Blog article • 4 min read
Meet the new Planned
Marc-Antoine & Emeric
Multiple lives. One vision.
Our company is only five years old, but it feels like we've lived multiple lives. We first launched as an ‘Airbnb’ for event spaces before quickly pivoting to become the all-in-one digital platform for corporate events. After two years of business, in 2019, we felt we had found the right market; we raised our Seed round and grew a 47-person team. We were gaining traction — and partnerships with Fortune 500 companies — when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Our business crashed overnight. We reimbursed multiple clients while our sales pipelines vanished with no signs of possible improvement. During the height of the pandemic, we found ourselves left with $2 million and a monthly burn rate of $400,000, forcing us to lay off 75% of our staff.
We didn't know how much time it would take for in-person events to make their comeback — but we never stopped believing they would. We had proven the need for a platform that would help companies book events more efficiently, so we decided to use the pandemic downtime to talk to our future clients and build our product roadmap.
We bet on in-person events while we watched virtual meeting companies gain massive momentum — but we stayed true to our mission, which is bringing people together. That’s what we believed in from the start, as well as what drove our vision for the world we wanted to live in. We’re thrilled to say that decision is paying off.
$18 million later - we're back in person
When COVID-19 restrictions eased, our sales pipeline grew exponentially. We raised $18 million in Series A funding in 2022; since then, our revenue has grown 40 times over. Ironically, the pandemic and its impact on corporate culture is now a driver for our business.
Companies are trying hard to get their employees, clients, and business partners back together post-pandemic — but most haven't succeeded, which has far-reaching effects on turnover and company culture. We believe the most effective way to bring people together is to create a culture of belonging and help people find value in in-person connections. Employees won't travel to work for free snacks and windowless conference rooms — but they will commute if it means getting an opportunity to bond with their coworkers around a fun team activity, or having great conversations with their peers at a networking event.
We're doubling down on in-person culture
We want Planned to be the platform that brings people together, and that's why we're rebranding. We're excited to share these changes and what they mean to us:
Meet our new tagline: "Where your events come together.” It’s the perfect description for Planned's product, which, at its core, is a centralized platform that event planners and procurement teams use to manage their events. It also represents Planned's mission, which is to bring people together through in-person events.
The wavy thread–which you can see in our new logo–will become a recurring element of our content going forward. This thread represents the bond between our platform, our users, and our suppliers, which all work together to create outstanding events.
Our new website and blog is a hub where we'll highlight cool approaches that industry leaders are taking to bring people together. You'll find inspirational content there — and you may get to share your own story with us.
Beyond our branding, we're doubling down on in-person events internally — because we know that great things happen when we can get together, we're kicking off multiple events series for our clients and community:
- To our clients: we're gathering event planners, suppliers, and sourcing experts to help them connect with their peers and discover the hottest trends in the event industry. First stop: New York City in January 2023. Get ready to RSVP, you don't want to miss it.
- To our community: we're giving away $5,000 credit gifts to charitable organizations in Canada and the United States to assist them in organizing fundraising events. We've also become the official host of a quarterly networking event, TechTogether, after more than 75 people joined us for its first iteration in October 2022.
- To our team: we practice what we preach, so we’ll continue to organize events every two weeks for our internal teams at Planned. From boat day to comedy night, our internal events are cherished moments of connection for our staff — and they’re part of our fabric. If you’re ever in Montreal on a Thursday, give us a call! 🤙
We believe that virtual work lives aren't sustainable on their own. In-person events bring the social aspect we all crave and make work more fun than a simple to-do list.
However, we’re entering a recession and corporate events remain one of the most significant unoptimized spending categories. For most companies–including Fortune 500 companies– it’s almost impossible to get a comprehensive view of how much is spent on events or to enforce preferred suppliers and rates. This is especially so when it comes to small, decentralized events organized by anyone in the organization.
Corporate travel expenses are estimated to be ~$930Bn in 2022. This is a category that companies have learned to track and optimize over the years, and generated huge savings from. Meanwhile, the global market for corporate events represents ~$1,060Bn. Small and simple meetings make up for a quarter of it, and they areone of the biggest saving opportunities for enterprises in 2023.
Planned is uniquely positioned to help with this. We make it easy for anyone - from centralized events teams to managers to EAs - to plan events while giving management teams the tools they need to gain visibility and find savings opportunities.
Since we raised our Series A, we've added 110,000 suppliers to our marketplace and launched several key features, including centralized payments, collaborative planning, and direct contracting. Soon, we're going to provide our clients with internal meeting space booking, custom admin panels, as well as deeper integrations with their accounting systems.
Bringing people together is hard, but it's what we all need right now. With our new brand, strategy, and founding, we're ready to help you get there.
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