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Reaction: BrandLive acquires Notified's events assets | Aaron Cole, V2's CE0

Portland-based virtual events company, Brandlive just acquired assets and a team from Notified...and we think this could affect you even if you're not one of their customers.


Join V2's Aaron Cole and Roger Courville, CSP as they discuss this acquisition in our latest episode of #thoughtleaderconversations. They'll unveil the implications of this significant move for the #virtualevents and #webinars industry. Tune in to stay ahead in the evolving landscape of virtual communication, including learning about:


  • Industry Consolidation

  • Enhancement of Features

  • Market Evolution Post-COVID

  • Strategic Acquisition Benefits

  • Future Integration Challenges

  • Focus on Professional Event Services

  • Implications for Marketing Strategies







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Sponsor: V2, LLC, expert virtual and hybrid event production, www.VirtualVenues.com  

Host: Roger Courville, CSP, https://www.linkedin.com/in/rogerc/   


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UNEDITED TRANSCRIPT



[00:00:00] Roger Courville, CSP: So BrandLive acquires the virtual event platform and about a hundred employees from Notified, but why should you care? And what does this even mean for the industry? Hey, hello, and welcome to a reaction video. to use a YouTube ese kind of way of putting it. My name is Roger Courville and welcome to another episode of Thought Leader Conversations, usually talking to somebody on the outside, but today we're back on the inside because we're going to bring, uh, the, the head cook and bottle washer here on stage here momentarily, but you know that, uh, that all of these are sponsored by V2, where you can instantly scale your virtual and hybrid event production team with this crew with us.

Series. Serious amount of experience. But with that, let me bring back, uh, Aaron Cole, fellow industry, old timer, co founder and CEO of virtual venues. And importantly, Yeah. Bottle washer. Right. Importantly though, a guy who recognizes how maturation in the tech industry does and doesn't affect things like the professional services that we do that go along with the technology developments and, and crazy things like acquisitions.

So Aaron, just out of curiosity, why, let's start with the why. Why do you think this is noteworthy as an acquisition and why even bother paying attention to it? Yeah.

[00:01:22] Aaron Cole: Yeah. Hey, and Roger, first of all, it's great to see you again. And I always love our time here. So thanks for thanks for your time and your energy and your effort and all of that stuff.

So, um, and it's actually been a while since we've had an opportunity for the two of us to talk. Um, but I do think this is a pretty interesting little, little, little point in our, in our, in our world here. Um, If there are, uh, people that may have listened to older conversations that we've had about the market and about, about acquisitions and, and where the market is going and all that, I think you will hear a lot of the very similar terms and themes in this conversation that we have talked about before.

So at very least, This is, uh, another great example of that continuation of some of those themes that we've already talked about. Primarily consolidation, obviously, with BrandLive consolidating the market via the acquisition of, uh, of Notified. Um, in my world and as I look at this decision, it again, like I just said, is a, is a continuation of these larger picture items as our market continues to evolve and, and post COVID begins to kind of get a little bit more stability.

We are kind of feeling, um, I do feel that we've got a fairly good base now. Um, a lot of people are fairly cautiously optimistic with where the market's going to be going from an industry standpoint. Um, and so this, this is a, this is a, this is an interesting. acquisition on a couple reasons, but underlying all of that is that larger level consolidation topic.

And as you just mentioned, that essentially in this, uh, particular acquisition, uh, code base, client list, obviously, and a lot of obviously very smart and talented people from the Notify team that are going to be now working underneath. The second part that I don't think we'll probably get to a lot of this, but I feel like it's worth mentioning just in passing is that this also is going to be another Uh, almost side effect of the condu consolidation of essentially functionality and feature sets and, and essentially where our market is going from a design standpoint.

Um, I, I've heard you mention actually Roger, um, uh, some of those, uh, truths about how a market as it emerges, as it matures, um, that natural consolidation of players down to a functional. larger, uh, player market with a couple of smaller markets around, they're kind of feeding off of it. That's clearly where we're going.

