Eventbrite: Disrupting from below

Eventbrite: Disrupting from below


Establishing a solid grounding in the market was a key step for ticketing and event company, Eventbrite, in order for them to “disrupt from below”.

Kevin Hartz, CEO, outlines how the ticketing company, founded in 2006, is expanding to include a wide variety of different events and categories before moving its way upwards to take on some of the larger ticketing companies.

“Instead of going right against the main player and try to take them on head to head right out the gates we’re growing the business," he told B&T. 

"All these different categories and all these different geographies and all these different smaller events, we’re moving our way upwards."

Founded in 2006 by entrepreneurs Julia Hartz, Kevin Hartz and Renaud Visage, chief technology officer, Eventbrite has already surpassed $2 billion in ticket sales to millions of events in 187 countries.

The notion of consumer control within the ticketing business has Julia Hartz, president of Eventbrite, believing control is a “basic right”.

“For us, it’s about building an open, accessible and self-service platform that anyone can use and with that comes freedom," she said.

Eventbrite operates in a number of different countries, however in terms of the differing of marketing technologies and practices, Hartz suggests the technologies Eventbrite provides and uses are generally “universal”.

"One of the universal technologies we’re developing at Eventbrite is algorithmic recommendations based on what we know of consumers,” she said.

“Consumers can choose to connect through Facebook and they can choose to have an Eventbrite consumer account which gives us more data to be able to help them find more live experiences to attend.

“We’re focusing on how we can help organisers sell more tickets through means that are very organic and provide value for the consumer. We’re not looking to jam content down consumers’ throats, we want to help them find relevant events to attend.”

Hartz notes how Australia is a huge market for the company, bringing in 4% of the total number of ticket sales globally for last year, equating to around $40 million.

The opening of its Melbourne office allows the company to get some solid roots in the Aussie soil and further expand into the Australian market.

“We now have the resources to be able to properly execute an on-the-ground strategy,” Hartz said.

Furthering their local expansion in Australia, Eventbrite has hired a number of “britelings” (Eventbrite employees) and acquired the customer base of a local ticketing company, GreenTix.

New statistics from Eventbrite show some of the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne as the place for events as Sydney had more Eventbrite events in total last year, whereas Melbourne saw more free events.

Nearly 6,000 Sydney events have been shared on Eventbrite, versus over 5,000 Melbourne events and of all the events last year in Sydney, 54% were free, compared to 59% in Melbourne.

Looking towards some of the events from last year, the slightly stranger ones include Zombie Laser Tag which was part of the annual Sydney Zombie Walk and the sustainability of poo at the Sustainable Living Festival 2013.

Some of the largest events in Australia include, Tough Mudder, the YOW! Conference and Milkwoord Permaculture.

Hartz’s all-time favourite event she has seen on the site is the Krispy Kreme Challenge which sees the contestants eat a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts and then run a mile as a fundraiser.

Needless to say the Krispy Kremes don't tend to stay down. Hartz also noted how Krispy Kreme did not organise the event.

Image from left to right: Founders Renaud Visage, Julia Hartz and Kevin Hartz

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