Nothing beats live experience for brand engagement, says Eventbrite co-founder

Digital events website shares how retail and media brands are utilising different event formats to improve customer and staff engagement

Renaud Visage
Renaud Visage

In the era of rampant music piracy, many musical acts have learned the best way to recoup lost revenue is to more effectively monetise something that can’t be pirated – a live experience. Australian’s love of live experience is being picked up by brands as a means of growing their connection with customers and boosting revenue.

Data recently released by online event ticketing service, Eventbrite, showed 93 per cent of Australians surveyed had attended some form of live experience in the past 12 months, ranging from sporting events to concerts, parties and food events. While that figure may not be unexpected, more surprising was the finding that 23 per cent of Australians surveyed had been involved in the creation of a ticketed event in that time.

According to Eventbrite co-founder and chief technology officer, Renaud Visage, more than 100,000 Australians have posted events on Eventbrite since 2009, with 25 per cent of these being created in 2014 alone. In total, the service has processed 6 million tickets in Australia, amounting to more than $100 million in revenue.

Visage said many of these are small businesses that want to reach customers in new ways, such as food stores running weekend cooking workshops.

“We have created a new breed of entrepreneurs creating their own new businesses based on our platform and others,” he said.

The trend for smaller businesses to offer events comes of the back of an increasing interesting in live events from larger brands, such as outdoor clothing maker, The North Face, which has established a series of training events.

“Brands are fully aware they need to create more excitement for people,” Visage said. “Real life can’t be beat for the emotional connection that people are going to make with brands. And live experiences are a great way to do that.”

Canadian yoga wear retailer, lululemon, has also created a range of yoga themed events, including classes and music festivals, to engage with customers.

“They have done varying degrees of live experiences, to have multiple touch-points with their customers and stay top-of-mind when people think about yoga,” Visage said. “We work with The Guardian in the UK, and they want to go from 500 events a year to 5000 events a year. So it is really becoming one of their main revenue generating models.”

Read more: Marketing rapid growth: Eventbrite's ticket to ride
Customer centricity comes down to culture and consumer delight, say Eventbrite founders

Visage said the volume of events being posted and ticketed through Eventbrite is creating a rich data reserve for understanding audience behaviour.

“People tend to book last minute much more frequently here in Australia than in the US for instance, and wait until the last week,” he said.

The next step for Eventbrite is to create a marketplace among users, including recommendations for other events they might be interested in, Visage said. This will include collecting feedback on events and using that to create recommendations.

“Reputation is a big part of the sharing economy’s principle, so we want to know what people thought of the experience so we can promote the best experiences available on the marketplace,” Visage said.

“Once you list your event we can almost tell you how many tickets you are going to sell based on your reputation, based on your history. We have of this data, so we can be very proactive in figuring out what are the best mechanisms to sell this type of inventory and maximise the return for the organiser.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

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