For more than a decade, Eventbrite has sought to position itself away from being a service to sell you tickets, but about the overall experience. To achieve this, the company has been working on developing the Event Graph, designed to make it easier to discover relevant events and have you focus less on the process of obtaining a ticket. So far the results appear to be promising.
“We are fundamentally helping people find great experiences,” remarked Scott Van Brunt, Eventbrite’s head of partnerships in an interview with VentureBeat. More than 2 million tickets are sold each week through its platform, but for the most part it has largely been through traditional means, not anything native. In July, Eventbrite began a partnership with Facebook that would allow users to buy event tickets directly through its site and apps — no longer would they need to go to third-party pages. Van Brunt claimed that since then, powered Facebook events generated 2x the number of tickets than before.
While he declined to provide specific numbers, Van Brunt said that more than 500,000 events have been published to Facebook since Eventbrite began its distributed commerce strategy. He also believes it proves the company’s strategy around being everywhere consumers are and meeting them there. “The thing that’s interesting about [our distributed strategy] is there’s a shift in the ticketing industry. We’re bringing openness and letting anyone grab ticketing inventory,” he remarked. “This represents a fundamental shift.”
The success of its Facebook integration is something Eventbrite said demonstrates the power of social commerce and “that it works. Events is a use case with impulse purchases…it’s different from other e-commerce hard goods where if you buy a TV, for example, you go to Best Buy to purchase it at the moment you want, but with events, it’s being discovered on a blog, Facebook, etc.”
“Bringing tickets to the people is a trend we’ve heard mentioned repeatedly at industry events. And ticket sales are becoming more about creating meaningful relationships with people so they become followers and repeat attendees instead of simple, isolated transactions,” remarked Facebook’s events ticketing product manager Yoav Zeevi. “Facebook has a unique ability to help foster those relationships and keep people engaged and interested.”
Van Brunt shared that Eventbrite will be continuing to invest in its integration with Facebook, a long-standing relationship that stretches as far back as Facebook Connect, which launched in 2008. The ticketing technology company has started to expand its Facebook partnership to outside the United States, starting in the U.K. There are also plans to make it more available to other partners.
“These days, people discover events in a variety of ways – they pop up in our Facebook feed, in our email inbox, via text, or as curated recommendations similar to events we already have tickets to. With the largest pool of events in the world, Eventbrite is uniquely positioned to create a rich marketplace where over 50 million people come each year to discover incredible live experiences while ensuring tickets to those events also appear at other natural points of discovery like Facebook and Bandsintown,” said Tamara Mendelsohn, Eventbrite’s general manager for consumer products.
For years, Eventbrite-powered events have been found through third-party referrals, such as links on social media, emails, blogs, and other sites. Then it required you to leave the page or site you were on — organizers and promoters probably didn’t like this because it pulled away traffic. Plus, it’s very disconcerting when you’re on mobile because why open up yet another tab to remember?
Eventbrite has transformed itself to being a ticketing platform so developers or partners working around events can also easily tap into this database, whether it’s Spotify, Pandora, Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, or anything else. “Eventbrite will continue to be an open platform and one that heavily relies on and works with the ecosystem,” Van Brunt said. “We want to provide a good end-to-end experience with partners.”