by Michael Shapiro | June 15, 2012

This week brought a couple of interesting announcements from meetings technology companies, each of which is representative of trends I think we'll see continue to grow over the next few years.

First, Cvent announced Wednesday that it had acquired Seed Labs, a mobile app development company that creates native apps for big consumer events. Among Seed's clients have been the Kentucky Derby, ESPN's X Games and the Country Music Association's Music Festival. With the acquisition, Cvent gains a ready-made development team with lots of event app experience.

Cvent reviewed at least 20 app providers before making the move for Seed; clearly, they were prepared to spend for a team that could quickly begin rolling out apps as an option to Cvent customers. Seed marks the first acquisition for Cvent in the company's 13-year history. Last year, shortly after Cvent received a huge cash influx from investors, CEO Reggie Aggarwal told me the money would be spent in large part on product development. He mentioned, too, that mobile technology was a priority for the company.

Now, everyone knows mobile technology is an industry trend -- we've been hearing that for several years. But I think this -- the acquisition of mobile app developers -- will be a trend within that trend. There are many mobile app developers out there, and I suspect it will become more difficult for those companies to compete with tech providers that offer mobile development as one aspect of a range of meetings technology. (I do welcome arguments to the contrary.) For the meetings technology providers, acquiring a seasoned app developer means they gain real-world event app experience and a sped-up time to market.

In other meetings tech news, Certain also made an announcement this week. The company will be integrating new matchmaking functionality into its meetings-management platform upgrade at the beginning of July. The Match2Connect feature is billed as a one-to-one appointment-matching solution for events. It's an algorithm-based tool that automatically suggests meetings based on attendee profiles and some questions answered during the registration process. The new functionality is tailor-made for hosted-buyer conferences and large trade shows but, according to Certain, Match2Connect also has been piloted among financial execs at smaller, speed-dating types of events.

Certain CEO Peter Micciche calls the product the "ultimate interaction matching engine," and I'm interested to see it in action. Matchmaking functionality seems to be a trend, too. I've heard it billed as an upcoming feature in a number of event app platforms; at least one app developer is currently piloting similar functionality. They'll happily promote it if the magical algorithm works as well as they anticipate, but a matchmaker really needs a good track record in order to gain the trust of the people using its services. Stay tuned.