And that's inevitable, but that's going to have an impact on the functionalities that we all take for granted and, and less players is going to mean a little bit of a difference in terms of how features are implemented, what those features are. Um, AI is obviously not going anywhere and that's going to continue to be a very big part of it.

[00:04:17] Roger Courville, CSP: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know what? I think if my, Recollection of marketing history is correct. It was Al Rees and Jack Trout who wrote the first book on positioning or kind of really put that word on the map in the 80s. And it was them that pointed out that as markets mature, they tend to shake out to two or three dominant players.

Right. Who have the bulk of market share and then a whole bunch of other, other, Competitors that neither need to niche or die, right? Yeah. And, and, um, I think one of the things that I think is interesting because I think, um, it says something about brand lives strategy. You know, when we think about who are, who are those 800 pound gorillas in space?

You know, the, I, I think there's a bifurcation that isn't often recognized because the volume of instances, the volume of, of people using web video, audio conferencing is driven by meetings. Right. So when you think about who are the, the, the big horses, whether it's the telcos or Microsoft or Cisco or, or whoever, you know, they're all driven around the meetings stuff and they don't tend to do events really well.

[00:05:32] Aaron Cole: Yeah.

[00:05:34] Roger Courville, CSP: Which is a very different works flow, different life cycle. And, you know, here's brand live who acquires. Some really killer expertise because the folks that notified formerly in Toronto, et cetera, et cetera Have some legit expertise in in the events space And I think we even just see that acknowledgment by like Google because brand live just did a deal with Google To tack on basically events on to Google meet why because Google meets not a webinar platform It's not a it's not your virtual event platform.

[00:06:12] Aaron Cole: Totally agree. And I think that Um, uh It's another, again, example of how the market, um, is, is, is maturing, but then also again, shaking out, you know, what I just, I was just thinking when you were, when you were, uh, just talking, I was on a, on a call, um, with another one of our providers, we, we very often will fill the role of like an advisory kind of product assessment, kind of a, kind of a design.

Um, uh, in this particular, uh, call, there were two things that, that they brought up that, um, um, Of course, wrote it on a sticky note, but now I'm, I'm not seeing it here, but, um, they, they brought up two things that I thought were fairly important or fairly interesting. The first one that they brought up was, um, was the idea that quantity has turned into quality.

So, number one, we're not just sitting there trying to throw, uh, Massive amounts of information, massive amounts of data, or massive amounts of meetings to the market. We understand the need to put out quantity stuff because we have to do that as a way to ensure that we're getting above all of that noise that's currently in the market, all of that consolidation, all of that traffic, and all of that, you know, Uh, other elements trying to gather and grab my attention as a consumer.

And the other one, um, was, was a word that I've heard bantered about a couple times, but the fact that it was in the lexicon of this platform and in their thought process, I thought was significant. And that was the term deminar. So, you know, the word demonstration combined with the word webinar. So building on that whole idea of, of show me, don't tell me type of a mentality where.

They're seeing, they're understanding that their audiences want to be shown, they want to see things, they want to kick the tires in real time, uh, and so, allowing them to make their own decisions in their time and then follow up with questions and then follow up to learn more. Um, so essentially giving them a little bit of that control that might not have always been from a marketing standpoint.

And then as a marketer, what I'm looking for, um, I'm looking for tools that are going to allow me to do that, that are going to allow me to cultivate that interest in my markets for the tools that I am providing, or I'm trying to get people to look at. Um, and so I, I agree with what you're saying, and I think that, again, it's, it's just interesting to watch how things have changed, and especially with BrandLive.

I think there's a lot of elements to that, um, which I know we're going to probably get into here a little bit, uh, BrandLive being another type of a, type of a platform that not historically has been involved or present to a large degree in the virtual events industry. until now.

[00:08:53] Roger Courville, CSP: Right.

[00:08:54] Aaron Cole: Until this acquisition.

