Sunday, October 27, 2013

IdeaFest Interview with Eventbrite

With BizBash IdeaFest just around the corner, I had the pleasure of connecting with Tamara Mendelsohn the VP of Marketing for Eventbrite to find out a little more about her perspective on our industry, specifically around the possibilities to supercharge your ticketing opportunities for events and insight into her session at Ideafest next week.
Tamara Mendelsohn
  1. Eventbrite not only does a great job of marketing themselves, you take these lessons and apply these to your client’s events. Do you believe this sets you apart in the crowded marketplace?
Thank you.  One of they keys to our approach in event ticketing is building relationships with customers through a genuine interest in sharing ideas, and by continually improving our platform based on their feedback.  We feel it is important to keep an open relationship where we share our commitment to the process, and seek their input regularly on how to make both our product and their experience better. In addition to our 24/7 phone and email support team, we also have marketers located in 6 major markets to build relationships with our customers and engage them in these idea sharing discussions.
  1. Without giving away the whole session, what is one lesson you feel the approach Amazon takes has been key for you to apply to Eventbrite?
We’ve learned the importance of being data driven by studying the major players in online retail. When you are selling online you have the unique opportunity to learn from your data. Amazon is a prime example of listening to what the customers tell them with each transaction, and finding ways to maximize that information in the product.  This process is often not second nature to event professionals but if you want to learn from the best (Amazon) Eventbrite has a platform that allows them to capture a lot of data in a way it can be easily analyzed and implemented in their marketing efforts.
  1. You have a very “active” site full of knowledge for planners – do you find that planners are eager for the information, or overwhelmed, with registration, obviously key, being yet another task to master in a never-ending list?
Of course there is an adoption curve – from novice to power user – and we do have a natural distribution over this curve.  What we are seeing is the event professionals that use the wider range of tools available are finding more success with the ticket sales.  They are taking action on learning about their event and attendees – and using the insights and opportunities the data provides to make decisions about their ticket sales and marketing.  We’ve worked hard to provide robust analytics and information for the more sophisticated event planners, but not too overwhelming for novice users. Nothing excites us more than when people who consider themselves scared of analytics actually get sucked into our tools because are so easy to digest. 
  1. You see all kinds of events – are you finding planners are more often looking to fill seats or are you seeing a trend towards curating specific audiences?  (How can you help with these)
Sophisticated event professionals often know intuitively how many tickets they will sell and how they can sell them. But they can now tie the data trends and patterns to actual sales, which gives them more power to control their attendance. This includes watching the data related to your partnerships – are the sales coming from where you expected them to?. Of course more often they want to fill to their desired capacity but the experience is ultimately the most important part.  The quality of experience should go up with the quality of people in the room relevant to your event.  You do want to focus on the quality of the people who attend, and Eventbrite can help do you target in a few ways. The way we have integrated social media into the ticket buying and promo process allows the community to magnify itself. As attendees register, news travels through the channels of the people who will care most about the event – your participant’s communities  Social media allows event professionals to build focus with the right information, and with Eventbrite you can collect information through the process – and you can see how it is skewing by job function or geography –allowing you to gut check if you reaching the right people.

     5.    How is mobile impacting the process?

Mobile is one of our fastest growing channels – nearly 25% of our overall traffic comes from mobile, up from practically zero a couple of years ago.  You know the scenario, you are out with friends and start talking about the event you will attend on the weekend and you look for it on your phone.  With the pages mobile-optimized, we are seeing a really nice bump in conversion rates because we have made it incredibly easy to buy on a mobile device. It also helps you discover events that are ticketing on Eventbrite – for example, if one of your friends is attending an event on Eventbrite, you will see a picture of them next to the event listing on your mobile phone.  Eventbrite found that people are 3 times more likely to get a ticket or register for an event on mobile when they see these pictures of their friend attending. (WOW! This is truly what event professionals want to see!)
Key is to watch your data – this can’t be said enough.

  1. If I was going to New York, this looks like a great session to me – but in your words, why should someone choose your session to attend?
There are some easy ways to supercharge your ticket sales and easy ways to treat it as a science. We’ll talk about how to easily make data analytics a habit - a little bit like eating more vegetables.  I want event professionals to walk away inspired to put these ideas into action and see the results for growing their events.

If I was able to be in New York this week, based on our call today, I wish I was going to be there on Tuesday to hear even more from Tamara Mendelsohn who will be speaking about "What Event Professionals Can Learn from Amazon" in the Event Innovation Forum conference at BizBash IdeaFest New York on October 30 at the Jacob K. Javits Center. For more information, and to register, please visit

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