Webex Pulls the Plug on Events Platform

Black power plug out of white socket

Skift Take

Cisco's strategic shift away from standalone event platforms towards integrated solutions within their Webex Suite marks the end of an era for virtual event platforms.

Starting next Monday, Webex will no longer offer Webex Events (formerly Socio) as a standalone product. Only users of the full Webex Suite will be able to continue using Webex products to run their events. Existing users of the standalone Webex Events will be supported for one year, ending on April 30, 2025.

The platform’s website states: “Our commitment to providing the world’s best end-to-end event management platform remains our north star, and we look forward to strengthening our connection with Suite customers and partners to unlock new possibilities and future innovation.”

The move signifies a departure from the events industry for Webex and its parent company, Cisco. In a statement shared with Skift Meetings, the company makes it clear that it is now only focused on supporting its enterprise customers.

“The decision to integrate Webex Events into the broader Webex Suite reflects an evolving industry landscape where users are seeking more integrated solutions. Event planners, marketers and communicators are now empowered with a versatile platform that caters to a variety of needs – ranging from small internal meetings to large-scale, multi-faceted events. This change is designed to provide our users with a seamless solution for hosting virtual, in-person, and hybrid events, while also leveraging other communication tools such as webinars, real-time polling, and video messaging within the same ecosystem.”

Support for Existing Clients

Webex has committed to working with existing clients until the end of their contracts. The company offers to transfer clients with multi-year contracts to a Webex Suite package that includes Webex Events.

The company won’t create new contracts after April 29 but is happy to add more features to existing contracts. Access to the platform for clients and attendees will be removed 90 days after April 30, 2025.

The Socio Story

While the technology will still be used, this move will likely be the final milestone in the Webex Events/Socio story. The company was founded in 2016 by Alihan Ozbayrak, Joseph Watkins, Yarkin Sakucoglu, all students at Purdue University. Its initial focus was event apps, with Sakucoglu taking on the CEO role. The company raised a $400k Seed round of funding in October 2018. It followed this up with a much larger $6 million Series A round in July 2019.

Like most event tech companies, the company shifted its attention to virtual events during the Covid pandemic. It pivoted its app solution to a virtual event platform by May 2020. It then announced a community platform in June 2020, followed by a streaming solution in November 2020.

In May 2021, Cisco swooped in and acquired the company for an undisclosed amount, rebranding it to Webex Events (formerly Socio).