Well, I

[00:08:55] Roger Courville, CSP: mean, they're say in, in Portland, which is where V2 is based. And that's where I lived until last year. And so I was particularly interested when I, when this new company bubbles up doing virtual events. So to speak, um, right in my own backyard because, you know, Portland, Oregon, crazy enough, was the birthplace of professional services, professional event services, right?

That's quite literally where the whole thing started. And then I found that, oh yeah, BrandLive is, I don't know if it, I would have called it more like Um, video production information tools and you know, and, and, and they brought a new twist to that, but it wasn't somebody that we ever ran into as in, Oh, should we use zoom on 24 brand live now?

There's never part of that conversation, right? So then acquiring the code base, the talent base, um, that could be, that could be interesting. If you think about it, there aren't that many, yeah. Technology companies who are pure plays in events. Right. Like on 24 is an events company, right? You don't fire up on 24 to have a virtual meeting with three people.

Right. Right. And so brand live could, could make a space, you know, could make a, you know, could make a mark for themselves in, in the virtual space.

[00:10:24] Aaron Cole: Right. Well, I, I do think that's exactly kind of the goal. And, and, um, I agree with you. We, we did not, it was very rare that, that. Historically, we would run into brand live and I agree with your kind of assessment.

I've always kind of thought of the more is that that kind of higher quality video library streaming type of a design that provided you with some, you know, more professional focused video production abilities. In some ways, it's not that different than like a stream yard, for example, where you can, you know, you can do lower thirds, you can do layers, you can do things like that.

Um, they have absolutely, that's, that's what I would say where they started, um, and in the past couple of years, they have absolutely pivoted to being able to do events and things like that, but it's been on, um, uh, on a fairly small scale from a market standpoint, and obviously, uh, something that was solely enclosed within the technology of what BrandLife has built out, and that's exactly why, to your point, I think that this play By acquiring notified, acquiring the code, acquiring the bodies, the mindset, the mind share, as well as the client base, um, is fairly significant.

And that does absolutely kind of tell you, I think, where they're looking to go. I do feel like there's several, um, variables in that, that I think are going to be fairly interesting to watch. Um, But I think it's very clear where, where, where their mindset is and is and where they're going. It's in some ways similar to one of the conversations we had not too long ago about with RingCentral acquiring Hopin, you know, where RingCentral literally had no presence in this market.

Um, and then with the acquisition of Hopin, essentially came in and bought that and owned, you know, the next day a fairly significant player in the virtual environment, virtual, uh, uh, industry. Um, there's no doubt they got a hell of a price tag and a hell of a deal with purchasing Hoppin for whatever it was, the 40 million that they did.

I don't think it's been released what notified, uh, was, was sold at. That's obviously a big part of it in terms of, you know, how much of that investment it is, but, but still that underlying principle of, of, of buying your way into the market, essentially immediately kind of using those elements is, is, um, it's pretty noteworthy on where they're looking to go.

[00:12:46] Roger Courville, CSP: Yeah, I'm looking at one of the releases and it says the CEO brand. I don't remember the CEO's name at, uh, brand live, but it says his vision is to roll up the quote unquote, roll up the whole enterprise webinar space. into its platform, but you know, I think that's interesting because

if we just focus on events online, onsite hybrid, but it's a different use case than meetings as we've already, as we've already talked about, but importantly, and I think this is one of those things where if I was out there in the industry, if I, whether I was a, you know, marketer at a, at a company and wanting to keep an eye on what's going on, I think.

It might be worth keeping an eye on to say, where and how do they bring these things together? Do they end up trying to roll it all into one platform?

[00:13:45] Aaron Cole: Yes.

[00:13:45] Roger Courville, CSP: And migrate customers, or do they keep them separate? Because there are different use cases, right? I mean, it's not unlike You know, using some of the finer details of, of using, say, um, zoom webinar or on 24 versus using, um, ECA M Live or OBS or a a, a live stream, right?

Mm-Hmm. or stream yard. Or when you get into the nuts and bolts, there are some differences. That might, that are important to marketers and they never bubble up in daily meetings because that's just not, that's not what we do.

