Who We Are
~ Co-creators, business partners, friends ~
EventSystemPro Inc. founded in 2011, was created by the team at Verney Conference Management Inc. (VCM); a conference management company that specializes in the human side of communication. Founded in 2002, Verney Conference Management believes that communication breeds efficiency. Knowledge sharing with peers can save an organization many valuable resources. VCM’s goal is for each delegate to not only walk away from a conference with a stronger understanding of the topic, but with the tools and expertise to implement solutions.
Over the past 13 years, with demand escalating, the leadership at VCM Inc. realized the need for an efficient and intuitive content management system. By 2005, every single one of VCM's events, be they independently produced, or managed for a client, required their own online brand and life. Delegates expected all conference related information to be in one succinct place, and consistently and constantly up to date. Online registration services, dynamic agendas, online and secure payment, the ability to create a personal conference experience, to only name a few, became part of an expected conference standard. Wanting to stay ahead of the curve, VCM went about developing a tool to help keep pace with this new standard in the conference planning experience, but found nothing “out of the box” that was flexible enough for our needs. In early 2005, the development of the system began and EventSystemPro was born. The Suite of services that make up EventSystemPro are unparalleled in today’s event management landscape.
The EventSystemPro Suite sets itself apart from other CMS / AMS platforms for one simple reason; it was created for event planners by event planners.
Dustin Rivers, the company's co-Founder, was working in Toronto for what he calls a "conference production factory, that prioritized quantity of events over quality of agenda, with little regard for the communities the events were supposed to serve". He was quickly able to identify an opportunity, in large part due to the feedback he was receiving about the conferences he was currently producing. With an eye towards working with the public sector to produce the same type of high quality events, but at drastically less cost per delegate, Dustin packed up his meager belongings and moved to Ottawa to start Verney Conference Management Inc.
It wasn't until 2003 that things really began to take off, and Dustin began formulating a new Event Production Business Model - what he now calls Community-Based Developed events. In April of that year, VCM was joined by now Partner and Co-owner, Chris Lutz.
Over this time, as Dustin and Chris honed their negotiation skills and learned more about the financial intricacies of the event industry. VCM took a "let's try to do it ourselves before paying someone else" mentality and quickly became a one-stop shop for complete Event Production. Not only did the team at VCM manage event logistics along with its associated vendors, it procured an AV arsenal capable of servicing a 300+ person event with 5 concurrent sessions running at any given time. VCM also began supplying in-house Graphic Design services, but perhaps most impressively of all, they created what is now known as EventSystemPro (ESP) - VCM's custom built event registration and event management system.
Since ESP's launch, Dustin has worked with clients representing Provincial and Federal Government Departments, Not-For-Profits, Association Management firms and Professional Event Planners. He continues to run conferences, both independtly produced and for clients, and with the help of ESP's developers and Partner Chris Lutz, he's proud to present ESP 3.0 Suite of Services to the world.
Dustin lives in Ottawa with his wife Stephanie and son Michael. When not making life easier for associations and event planners, Dustin can be found in his garage, watching football and puttering around with one of his many power tools.
Chris Lutz, originally born and raised in Western Canada, has been producing conferences for Verney Conference Management since early 2004. A graduate from the University of Guelph, where he met long time friend and business partner Dustin Rivers, Chris first honed his event management skills while working for the University's Office of First Year Studies as the Event Manager for 2 years straight. In charge of 2 years worth of Orientation week events, Chris managed 400 + volunteers, a staff of 6, while overseeing rougly 270 events in the span of 9 days.
After graduation, Chris stayed on campus and accepted the role of Editor-in-Chief of the Ontarion Student Newspaper, one of Ontario's oldest independent student newspapers, with one of Canada's highest circulation rates. After seeing that contract through, Chris followed the woman of his dreams to New Zealand, where he worked in one of the country's oldest and largest retailers' business systems offices. Chris came back engaged to be married, and hungry for opportunity - luckily, Dustin gave him a call, and the 2 (now partners) grew VCM and ESP to the companies they are today.
Like Dustin, Chris has managed many client-run events, while successfully growing VCM's Connections brand and launching EventSystemPro. The system, designed by event planners, for event planners, continues to be the hub of event organization across Canada for many clients.
Chris currently lives in Ottawa, with his wife Tatyana and their 2 sons, Mika and Aca. An avid hockey dad / coach / fan, Chris morphs into a rink rat on the weekends in the winter, but tries to kick back and relax in the summer months, while his teacher wife takes on 120% of the household responsibilities.