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Thousands of musicians, artists, writers and geeks are headed to the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas this week. Amid that chaos, people will actually try to connect with one another, utilizing new social tools along the way. Pathable, a Seattle startup founded in 2008 by Jordan Schwartz, believes it has the best tools to help event organizers manage the communities that naturally form around events. And the company today made a big move, acquiring its one time rival, The Social Collective, in an all cash deal.

“This is about consolidation rather than integration,” Schwartz tells GeekWire. “We’ll be migrating (The Social Collective) customers over to the Pathable platform as their existing contracts wrap-up.”

Schwartz noted that there’s a big consolidation wave hitting the white-label social networking arena, and he thinks Pathable is poised to capitalize on it.

“…To play effectively in this market you really have to have some unique value propositions,” he said. “We’ve done that with one-on-one meeting scheduling, compelling and easy-to-use attendee experience, exhibitor listings and tradeshow floor map, etc. We’ve established ourselves as the industry the leader, the ones to beat.”

Pathable’s tools essentially create online communities around events, showcasing the attendees and sponsors. Attendees can connect with other attendees, download slide decks or peruse tradeshow floor maps.

John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire. a technology news site in Seattle. Follow on Twitter @geekwirenews.


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