[00:14:25] Aaron Cole: Right, right. But that is, that is one of the core principles of virtual events in terms of those things.

Um, to your point again, you know, when you have the CEO of your company doing an all hands, that use case might only be used maybe four times a year. But a damn sure is a pretty important one, you know, in terms of how you use and your, your ideas of that product and how well it works. And so if there are feature sets that work perfectly for the thousands of meetings that you might be running, you know, or your, your, your world might be running your teams, your company might be running.

But it doesn't work for those four events that the CEO wants to be speaking to the company. That's going to be problematic. And again, it really kind of highlights that point about there is, there is kind of that dichotomy in the industry in terms of, of, of the tools they're designing their feature sets.

I think it's inevitable that, um, brand live. Well, let me back up. I think there's a large question mark about the code, right? And where is that going to go? Obviously, it would seem, you know, you assume and you know that brand live obviously went through the code and went through and is either identifying elements that they can pull off.

Notified's new product cloud has been around for a couple, couple years now. Um, to what degree? What? Brand live either bought or to what degree brand live is looking at Notified as one of those those, uh, those code bases that we've actually talked a lot before They've been around for so long and there are so many iterations.

That's a very very very deep Codebase with a lot of baggage, essentially, potentially there, you know, because of how long it's been and because of how many iterations and because of all of the work that's entailed in building that up, you know, they don't have a brand new start from scratch code base that was built in 19 or that was built in 2024.

They have code base that was built in. That's a big deal. And so understanding and, and, and I would imagine BrandLive is very much looking and drilling into that. Um, because I don't see how, if they're just going to take that existing older code base and, and, and rebrand it, swap it over, convert, um, their existing client base to this new tool.

Um, I'm not sure that's going to be that, that raging success that they want it to be. Um, being smart about that code. And again, to what degree cloud is a part of it. You know, the other thing that I, that I thought was noted noteworthy was that notified is keeping the IR and the PR platforms, which, which are iterations of, of cloud.

Um, So that's, that's a, that's an interesting thing. Um, but those are big elements and, and it does directly answer that question of where is, where does brand live want to be in a year from now? I think we, we, we kind of guessed that we kind of know that bigger question, where are they going to be in a year from now?

That's not quite as easy to answer because of these larger questions about the code base, client base, things like that. So. As you

[00:17:35] Roger Courville, CSP: were talking and just describing some of the back behind the scenes challenges, I was just thinking, Oh, what is, who is their audience and what is their likely challenge or what did it, what's the thing to keep an eye out for?

And it just dawned on me, right? One of the per perennial challenges for senior marketing management, and this is also true in, in, in training as a, as a vertical. But one of the challenges is that, that, that. you get with vertical use cases within the company is this tension between IT buys something and deploys it out to everybody versus the specialized use case that I have, right?

And, you know, Microsoft's opportunity or Cisco's opportunity is they, they own all the desktops. And so now all of a sudden, bam, you know, 30, 000 people in your enterprise. Also now have Microsoft Teams, which is great if you just need to have a meeting, but it's not so great if you need to do an event, um, has its, has its quirks, right?

And, uh, consequently, um, one of those points of differentiation is, isn't, is the marketer or the leader who needs to make a decision, needs to be able to justify why they're going to go spend. You know, 40 grand on, on, on platform X, as opposed to just use the thing I already get in a sense for free from, from my team and, and meaning you have to be able to think about what is the value that these additional features bring to the table.

And um, Quite fortunately, that's one of those things that, you know, we have a chance to, to help people with because you mentioned earlier that sometimes we, we come in and are a bit like consultants. right? Because we're power users. And just, just in case you happen to be listening to this and you don't know who virtual venues is, we're not a technology company.

We're a professional services company. So we don't make Webex or zoom or on 24. Um, you know, we provide the pro services around that. Um, but the point is oftentimes, and I knew this when I was doing independent consulting, uh, I won't name the vendor that I did a lot of work for, but they knew. that generally their platform was really underutilized.

