People like to go out and have fun, whether it’s a regular Friday night in their hometown or a two-week vacation in Europe. Because of the high demand, developing an event planner can lead to great success – just look at Eventbrite, TicketBud, and Fever.
Moreover, modern event planning apps have adjusted to the “new normal” and are offering users lots of online events. According to Bizabo, 93% of event professionals plan to invest in virtual events moving forward. This opens brand-new opportunities for event organizers that want to enter the digital space.
In this guide, we thoroughly analyze the Eventbrite app and share our experience creating an event discovery platform to give you a recipe for an ideal event discovery app that meets the needs of both event-goers and event organizers.
Overview of market leaders
First, let’s check the state of affairs in the event industry. The leading event and conferece planning apps today are:
Ticketbud, an American event management software and ticketing service that helps organizers sell tickets to their events
Fever, a relatively young but promising US-based event discovery and ticket distribution platform
Festicket, a UK-based marketplace for discovering and buying tickets for music festivals, booking accommodation, and arranging transfers and extras (Festicket recently acquired Ticket Arena and Event Genius.)
But the absolute leader of event planning apps is Eventbrite, which we’ll be examining in this article. This online ticketing platform was founded in 2006, and since that time, Eventbrite has raised a total of $557.3M million in funding. Thanks to all this investment and the company’s achievements on the market, Eventbrite is valued at around $1.8 billion.
This means the Eventbrite ticketing platform is a true member of the unicorn club of elite startups. Judging from their massive surge in growth, Eventbrite is doing extremely well.
What features include in the user app?
Eventbrite is multiplatform (it has native apps for iOS, Android, and web-based app) and offers a few products targeting event organizers and people looking for events. Let’s start from the app for event-goers.
Here are the basic features of the Eventbrite-like app for event discovery:
Personalized event feed
An event feed with classification by categories based on user location (via GPS) and preferences will help users never get lost in a large list of events. APIs can aggregate, rank, and personalize event information in real time based on user interests. You can try solutions by Getstream, PeakMetrics, and others to build custom feeds.
Read also: How to Create a Location-Aware App
People might be looking for a specific event and not want to waste their time scrolling through a long list. This is why you need to separate your events by type: concerts, movies, and any other types of events you provide. Moreover, filters will be a good idea for search to let users choose events by type, artist, price, location, date, and time.
In-app ticket purchasing
Allowing users to book events and purchase tickets requires integrating your event platform with third-party services like Stripe, Braintree, or PayPal. You can learn about payment services in detail in one of our previous articles.
Ticket management and refunds
Users also need a tool for managing orders. It’s a good idea to provide a list of all tickets purchased and allow users to cancel orders or refund tickets. For instance, Eventbrite provides a list of reasons why users can request a refund and sends a confirmation email once tickets have been refunded.
It’s a good idea for your booking event application to generate a unique QR code for each ticket purchased.
You can take a hint from Eventbrite and build a mobile box office for event organizers to accept payments, print tickets, and collect attendee data on-site. And, more importantly, for users, Eventbrite lets local venue owners check in attendees with digital tickets by scanning the QR codes on their phones. This eliminates the need to print out tickets and makes the service more user-friendly.
People forget about lots of things, including events. That’s why you need to ensure that users are reminded of their events in a timely manner. At Yalantis, we often integrate Firebase Cloud Messaging and Apple Push
Notification Service to send notifications to users and inform them about sales, special offers, recommendations, and so on. Our recent guide explains in details how to implement push notifications mechanism into your mobile app.
There will always be some issues with tickets and payments. Users need to know they’ll get the support they need if problems arise. You can use a Zendesk Help integration for that. The chatbot feature will suffice for most common questions, while live chat with a support agent will be good for handling more complicated issues. Zendesk also lets you collect user feedback to improve your service.
