CEO and co-founder of Audience Republic, Jared Kristensen, recently sat down with IQ Magazine to discuss how Audience Republic is helping event organizers globally to sell more tickets and some of the key problems the industry is facing right now. He also provided his thoughts on what the future holds for the live events industry.
How Audience Republic Helps Event Organizers Sell More Tickets
“I have learned a lot about what doesn't work. I learned a lot about what does work. And that's really where the insights for Audience Republic came from. It was the whole experience of losing $20,000 and just understanding that being an event promoter is so different to any other industry.
"The problem that I was trying to solve for promoters is how hard it is to sell tickets."
“There's a tonne of B2B tools out there like Salesforce and HubSpot, but they're really designed for B2B organizations. They're not really designed for events. There's also a tonne of consumer based marketing platforms like Klaviyo, Attentive, Post Script and Emotive that are great products, but are designed for eCommerce business. So really, the problem that I was trying to solve for promoters is how hard it is to sell tickets.
“So that's what Audience Republic does – we are an all-in-one CRM and marketing platform specifically designed for events. It has everything that you need to run your marketing for an event and we're designed to integrate with existing ticketing platforms.”
Audience Republic’s Unique Difference For Promoters
“The core belief that we have is that word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. It's all about getting more word of mouth. Those are the magical three words – if you talk to promoters they all nod their head when you talk about word of mouth, because it's such an important piece.
“We've got a really unique gamified incentive process, which is all about incentivizing people to refer their friends. There's a whole bunch of different use cases for it, and one of the most popular is the presale registration process.
“The way that works is people sign up for presale access through a link that is created on our platform. The promoter would then promote that link across all their usual promotional channels to drive people to sign up for presale access before tickets go on sale, and then people invite their friends to also sign up for presale access.
“They get points for each referral who actually signs up for presale access. They earn these points for referring as well as following across social media and completing other actions. The top point scorers are the ones who get access to incentives that the event promoter provides.
“So it might be that the top number one point scorer gets a meet and greet with an artist or money can't buy experience, and the next top 50 points scorers might get some sort of other incentive.
“The core belief that we have is that word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing."
“Our system is really all around incentivizing people to refer their friends, and typically it ends up doubling or tripling the amount of signups that come through. It's not just a 20% increase, it's a two or three hundred percent increase.
“It's not just about selling more presale tickets. The point is using that announcement to build up a massive audience that promoters own. So yes, they sell more presale tickets, but really it's about building that audience to sell the remainder of the general on sale. It's about getting people to buy tickets earlier. Because that invite from the friend is so much more persuasive than sponsored posts. Right now it has been super important because of delayed ticket buying.
“It's also about gauging and generating demand for potentially additional dates, or maybe increasing the size of the venue if they've got a scalable venue. So that's really where that kind of gamified incentive process comes in around generating that word of mouth and building up an audience that promoters own.
“The other big shift that we're seeing right now is everybody is so dependent on paid ads to drive ticket sales. A couple of years ago, maybe three or four years ago, people didn't really care, because it was working really well and wasn't that expensive. Now it's changed – it's getting more and more expensive every year, ROI is decreasing, the results that they get from the same spend is decreasing.
“Now very much the focus is building up an audience so they're less dependent on Facebook and Instagram to drive ticket sales, because eventually these channels are going to disappear. We want to enable promoters to communicate directly with fans through email, SMS and any other cost effective channels they use.”
How Using Data Sells More Tickets
“Most importantly, it’s not just managing and understanding your fan data, but actually using it as a means to drive an outcome. It's not enough just to connect all your data in one place in a CRM, it's not enough just to understand your audience. Instead, what we really focus on is, how do you actually use that to sell more tickets?”
What The Next 12-18 Months Looks Like For Live Events
“All the early feedback from event organizers has been that some of the big shows are doing really well. Because if you're a massive artist and you've got a really engaged audience, you're not having a problem selling tickets right now.
“I think there's been some challenges in the mid-range. There's just so much oversupply. Right now we've got three years worth of touring happening in the space of 12 months, and it looks like that is going to continue into 2023 with more dates being rescheduled. Given that there is so much choice, I think people are going to continue to buy much later than they otherwise would because they know, in many cases, that scarcity isn't there compared to maybe what once was.
"Right now we've got three years worth of touring happening in the space of 12 months, and it looks like that is going to continue into 2023 with more dates being rescheduled."
“I think the cost of paid ads is going to continue to increase. Facebook, Instagram and the other social networks are not immune to this kind of upcoming recession, so I think there's going to be increases in prices when it comes to these paid ads, because they've got to protect their revenue. So that's going to be a lot more difficult for these promoters to reach the same audience – it's going to cost a lot more.
“Our answer is building an audience that you own and not being dependent on one platform. We're not pretending that we’re going to eliminate paid advertising or anything like that, it's always going to be a really important part of your marketing. But being dependent on one platform is just a massive risk for any business.
“The second piece is the solution around getting people to buy tickets much earlier in the process. And that’ll be through the gamified incentive process through presale registrations, and part of that is around creating scarcity and using that incentive process to encourage their friends to buy much earlier in the process.”