One of the big challenges is they had some cool features and nobody, nobody, they didn't get used because people didn't know they actually existed. They actually did some research and found that people didn't know what they had. Well, that's one of those things I think is an opportunity for brand live because they have a little more clarity by just being focused on the event space with regard to being here.

Um, to understanding, ah, our current offer fills this segment of the marketer's use case. What Notified brings to the table fills this other segment of the marketer's use case. And they'll, they'll be able to articulate that in a way that, that a really big telco or somebody like that can. Yeah.

[00:20:52] Aaron Cole: And, and, um, I agree totally.

And I think that that's obviously, or would be a, would be a very strong strategy for brand life. You know, even if nothing were as they're looking at the client base of Notified, which they now own, you know, there, there's probably quite a bit there that might make use of that from a synergy standpoint.

And I do think it's also, even if you flip it and look at on the other side of, of the coin, um, Everybody that I've heard from, uh, at Notified is, is excited about this acquisition. I haven't, I haven't heard from any, a single person that does not feel like this is a good decision for the Notified position standing employees in the market.

You know, I think you can, um, you can maybe make a little bit of a, of a, of an infer, inforation that, that you, you might call this a little bit of a lifeline to Notified. Um, Or to at least to that product. Um, we've had conversations before about, uh, when cloud was released, which was, um, I'll say, I'll say it in a way that I think even, you know, the notified people would agree with it.

It was released. a little bit in response to where the market had pushed them in the middle of COVID when all of these platforms like Hopin, Bizaboos of the world, those things that came up and literally exploded overnight because of that use case and that ability to just immediately spin things up. Um, if cloud had been released a couple of years earlier and maybe not a response to that market, I think our, our industry would, would absolutely be in a different world right now.

Um, but I can't help but wonder.

[00:22:32] Roger Courville, CSP: It was, it was a great idea that was five years right late.

[00:22:36] Aaron Cole: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And so I can't help but wonder, you know, um, from that standpoint, um, You know, you've got a great product. If you don't necessarily have the resources to make sure that you can get that in front of everybody so that it becomes a great product, you don't have a great product.

And so there might very well be a little bit of that where, where the, the teams that are now working underneath brand live, that idea of where a cloud would be, if that was a part of, of the code base, that is a part of this acquisition. Um, maybe that means that brand live is going to be. in a position financially and otherwise to help push that forward because it is, it is a very good product.

There's no doubt about it.

[00:23:15] Roger Courville, CSP: Yeah. And aside

[00:23:16] Aaron Cole: from those discussions, you know, about the code base, aside from those discussions about where it's at in the market now, reactionary versus anticipating it. Sorry, go ahead. What are you going to say?

[00:23:25] Roger Courville, CSP: Well, no, I was just going to say, I'm just corroborating. Uh, and cause, you know, if you go back enough time, There was a time when Adobe Connect was the only platform that had a CMS driven way of approaching things, right?

It required a paradigm shift, right? But the idea of having a central cloud based, um, central repository of elements that you could utilize, reuse, etc. Um, was a very different way of thinking. Then, then firing up, go to webinar, creating one instance and right. And then that instance gets torn down and hope you got that

[00:24:11] Aaron Cole: data goes nowhere, right?

Yeah. Which is not, which is not

[00:24:14] Roger Courville, CSP: the case anywhere longer for go to webinar. I'm just using a, an example from way back then. Right. And so that was, and I think notified what they did with the cloud. Um, looked really good and there are still companies that are just now catching up to some of those concepts.

I mean, I'm going to zoom just literally just in the last few months implemented the ability to create a poll external to the meeting. and then draw, you know, you say, which of these polls do I want in, in this particular media, right? I mean, they're, I mean, that's not a, that's not a new idea.

[00:24:53] Aaron Cole: No, very true.

[00:24:56] Roger Courville, CSP: And, and then the way that plays itself out with regard to reporting, right? If you wanted to report on how did people answer that poll across the 73 events that I had this year, you'd have to do it all manually when all those individual events. So anyway, I just, I think there are some really good things that

[00:25:16] Aaron Cole: brings

[00:25:17] Roger Courville, CSP: to the table for brand live.

