Putting the social back in social media

With all the ways to connect digitally these days and the explosion of social media sites like Facebook, Ning and Twitter, we’ve increasingly heard the question “do you think events are dying?” The hypothesis here is that people are meeting online, so they no longer need to meet in person. We see quite the opposite. The number of events hosted on Eventbrite are increasing rapidly and the scope and themes of the events are exploding at a mind-blowing rate. We are constantly discovering new and interesting events around wonderfully obscure topics. It’s the long tail theory applied to events. But the difference between events and music/book/movies is that events needed more than the internet for the long tail to be realized, they needed social media.

I believe that social media is actually the catalyst to more live events not less.

Before social media if you were into nude yoga in Austin, or concerned about breast cancer awareness in Philly, or an entrepreneur in Leeds, or a transitioning professional in Albuquerque , or liked to drive your Audi crazy fast in Lakewood, CO, it was difficult, if not impossible to find many others like yourself. But this is precisely what social media is good for. It enables individuals to connect with other like-minded individuals who share a particular passion or point of view. It fosters sharing of information and allows it to travel at lightning speed, reaching the people who care about it most. I love the illustration here on this post, our kick-ass designer, Ryan Bailey, created it to illustrate the explosive power of social media and how one person can instantaneously be connected to others through the social graph.

The implications of this new way of connecting and communicating are wide reaching and few individuals or companies will escape its impact. But my purpose here is to talk about events. Now that people are finding each other more easily and connecting around subjects that they are passionate about, the next step is gathering together in person to share these experiences. We are not content to merely connect in the digital world, a ☺ is no substitution for the real thing, so people are gathering. Now, more than ever, they are finding each other and then meeting over breakfast or creating conferences, exchanging real handshakes experiencing the magic and excitement of events.

Here at Eventbrite we understand the power of social media in making real world events happen, and we work every day to build a product that leverages these tools to help our event organizers find the people that will make their events come to life.