The Aussie tech company behind the world’s biggest events

EventsAir may well be the Australian technology company you’ve never heard of. But chances are you’ve used their platform to attend an event.

To date, the company’s event management software has powered over 350,000 events. This includes the London Olympics 2012, the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, the G20 Summit and more. The company employs 110 staff globally and exports account for more than 50% of EventsAir’s business.

EventsAir is now working with Austrade to grow its business in new and existing markets. The US is a priority. In 2023, Nick Thornton, who is based in Birmingham, Alabama, was appointed as Chief Revenue Officer overseeing the global business. This move signals the company’s strong growth aspirations for the US market.

‘EventsAir software was built to a global standard and as a result has attracted customers from many geographies,’ says Chris Ridd, EventsAir’s CEO. ‘If you can build to global standards, you can open up globally.’

Heritage meets innovation for ‘wow’ factor

Founded in 1990, EventsAir supports conference and event managers in the US, the UK, Europe, APAC, Africa and the Middle East. Its platform is used in the association, government, sport and university sectors, but most notably has become the platform of choice for event agencies and professional conference organisers. 

EventsAir aims to add the ‘wow’ to events and has prided itself on continuous innovation. As an example, just two months after the global pandemic hit, EventsAir developed its OnAIR product platform. Through this technology, clients could create large-scale, in-person, hybrid and virtual events. This meant many EventsAir customers could remain in business when in-person events – their source of revenue – were cancelled across the globe.

‘Our point of difference is large-scale, complex events,’ says Ridd. ‘A good example is government events such as the recent ASEAN Summit held in Melbourne in March 2024. These complex events need high levels of security, technology and flexible detail. These events help us adapt and raise the bar each time. We do the hard and complex events that others typically won’t touch.’ 

Going from strength to strength in the US

Over the last 30 years, EventsAir has gone from a founder-led startup to having a Board of Directors, with a robust governance framework and world-class leadership. It initially gained international market entry through acquisitions in the 1990s but has expanded organically off a strong customer base. 

‘Our growth has been incredibly organic,’ says Ridd. ‘Most of our business has come from word of mouth. And this is a testament to the quality of our product.’ 

EventsAir continues to innovate, developing its leadership, as well as expanding its organisational structure and investing in the latest technology. In 2022, The Riverside Company acquired a controlling share of EventsAir, enabling the company to pursue a more aggressive growth agenda. 

Two men in suits using the EventsAir app in a conference room.

Conference delegates using the EventsAir app.

Government support boosts EventsAir brand

Austrade is supporting EventsAir’s expansion into a new sector in the US. The company is looking to extend it’s footprint in the US association market. Austrade is also assisting EventsAir to expand its network in New York.

‘I reached out to Austrade and was surprised at the level of support and traction,’ says Ridd. ‘ I thought Austrade had traditionally only worked with early-stage startups. The support of government agencies such as Austrade helps to enhance our profile and gives us extra credibility.’ 

EventsAir was a national finalist in the 61st Australian Export Awards. The Australian Export Awards showcases Australian success stories on the global stage. That recognition is helping the company grow its brand globally.

‘Austrade provides a platform to elevate our brand at the highest level,’ says Ridd. ‘In the spirit of many Australians, we tend to put our heads down, work hard and don’t need much in the way of recognition. That said, it is a great source of pride for our clients and staff, to be recognised for these achievements.’

The Australian Export Awards is presented by Austrade in partnership with state and territory award programs. To progress to the Australian Export Awards, EventsAir won the “Creative Industries Award” at the Premier of Queensland's Export Awards 2023. State and territory award applicants are all judged in their home state or territory before winners progress as national finalists. 

Future plans

‘In 2024 we are doubling down on our efforts to deliver a world-class platform for the serious event planner,’ says Ridd. ‘This year, our biggest priority is continuing the significant investment in our technology platform and enhancing our product. We are also focused on growing our brand across the globe since we have come under the radar for the better part of 3 decades.’ 

With the support of Austrade, the company is successfully building its brand in the US and European markets. At the same time, it has the capital to invest in Australian industry and attracting top talent.  

Austrade uses EventsAir software for selected client and trade show purposes.

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