[00:25:19] Aaron Cole: Totally. And, and I, and I got a, I got a cop. I, I have been a lover and an admirer from, from way back when, because of the amount of, um, customization and the, the depth of their, of the reporting of that platform. It, it, it's astounding, especially when you think about the fact that that, what that was when that was rolled out, you know, um, Decade ago without, without exaggerating, that's astounding, you know?

And so there's absolutely a value there that, that, what I think we're both kind of saying is, is that where, where does BrandLive take it from here? And I think it's safe to say that, that, you know, the client base is obviously there. So you've got the revenue, they need to keep the client base there, keep them happy.

That's not going to be just, Hey, this is, you know, same as usual. There's going to have to be some consolidation. BrandLive is obviously, I'm sure, Looking at finding ways to increase that adoption with, you know, either a mix up or, or BrandLife products into, into Notified's client base, vice versa, you know, all of those things, obviously.

Um, one thing we haven't even talked about here yet today is the fact that they've also brought over and then acquired the, the virtual environment business of Notified, which BrandLife has had no. presence in the virtual environment element, which is a very big part of Notified. And that's interesting because all of a sudden now they, they have a fairly established presence in that market.

Um, you know, obviously relying on the talent and the very smart people that are, that are behind that product, but that's a part of that acquisition. And so that's another thing that's very interesting to me, you know, is, is thinking through and probably watching what they do with that product. Okay.

Contingent on the quality and the retention of the talent that they brought over that has been running that product up until this point, you know, that's not necessarily coming from anyone in brand live because they haven't done that before, you know, so interesting, but

[00:27:30] Roger Courville, CSP: yeah, I'm excited for the folks at notified because I think they'll get knock on wood.

We'll get some of the attention. That they deserve the, you know, a, a, a change of reporting relationship. Anytime there's a significant shift, nodding, you know, not, uh, including, um, an acquisition means that you've got a different executive team with a different set of priorities. And, you know, they're, they'll be sorting some things out, but, um, but because, you know, one of the companies that I co founded, Eighteen years ago was sold to one of the companies that was acquired by one of the companies that was acquired by one of the companies that is actually now notified,

[00:28:11] Aaron Cole: you

[00:28:13] Roger Courville, CSP: know, notified was part of, I mean, the, the, the big owner with was Apollo.

Right? Hedge fund. Yes. So, not unsurprisingly, um, all of the hardcore events stuff struggles to get noticed in big broad roll ups in telcos, you know, right. And you know, when you're part of West and West has all this conference call business and a whole bunch of other, right. There's a, it's, it's a specialized use case because it's, it's just so different.

And so, right. Um, I think, I think it'll be like you just brought up the, like the virtual environments that has a high degree of opportunity, but it has a high degree of complexity, right? There's, that's a labor intensive thing to go make it all sing because of the degree of complexity and the number of options you've got.

You're not just pushing a button and saying, Hey, I'm going to share a poll.

[00:29:09] Aaron Cole: Right, right. And by default, notified. Always came at that equation from the, from the stance of extremely high complexity, you know, and so they, they have to actively walk that back from a complexity standpoint, because it's not necessarily.

in line with where the market is going. The market is going towards streamlining, um, ease of adoption, faster build. I don't think that says that they're not looking and interested in reporting and in, uh, you know, consolidation of different platforms together to talk and things like that. But, um, they've had to come at that from that standpoint of, of actually kind of watering down by dialing back things.

Um, to get to that level that like a hop in or again, like a visible or whatever is actually running at. from that complexity and that feature standpoint. So it's even, it's even how they're looking at it, you know, um, and how they've approached it from before that I think is going to actually weigh into those discussions.

And I, another thing you just said that, that triggered a thought from me as well is, you know, when you are talking about the Apollos of the world, you know, we, we, we are, we are a very small industry. You know, in the larger picture of where the business world functions, I'm going to argue that we're in an extremely important industry because it's largely how these markets and these businesses communicate, but from a asset management standpoint, aka Apollo, whoever, um, It's pretty small.

