After increasing its Atlantic Canadian staff 30-fold in the past six years, Cvent is hiring again, hoping to add 20 to 30 people in the region.
The maker of software for the event and hospitality industries has been a growth story in the region since it bought Fredericton-based OneLobby in 2014. It was seen at the time as a fire sale of a troubled company, but it ended up being one of the more successful exits in the region in terms of employment.
Five OneLobby members joined Cvent at the time, and soon word was spreading that the local head Brian Dunphy (one of the six co-founders of Radian6) was building up a big team. Today, Cvent has 150 employees in Atlantic Canada, including 110 at the 15,000-square-foot Fredericton office. By headcount, it’s the second largest Cvent office in North America, exceeded only by the headquarters in the Washington, D.C., suburb of McLean, Va.
“We had a really great reputation here from the beginning,” Dunphy, the General Manager of Cvent Canada, said in an interview. “When we started hiring here, we hand-picked some of the best people we had seen and then the word got out. And I think there is a lot of loyalty here.”
The surprising thing about Cvent’s recent hiring binge is the company’s clients are concentrated in a sector that’s been whacked by the pandemic – the events and conference industry.
Dunphy said Cvent has responded to the downturn by launching its all-in-one virtual events solution, the Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub. The new product facilitates online events and includes comprehensive built-in features for instant feedback, agenda planning and the like – with more features being rolled out nearly every few weeks. Cvent recently showed the efficacy of the product by virtually hosting 42,000 people at Cvent CONNECT in August.
Once the pandemic passes and in-person conferences return, the market will probably demand a hybrid solution that includes the functionality of the Virtual Attendee Hub, said Dunphy.
Dunphy’s staff in Atlantic Canada now covers a range of positions. Cvent has a development team in the region, but the disciplines also include such areas as finance and customer success. As well as the main office in Fredericton, there are clusters of remote employees in Saint John, Moncton and Halifax, complemented by workers in other locations.
The company has received support from Opportunities New Brunswick, which in 2018 announced a $385,000 payroll support program to help the company grow in the province over three years.
“I’ve been working within the company as a champion for Atlantic Canada,” said Dunphy. “People think of it as a small market but I think we’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of the talent pool here.”
Dunphy said he’s been impressed with the quality of talent he’s hired each year from University of New Brunswick. The company brings in about 15 interns from the university each term and expects to hire about 20 of them this year alone.
The pandemic has only served to highlight the strength of Atlantic Canada, said Dunphy, because the success of the Atlantic Bubble is making people believe the region is returning to normal more quickly than other places.
“The message is that we’ll hire people wherever we can find them and we really like Atlantic Canada,” said Dunphy. “I have no doubt that we’ll be near 200 people in the region in the next few years.”