Event fraud is a real thing. For instance, a couple of fake Facebook events attracted 40,000 to 100,000 people. It’s great that some people decided to check that the events were real and officially organized, revealing them to be fake. This is why you need to think of a defensive mechanism both for users and for your business.
What’s in the app for organizers?
While Eventbrite provides great services to attendees, the main clients of this event giant are event organizers. That’s why the app offers diverse functionality to make the lives of event organizers easier.
Online event management
This is the first thing you need for your event discovery platform. Eventbrite offers convenient functionality for creating events: organizers just give an event a name and set a location, date, type, and price. Then they publish it for users. Event creators can also add pictures, videos, and audio to attract more attendees. Once an event is created, event creators can preview and edit the listing.
In your Eventbrite-like event management platform, allow event creators to design their own paper or electronic tickets with QR codes so it’s easier for users to check in. You can also integrate a scanning feature that uses a phone’s camera to check visitors’ tickets.
In Eventbrite, organizers can add all event details to ticket layouts and choose the type of ticket:
General admission — the basic and the most common ticket type
VIP — premium tickets with extra services for extra money
Reserved seating — tickets for seated events with options to select seats
Multi-day pass — tickets for repeated or long-term events
One-day pass — one-time tickets that allow users to visit a day of events
Early bird discount — price-drop tickets for the presale period
Coded discount — tickets with a promo code for a predefined group of people (mostly for attendees who have not purchased tickets for a long time)
In addition to these seven ticket types, organizers can use the waitlisting feature that lets event-goers purchase returned tickets at the last minute, helping organizers sell as many tickets as possible. And to help organizers deal with all possible scenarios, Eventbrite lets them cancel and reschedule events in cases when, say, it’s raining heavily and the event is open-air.
Payment gateways are crucial for event organizers as well as for event-goers. Eventbrite offers several gateways to organizers: Eventbrite Payment Processing (the company’s own payment gateway), PayPal, Authorize.net, and local payment processors depending on the country.
Eventbrite states that its own payment processor drives more sales, as PayPal charges a higher transaction fee. In addition, Eventbrite Payment Processing is good for users if organizers operate in bad faith, as Eventbrite is able to return money to users quickly.
Holding an event requires a lot of attention to detail, especially when it comes to event access control. That’s why Eventbrite offers a wide variety of services to provide event organizers a smooth and convenient check-in experience, starting from a standard barcode scanning feature in the Eventbrite Organizer app to additional tools such as RFID sensors and NFC bracelets and box-office kits.
The company even provides on-site planning and consultation services and gives event organizers the opportunity to hire professional on-site staff if necessary.
Information received from sensors, bracelets, scanners, box offices, and POS terminals is synchronized with theparty planner, so all details about free seats and sales can be seen in Eventbrite reports.
Though the event giant supplies such great services and equipment, they cost quite a penny and aren’t as popular as Eventbrite’s online services. This is why Eventbrite is pushing organizers to use electronic tickets and mobile devices instead of paper tickets, expensive scanners, and box offices.
Event marketing is the pillar of digital event management. Eventbrite offers a variety of services and integrations to promote events, from integration with Animoto to develop videos for social media to the Zapier CRM system and customizable push notifications. In addition, Eventbrite is compatible with AdRoll, which helps to retarget and retain users.
What’s more, Eventbrite has integrated its service with Facebook Event’s “Buy Tickets” feature to help event organizers create event ads, spread the word, and sell more tickets.
There are several other promotion platforms that you can integrate into your event aggregator.
Use integrations for social sharing on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and even LinkedIn.
Integrate Foursquare’s location-based social media service.
Use content like Bandsintown does. The app scans users’ music from local storage, Google Play Music, Soundcloud, or YouTube and suggests concerts based on musical taste.
Analyzing event performance
Let event creators measure the event effectiveness. Eventbrite supplies organizers with its own analytics tool that helps track sales, attendees, and traffic. And if the Eventbrite tool isn’t enough for organizers, they can add a pixel to their event page and measure an event’s performance with Google Analytics. This way, organizers can learn about the actual sources of traffic to events and how their ad campaigns work.