And so I think it is very, very easy. It's a rounding error. Right. Exactly. I think it's very easy for those groups to essentially, you know, not recognize the value of that rounding error or not recognize the value of or the actual importance of where, um, where this market sits within that larger, larger ecosystem.

Um, and where is notified. Now Notified's got IR and PR, um, or Apollo does, you know, IR and PR, um, obviously important elements, but it's noteworthy and interesting to me that that's what they're, they're moving forward. Those things are absolutely, um, elements that I think a Apollo, type company would probably sense the value in a more traditional standpoint because of the requirements, because of how those are, are, um, are utilized by publicly traded companies, for example, or, or any larger companies, um, maybe less so value, you know, with, with other things that events run.

[00:31:52] Roger Courville, CSP: I don't know that they would admit it, but Apollo is a bunch of financial analysts. So they, they get conference calls.

[00:32:05] Aaron Cole: I. R. gets conference calls. I mean, yeah. Right. I, I, to this day, been able to figure that out.

[00:32:13] Roger Courville, CSP: To one of the points that you just made, I think, I think Brand Live, And I'm, I'm, I don't have any insider knowledge of the brand live. I don't, I'm just making some hopefully educated guesses. I always got the sense that they had a, a mindset, a lot more like an agency and agency tends to work in a job shop sort of mentality where I'm going to go work with the client and it's a, it's a sizable deal and I'm going to go put all of the pieces together the way that.

I. That client wants, which is different than buying a piece of software that I'm trying to scale and make it so user friendly that you don't ever have to call my tech support line because it's just so bonehead easy to use. You can just use it, right? Um, and So it'll be interesting to kind of see where they take that because I think I think they're used to managing that complexity They are with the nature of how they have served customers and before

[00:33:20] Aaron Cole: and I and I think that I mean I I would look at that again from what our what our industry does and especially v2 in general I mean, we we know we understand we we know our lane to be that you know, Customer relationship type of mentality where we are working directly with the people that we are fortunate to work with to produce essentially, you know, zero failure.

very high level, high quality type of events. I love that focus because in a lot of ways, it's, it's identical to the focus that, that V2 has had for whatever, it's been 15 years now. And I do think that that, I agree with you, Roger. I think that that has been a larger, um, focus of BrandLive as they have grown their market share, um, with that kind of focus.

And, um, It will be interesting to, to, to agree with you where that's going to go and, and to see kind of where that, how that will evolve, you know, um, when they are suddenly overnight, this much larger company. Um, they've got some great people to your point that they're bringing over with Notified, you know, and so that's a strong connection.

Um, I'm excited for everyone that's a part of that transition because it's obviously something that, that, um, people are excited about and are seeing a value. from their standpoint. Um, let's see where they're at in a year, you know? Um, I think we both know where they want to be. We know where they want to go.

Let's see where they're at in a year and Yeah. Well, and it'll be,

[00:34:50] Roger Courville, CSP: we'll, we'll, the people with the political power in the process recognize the brain trust that they just acquired is notified. It's got some sharp cookies. You know, and one of those, one of those things that I, I look forward to your point to where they're at in a year, keeping an eye on is seeing where that bubbles up for us, right?

Because as we talked about when we just started, started the conversation, we were not in a place where we were bumping into them because their platform solved a different problem, right? Now, because, because our value proposition is, Hey, we're going to go be expert on, on On platforms so that you can be , you can go focus on what you do, right?

Because anybody who's ever been in the back end of like on 24 goes, oh, I could do this. And, but, and if you're smart, you figure out, oh, but how much value is created by somebody like a. Adam on our staff who does nothing but be in the back end on 24 all day every day of the week and helps create value that you would you would spend forever trying to DIY yourself.

Yes, you know, I mean, I think there's an opportunity for us to even look at notified again since we've Like you said, it was two years ago when we were kind of looking at him going, Oh, is this, it just was a miss at the time.

