Eventbrite and SXSW: Opportunities As Big As Texas

For South By Southwest this year, a big crew of Britelings headed out to Austin. We were hungry for several things:

1. A first-hand look at all of the parties that hosts were ticketing with us
2. The chance to rub elbows with the elite of the tech and music worlds
3. A chance to debut our second Social Commerce Report
4. Barbecue

As we wash the sauce from our clothes, I’m pleased to report that this year at South By, Eventbrite‘s presence was huge!

First and foremost, we had over 400 users ticket their parties and gatherings in Austin with Eventbrite. It was so exciting to walk around downtown in my orange t-shirt and have people stop me to tell me how much they love our product. It’s rare for us to get to see such a heavy concentration of customers using Eventbrite in one place and at one time. And for me, it was an illustration of how flexible our product is—it really is a great solution for a wide variety of events.

And while I’m a sucker for compliments as much as the next girl, I have to say that this warm reception in Austin wasn’t even the most inspiring part. First, a little background: When I decided to go to Austin, I asked my friend Rene if I could crash on his couch. He lives in Austin, where he’s working on his own startup called Hurricane Party. He was kind enough to oblige, and I was looking forward to seeing my friend and getting to know his growing company. But then, when we all heard about the devastation in Japan, our friendship brought about a partnership more powerful than anything we could have planned for. On Sunday March 13th, Eventbrite sponsored the Hurricane Party for Japan fundraiser—there was an amazing outpouring of support and we raised $10k! We were thrilled to put our two products to use in this capacity. We had very little time to plan and get everything together, but Hurricane Party and Eventbrite are both great tools for setting up an event quickly and easily. We also made it easy to collect donations for the event, all of which went to the American Red Cross.

Two days later, our President and Co-Founder Julia Hartz participated in a panel about social commerce. She joined Socialnomics author Erik Qualman, who is the tallest man I’ve ever seen. They had a fascinating presentation about the impact of social commerce, and the best ways to leverage social media to enhance a business. It was here that Julia debuted the data from our new Social Commerce Report, which took a detailed look at when our customers share ticket purchases and event info (be it before they buy tickets or after), and how impactful these various types of shares are. The Report also compares the sharing habits of customers across various thematic verticals: What are the behaviors of people who buy tickets for conferences, versus those who by tickets for concerts? We’re thrilled to be sharing this info not only because we think it will empower our customers to get the most out of social sharing, but also because we’re eager to get the dialogue going. Not a lot of companies can do this kind of analysis and we hope to inspire others to dive into their data.

On March 16th it was time to party. Many of us had been in Austin for a week, and we sure needed some music, some tasty treats, and a 50s makeover. Just in time was the Eventbrite party at Empire Auto. It was a daytime event with 2 stages featuring killer bands, a poster installation by Billy Bishop, a silk-screening station where guests could grab a greaser T-shirt, and a beauty parlor by Frenchy’s where guests could get themselves made up with a 50’s style look. We also had a gorgeous car set up for people to sit in to get their picture taken with their new ‘do.

Our last big showing was actually today, when our own Tyler Peterson, head of the Eventbrite music team, participated in a discussion about all the ways in which concert ticketing has been changing. We were thrilled to be able to weigh in on how musicians, promoters and venues can leverage the information they get from Eventbrite to better connect with fans.

It’s been a dizzying ride but the whole team of Britelings who headed to Austin had a blast. And we’re so thankful to all of the people who came out to support our product, donate at the fundraiser, and listen to our team members speak. We can’t wait for next year!