There are plenty of other cool features and integrations that Eventbrite provides, including a tool for sending MailChimp newsletters and a WordPress solution for building white-label sites for organizers. If you would like more details on how to build a perfect ticket distribution platform, hit up our guide. You may also think about conference app development if you want to focus on online events.
How can an Eventbrite-like app make money?
Monetization models of most event planning applications are based on establishing connections with event organizers. The idea is to take care of selling tickets and promoting events in exchange for a fee for using the online ticketing platform. This is a wise approach that benefits event organizers by letting them get rid of the ticket selling headache while also turning a huge profit for app creators.
So how does Eventbrite make money? The company charges a service fee based on the type of service package: essential, professional, or premium. The higher the level, the more services are provided. For instance, in the professional package, event organizers get detailed sales analytics, payouts before the event, customizable checkout pages, and ticket sales from their own website.
Premium users get a personal customer success manager, branded community pages, rental equipment, and other services.
In figures, the fees that Eventbrite charges vary in different countries. For instance, in Argentina, event organizers with the essential package pay 5.99% of the ticket value per sold ticket, while in the US they pay 2% plus $0.79 per ticket sold for the same package.
Speaking of ticketing, Eventbrite is pretty democratic with their clients. It’s up to the customer to decide whether to make event attendees pay all fees by adding them on top of the ticket price or to include the fees in the total price of the tickets. And when event organizers hold a free event, Eventbrite doesn’t charge organizers anything.
What else brings money and innovation to Eventbrite?
Julia Hartz, the founder of Eventbrite, believes that acquisition is one of the best ways to expand, as you not only buy companies but also people and innovations. So far, Eventbrite has acquired nine companies!
It all started in September 2013, when Eventbrite announced the acquisition of Eventioz, an online ticketing service headquartered in Argentina, and Lanyrd, a London-based event data company.
Next, in 2015, Eventbrite bought Scintilla Technologies, which provided RFID hardware and software (later used for Eventbrite’s multi-pass tickets). Later on, Eventbrite continued purchasing competitor platforms: Queue in 2016; nvite, ticketscript, and Ticketfly in 2017; and Ticketea and Picatic in 2018.
How can you outdo Eventbrite?
There’s always room for improvement, and Eventbrite’s major competitor, Festicket, is a perfect example of what else can be done in the event discovery industry.
Package event tours
Say a user is going to a festival and expect to spend at least a couple days there. They’ll probably use Airbnb to rent a room, and then pick a restaurant on OpenTable.
Festicket can supply users with all of that: instead of purchasing a single event ticket, users can buy a package that includes a room, meals, and even raincoats if the weather forecast promises rain. Moreover, Festicket Trips allows users to add services like an extreme ski ride or a family excursion around town.
Focus on offline sales
Event Genius (now part of Festicket) understands that it can get more customers from people who accidentally stumble upon events. The company offers the very same services as Eventbrite (a barcode scanner and box-office rentals, NFC bracelets, POS transaction processing, and extra staff for events). The difference is that all of the equipment provided by Event Genius works offline. Sales and seat data is saved on a local device and later synced when an internet connection becomes available.
Read also: How to Make Your App Available Offline
Event Genius plans to keep on developing services for offline events, as there are still plenty of people who rarely use online tools and prefer gigs. What’s more, Event Genius has introduced a new multiple entrances feature for faster check-ins and to save organizers’ time and nerves while running offline events.
Is there actually room in the event discovery industry for new players when there are two giants taking the lead? The answer is yes. In fact, Eventbrite encourages other companies to enter the market and even provides an open-source API for event businesses. If you’re planning to build an event app for your company and are thinking about ways to monetize it, write to us. We’ll gladly estimate the cost of your project and help you with custom event app development.