[00:36:21] Aaron Cole: Yep. Yep. It didn't, it didn't fit unfortunately with where, where the market, uh, where we were at in the market.

Um, but yeah, no, I, I, I agree. We, um, We focus on technology. We're never going to be the talent, but who we work with, they are going to be the talent. They are going to be the ones that are the ones giving the message on the stage that we provide, and we're not doing our job if we're not keeping abreast of where, where the market's going, where the feature sets are going, who the players are, and, and making a concerted effort to work with.

In very close relationships with the best possible platforms for the, the, the, the use cases that we have defined and the use cases that our clients need us to have expertise in. So, yeah, I, I, I have no doubt that, you know, if they grow, then we're going to talk, you know, and see where we end up with that.

The

[00:37:21] Roger Courville, CSP: challenge with a mature industry like we are now is the differentiation in platforms is in really small little details, right? Not about, Oh, you've got polls and we've got polls. Everybody's got, and it's, and it's there. And then how it facilitates workflow, right? Because events are about workflow, right?

They have a life cycle. And, um, and I think that's one of the places where, where. Professional assistance really helps you mine value and, and bring that out in terms of creating experiences for your end user. Right,

[00:38:04] Aaron Cole: right. Or at the very least be aware of it and the very least know that there are options, you know.

So, um, and I still do feel, I agree with you completely and it goes right along with that. The whole, that whole larger discussion of consolidation, you know, which, which is not going away and which has. Has had such an impact on our market naturally as it, as it should. Um, there still are going to be, uh, platforms that function better in certain circumstances compared to others.

And, and some of that, absolutely. A large part of that arguably is licensing costs. Now, you know, if everyone has the same way of doing things in terms of how you're building scenes or whatever it happens to be, that becomes less of a driver. Um, but those drivers are still there. And, and at the very least, knowing what those drivers are, being aware of them, being able to consciously decide what's important, what's not important, is a good thing.

A good stance to be at when you're looking to assess and make these choices.

[00:39:07] Roger Courville, CSP: Well, Aaron, appreciate you taking a little moment just to share some of the wealth of stuff anytime, brain of yours, . Uh, any final thoughts here before we, I'm gonna get to do,

[00:39:18] Aaron Cole: I'm gonna go start washing some dishes here next, but, uh, I'll get to that.

Um, no. Anyways, I, I appreciate your time, Roger. I, I thank you. I, I love these calls and, and it, and I, I, um. I think it's again, it's fascinating and I, I feel so incredibly fortunate that, that, that we're in a position in this industry to kind of be able to watch and to see where these things are going. Um, this is an incredibly dynamic industry and it's an incredibly, uh, It's incredible to watch where this industry has gone, even, even if you just put the bookends around the last four years, you know, it's insane.

And so, um, first of all, you know, congratulations obviously to BrandLive, congratulations to Notified, um, we're excited. We want to see, we want to see success. We want to see you guys succeed and we're excited. And obviously, um, it's a big move that we'll be cheering on the sidelines for and watching as it goes, that doesn't necessarily change where we're at.

Obviously as a business, you know, we're going to stay on our lane. We're going to work on providing that unparalleled level of. production and assistance with the clients that we have, um, you know, and we'll be watching, you know, so I don't think it really changes anything that we're doing. It's, it's just a very interesting milestone, you know, and, and let's see where, where, where that little side shoot, uh, takes us, you know, in a year or two from now.

We'll, we'll be watching.

[00:40:45] Roger Courville, CSP: Well, with that, I will also say and close with this, um, Aaron is really, really accessible. So if you want to pick his brain, pick up the phone and give a shout, because one of the things that, uh, you probably figured out if you're still listening by now is, um, we've been doing this a long dang time and, and the good news is I still like it.

You know, it's, we're still at a pace where we really enjoy working with the clients that we get to work with and, and in the way that we help them. get to help them. And, and, uh, it's crazy how many more white hairs are on my chin than when I started. So, well, with that, glad you joined us for another episode of V2's Thought Leader Conversation Series.

We'll see you on the next time around.


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