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Q&A with SmartCEO Magazine and Ryan Simonetti, Co-Founder and CEO of Convene

Posted March 20, 2017 By Jenna Wollemann

As part of the 2017 Future 50 Awards series, Convene was honored by SmartCEO Magazine as one of the fastest-growing mid-size companies on the East Coast. Ryan Simonetti, co-founder and CEO of Convene, sat down with SmartCEO to discuss the company’s future plans.




SmartCEO Magazine: Describe Convene in sentence. What is your elevator pitch?

Ryan Simonetti: Convene is the first “workplace-as-a-service” (WaaS) platform that partners with landlords to make premium space and hospitality services available to every tenant in our buildings and to every enterprise client in our network.


Describe your company’s products/services. How are they innovative or revolutionary?

Convene’s products and services are both revolutionary and innovative because they are the first of their kind to be integrated into the commercial real estate industry. These products and services are structured under three lines of business, including:

Convene Retail: Our growing network of on-demand meeting, event, conference, and workspace venues for enterprise clients and their employees.

Convene Services: Our vertically-integrated hospitality management platform that operates workplace amenities and hospitality services for commercial landlords and tenants.

Elevate: Convene’s proprietary “software-as-a-service” (SaaS) technology platform that is currently under development. Elevate will seamlessly connect landlords to tenants, users to services, and buildings to technology.


Why do your clients love doing business with you?

Our team truly cares about our clients and goes above and beyond to surprise and delight them with a genuine sense of hospitality. We’ve been able to earn industry-leading net promoter scores by first anticipating the needs of our clients and then delivering amazing experiences for them and their most important guests.


How does your organization exhibit the characteristics of family?

Like every great family, Convene is deeply rooted in its core values and belief system. We call this “GRIT” – an acronym for Genuine, Relentless, Integrity, and Teamwork. Our values are our North Star, which in turn creates an environment of trust, authenticity, commitment, and alignment, similar to what you would experience if you were invited over to a family dinner at any one of our homes.


What is your company’s competitive advantage in the marketplace?

Our culture is our first competitive advantage. We encourage every employee at Convene to strive to be 1% better every day. When everyone commits to improving upon their personal best, the tide rises for the entire company. Our second advantage is our commitment to world-class products and services, which are developed based on human-centered design principles and a commitment to continuous innovation across all departments. Last and most important is our clients. We are extremely fortunate to partner with more than 65 percent of the Fortune 100. The best enterprise clients and landlords in the world do business with Convene.


In what ways have you scaled your company’s operations to successfully handle fast growth?

Over the past 12-15 months, Convene’s business has tripled in size. To handle this immense growth, we have focused on hiring amazing leaders, and given them the resources needed to execute their strategic plans. This includes encouraging everyone to block out non-meeting time every week for doing individual work that requires long-term focus. We havealso upgraded 100 percent of our systems and technology infrastructure to handle our future growth. We are also putting a special focus on internal communications, as our employees are our biggest advocates as well as our greatest long-term asset.


What is the big-picture vision that drives your company?

At Convene we believe the best to way to improve how the world works is to transform how business works. Our mission is to transform the workplace experience by becoming the catalyst to collaboration, innovation, and community. Each space we design, every service we deliver, and each meal we prepare is focused on sparking a sense of connection that ultimately makes our clients more successful, societies stronger, and the individuals’ day happier and more productive.


Visit SmartCEO.com for more coverage of the Future 50 Awards.



Convene is revolutionizing the real estate industry. See how we support companies in successfully attracting and retaining the world's best tenants and talent, while creating environments that drive performance.