Business News

Aussie Tech Startup Acquires Leading Event Organizer

Skift Take

This surprise acquisition creates a company with the experience, reputation and tech know-how to expand rapidly in the Australian association sector.

Event technology platform Joyn has acquired Arinex, the largest Australian-owned business event management company. The two companies will come together under the Arinex Group brand, with Joyn rebranding as Arinex Live.

The deal comes as somewhat of a surprise, with Arinex being the larger company with double the amount of employees, according to LinkedIn data. Although no financial details of the deal were shared, it may have provided Arinex founder Roslyn McLeod with a well-deserved cash exit.

A new leadership structure splits the top roles. Arinex CEO Nicole Walker assumes the role of Group CEO and will join the group board, while Joyn co-founder and CEO, Jordan Walsh, takes on the position of group executive chairman. Newcomer Tony Ward (formerly with Xero, Microsoft and LinkedIn) will join as a director.

What Makes This Deal Interesting

Two factors stand out in this deal. First, brand recognition is a hugely valuable asset. “The Arinex business brings invaluable event experience and a global brand and reputation that we are excited to continue to build on into the future,” said the newly appointed Arinex Group executive chairman Jordan Walsh. 

With Joyn rebranding as Arinex Live, they are buying into a solid reputation built over 50 years. Creating a recognizable differentiation for event technology brands is hard and a great way to achieve the type of brand recognition that can significantly impact sales.

Second, technology’s importance is recognized in delivering outstanding events. Innovation is key to staying ahead in delivering in-person, hybrid, or virtual events.

“The event industry requires significant innovation and that is the core reason we have combined forces with Joyn. It enables us to leverage the best-in-class technology that enhances the experience for all stakeholders and increases ongoing sponsor and delegate engagement,” said newly appointed Arinex Group CEO Nicole Walker.

Company Backgrounds

Joyn started in 2018 as Delegate Connect focused on registration, live streaming, and video-on-demand. Boosted by the industry’s pivot to virtual during the Covid pandemic, the company secured $7.1 million ($AUD 10 million) in seed funding in September 2021. It rebranded as Joyn in August 2022.

Arinex has a 50-year history as one of Australia’s leading conference organizers. It was founded as Tour Partners in 1973 by Roslyn McLeod OAM, a leading figure in Australia’s tourism industry. The company has an impressive track record in event and association management. In recent times, presumably driven by the tough Covid restrictions in the country, it has marketed itself as a digital conference organizer (DCO) and promoted the advantages of hybrid events.

Future Plans

Creating modern, innovative and technology-led event experiences is the core focus of the new company. “Creating unique in-person experiences, combined with an engaging digital environment is incredibly important,” said Walsh.

Joyn’s event technology platform will relaunch as Arinex One and continue focusing on the association sector. July will see the launch of a brand-new version of the platform. Joyn says it has hosted 200,000 attendees across more than 1,000 events. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are in the future plans with the aim of increasing attendee engagement.

Photo credit: Midjourney / Prompt: close up of handshake between a business man and a business woman