The idea that you could get a ticket from someplace other than Ticketmaster was a novel concept ten years ago, but today there are dozens of online ticketing services to choose from including EventBrite and Brown Paper Tickets. TicketLeap, which was one of the first in the space, is shifting its focus to experiences by offering up dynamic products such as the “selfie-ticket” to fend off growing competition.
TicketLeap, which launched in 2003, started off purely trying to democratize ticketing by breaking into the Ticketmaster-monopolized ticket space. They succeeded at it by becoming a self-service platform for managing and marketing events and selling tickets promoting events across social networks. While the company has grown over the past few years, so has its competition. Now, TicketLeap is focusing on experiences and how they can tap in to helping people build a community around their events instead of just the ticket transaction.
“We’re not selling something boring,” said CEO Tim Raybould. “We’re not selling advertising platforms or business intelligence dashboards; we’re helping people sell experiences, and experiences are on the cooler end of the spectrum.”
TicketLeap realized that they didn’t want to be just a ticketing company focused solely on the transaction, but a place where events were front a center. In fact, the company launched a new event page in January, a complete overhaul to their existing event page which shifted the focus to events instead of the transaction.
“What we tried to do was build an event page that’s the online soul of the event, it starts the experience off on a good note and is not so much focused on the transaction but is more focused on the experience and the event.” Raybould said.
The result is a design-centered events page with a social feed. The ticketing transaction is almost secondary, being moved off the home screen. TicketLeap instantly saw positive results.
“Conversion went up 25% when we launched this, which we were a little bit worried about because ticketing was no longer on the front page, it was a click away,” Raybould said.
TicketLeap also launched the “selfie ticket” making the selfie worth more than just a self-centered photo op. Instead of scanning a barcode at the door, attendees snap photos of themselves and their faces, which become the tickets. The selfie ticket is another way that TicketLeap is focusing on treating event goers like people, rather than transactions.
TicketLeap is now getting into the act of throwing events itself, becoming it’s own customer. In November, they threw their first event called “Create.” The company got few local successful entrepreneurs together including Philly chef Scott Schroeder, Tom Kehoe (founder of Yards Brewing Company), Thaddeus Squire (founder of CultureWorks Philadelphia) and musician Lucy Stone. The company got to experience their product as a user and has committed to throwing one event each month so they can continue to grow their community.
“The best way to build a connection with somebody is through events,” Raybould said. “The effort seems higher than the benefit and what we’re trying to do is adjust both of those pieces of the chart and take the effort down.”