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Liveblogging the social events panel at ILM East.

Kevin Hartz, the CEO and founder of Eventbrite, is speaking on how the ticket-selling service is riding social media to about $500,000,000 in ticket sales this year.

Hartz starts with a slide that shows how as algorithmic search matures, social discovery is growing rapidly. Eventbrite shows a similar trajectory. When it publishes an event it starts as an SEO play with the event ranking well in local search queries. But once people start buying tickets the social sharing mechanisms embedded in Eventbrite create a powerful accelerator.

Once these social tools were introduced Facebook became the #1 traffic driver with Twitter (#3) and LinkedIn (#5) also contributing.

Some metrics according to Hartz:

There is 10x social sharing post-purchase vs. pre-purchase. People seem to have a sense of excitement once they make a ticket purchase that they want to talk about.

For music and concerts Eventbrite generates $12 in sales per share.

A Facebook share drives more sales than a Twitter post across all segments. Local proximity of friends is the prevailing thesis here.

Eventbrite has close to 30 employees doing customer service and 50 employees on product and engineering. Eventbrite has a freemium model where it hosts events/tickets sales for customers. It only gets paid for each ticket sold.

More interesting data at the Eventbrite blog.

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