Should I list my event on a discovery platform?
Answer: it depends! It sounds like a politicians answer (and it kind of is), but this blog post gives you the pros and cons to consider so you arrive at a more satisfying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.
Firstly, what do you mean by a discovery platform?
Most ticketing platforms core functionality and features are all about making the process of selling, tracking and managing ticket sales as simple and efficient as possible. This allows event organisers to create online box offices that customers can access either directly on the event’s own website (via an embedded ‘widget’) or via a dedicated separate event URL page.
However, some platforms have an additional offering of listing your event on their customer facing discovery sites – alongside thousands of over events. The most popular of these is Eventbrite, who have local discovery landing pages for many countries and cities around the world. At the time of writing there are well over a 1,000 events live in New York online. Other popular discovery sites cater to different audiences and geographies: Universe (popular in North America), Billetto (popular in Northern Europe), Resident Advisor (popular in dance music), Skiddle and Dice (both popular music discovery platforms for UK music events).
It definitely can be! Here are the main pros to listing your event with a ticketing platform which offers discovery:
- You can reach new customers who may not otherwise see your event
- People can search for local events, or specific genres and find your event
- It can give your event additional brand awareness and legitimacy
Is it all good though…
Well there are some things you should look out for which might make it less appealing:
- You will always pay a premium for solutions that include discovery platforms. This can often end up costing 2, 3 or 4 times against platforms without discovery. E.g. Ticket Tailor has no discovery and costs $0.65 per ticket, Eventbrite offers discovery and costs 3.5% + $1.59 per ticket.
- The advantage of finding new customers, can be offset by the fact that your customers are now shared with the ticketing platform who will advertise similar events to them. This means that the music festival down the road will be advertised to your customers from last year.
- Due to the number of events that get listed on these platform, very few events actually get actively promoted and drive incremental sales
Interesting, so when should you list an event on a discovery platform…
Given these pros or cons here are the things you should consider about your event when deciding whether to list on a discovery platform:
- You mainly sell directly to a specific audience: for example if you have an email list, Facebook group, Instagram account, community or website that drives most of your sales then the additional benefit of a discovery platform is likely to be small
- Your event may be unlikely to be searched for: if you are running a crab racing contest 100 miles from anywhere (though here at The Event Broker we might find it and come along) your unlikely to drive many organic new customers via a discovery platform. In London the three most searched terms on Eventbrite in 2019 were (inorder): Food festivals, Yoga and Comedy. So customers are likely to be looking for these events, but simultaneously these are the most competitive types of events to run
- Your event operates on tight margins or low costs: if you are looking to keep costs low or offer great value to your customers then the fees of discovery platforms may be prohibitive
Hmm, so I’m still not sure, is there a 3rd way…
If you’re still undecided then there are a few half-way houses that may get you the best of both worlds:
- Mix and match: lots of event promoters use a mixture of platforms for to optimise cost savings and exposure. For example, have your primary platform as a low cost provider like Ticket Tailor or Ti.to. Then if you are struggling with sales for a particular event then spin up an event on a discovery platform. This was all your direct customers are served at a low cost, and you pay slightly more for incremental sales.
- Use paid social/search to drive sales: instead of throwing your event on a discovery platform and hoping for sales, why not use the savings from using a low cost alternative by getting exposure on Facebook, Instagram or Google. You can be far more targeted and ensure only specific audiences see your event.
Find this helpful? Give it a share and see what others think or drop us a message and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear your top tips. Read our blog post on what you should consider when deciding on your event platform here