joined the Convene family: Frits van Paasschen, the former CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and Jim O’Neill, venture advisor and former CIO and CPO of HubSpot. With the combined wisdom and support of these accomplished leaders, along with the trust of institutional investors and landlord partners, we were able to grow stronger and wiser in the first half of 2017.
Progressing Across Our Key Metrics
Customer Experience: Our industry-leading NPS scores are the single largest drivers of our brand and revenue model, and we are on track to reach our 2017 goal of an average NPS score of 63.0 across all of our locations (currently at an average of 62.3).
Employee Engagement: We are so proud to have been certified as a Great Place to Work this year, and to be named the #11 Best Workplace in New York City by Fortune Magazine. Our values-aligned culture permeates discussions and decision-making at all levels at Convene. 96% of our team is proud to tell others they work at Convene, and 90% endorse Convene as a great place to work to their family and friends!
What’s Coming Next
I’m very excited to share our pipeline of initiatives coming in next 6 months:
- New strategic landlord partnerships
- Additional funding announcements
- Senior hires at the corporate office
- Completed renovation and expansion of our Philadelphia CityView location
- Opening of our first West Coast locations
- New Corporate HQ in NYC
- Annoucement of our flexible workspace product
- Launch of our “smart building” technology platform
Taking a Moment for Gratitude
I am extremely grateful to work alongside the amazing people at Convene whose GRIT and persistence have made our company’s growth and success possible so far. More than 300 employees strong, our dedicated, driven, and values-obsessed team is without a doubt our biggest and best asset.
The undeniable passion of our team to surprise & delight our customers, and their commitment to getting 1% better each day, has allowed us to achieve industry-best NPS scores, to open 15 iconic properties in four cities (with many more to come), and call ~70% of the nation’s largest companies our clients.
As a wiser man once said, “The road to perfection is paved with progression.” Every day in 2017 has been, and will continue to be a new opportunity for us to learn, improve, and grow together. Can’t wait to see what the future holds!