The live events sector is a $100 billion market globally, but what most people don’t realise is that 85 percent of these events don’t actually sell out. In fact, according to various surveys by ticketing companies, 40 percent of people say they would have actually gone to a particular event, but their reason for not going was because they never even knew it was on. For the majority of events, a less than desirable marketing strategy is usually responsible for empty seats and extra standing space.
Australia-based startup Ticket Squad, founded by Jared Kristensen, is looking to address this problem with its platform, which gives event organisers a suite of marketing tools that help to get people to buy tickets to their event.
“Event organisers have got great tools already, like Ticketmaster and Eventbrite, but they’re only good for processing transactions,” says Kristensen. “These platforms however don’t actually get people to buy tickets so Ticket Squad gives event organisers these tools. We fit in between the attendee and the ticketing agency. Ticket Squad works alongside all major ticketing agencies. Some of the tools include email marketing, referrals, group buying, competitions and data analytics.”
For example, one of the ways that users can leverage Ticket Squad’s platform to make an event go ‘viral’ is by taking a different approach to the way early bird tickets are sold. Most of the time, these tickets are heavily discounted or are just given away. Instead of doing that, what Ticket Squad helps customers do is encourage potential ticket buyers to do a few activities first in order to get the discount or free ticket. This might be a simple task like sharing the event on Facebook or Twitter, or even following the event on Instagram.
The users get their tickets after completing one or two of these tasks, but word of the event has now been spread to a wider network of prospects for that event organiser.
Kristensen has a strong background in the industry, having worked on large live events such as Big Day Out, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Justin Timberlake and many more.
“Several years ago I used to run my own music events company and selling tickets was really hard,” he says. “I actually ended up losing $18,000 in one night because I didn’t sell enough tickets. And that was just a small event. Putting on events is a massive risk; you’ve got artist payments, venue deposits, marketing, accommodation and travel – if you don’t sell enough tickets, you’re in for a massive loss. So Ticket Squad is what I wish I had when I was running events. If I had this back then, I don’t think I would’ve lost as much money.”
The Ticket Squad revenue model is a clip-of-the-ticket on ticket sales. The price of the commission being charged is dependent on the amount of tickets being sold.
Being part of the NRMA Jumpstart Program, has meant that Kristensen has been able to focus on the business full time, developing the correct go-to-market strategy and acquiring users for the platform. The program has also introduced him to critical mentors, who have helped with the transition of Ticket Squad from being just a ‘side project’ to a ‘real business’ with global commercial potential
Other than the seed funding received by Artesian Capital as part of the Jumpstart Program, Ticket Squad has had no funding to date. Having said that, post the program Kristensen will be looking at the possibility of opening a seed round where he would most likely seek at least between $250,000 and $300,000 – potentially more.
“Our overall vision is to be the number one marketing channel for events, not just tickets,” says Kristensen. “In the short term, we’re targeting primarily music events because that’s my background, but the tools we have created can be used for every type of event, whether it’s concert, festival, sporting event, conference, comedy or theatre show. That’s the big vision.”