Netflix-like recommendations for events are coming…but who will get there first?
When it comes to fun things to do, people aren’t exactly starved for choice. The big challenge lies in discovering new events and knowing which ones you’re likely to enjoy.
Event organisers have a related problem: Getting their event noticed by just the right people.
The answer to both? Personalised event recommendations.
Just like Netflix recommends movies based on your taste and Amazon recommends items based on your purchase history, the event industry desperately needs a way to match great events with relevant event-goers.
That’s exactly the ambition with which Anders Fink, Patrick Borre, and Erik Balck Sørensen founded Billetto in 2009.
“It’s not easy being an event organiser. I know. I’ve been there,” says Anders.
Back then, he and Patrick organised a series of events. The most popular one — a boxing fight between football player Stig Tøfting and TV personality Sidney Lee — had 3,000 people in attendance. Oh…and the fight was over in seven seconds:
It became painfully clear to the duo that there simply weren’t enough tools out there to make organising and promoting events easy.
And so Billetto was born.
The company started out as a platform that let event organisers sell tickets and manage guest lists. But it was never meant to be just that. According to Anders:
“We knew all along that event organisers needed more than a powerful ticketing solution. They needed a media platform that actually helped promote their events and put them in front of the right audience. And that’s exactly what we wanted to work on when the time was right.”
Today, seven years after its humble start, Billetto is finally ready to tackle that main ambition head on. The company is now operating in 11 European markets and is the go-to event ticketing platform for organisers in Scandinavia.
While Billetto offers a self-service ticketing solution for smaller, indie organisers, it also partners with big-name stadiums and festivals to solve their technology needs. As a result, the company has a large pool of events for all interests and personalities.
That’s why Anders believes they’re finally ready to take personal event recommendations to the next level. The goal now is to truly add value to both organisers and ticket buyers or, as Anders puts it, “to succeed with a two-sided marketplace.”
“Event organisers need more than a powerful ticketing solution. They need a media platform that actually helps promote their events and put them in front of the right audience.”
It’s not all business, though. Billetto’s major vision is to inspire people to go out more and sample what their city has to offer. One foolproof way to do that is to wow them with surprisingly relevant recommendations for fun events to attend.
“Quite simply, this is something I’m personally missing in my life,” Anders says, “I’d love to go out more, but I often have no clue what’s happening around me. If we’re to get people off the couch and out into the real world, we have to show them what’s out there and get them pumped about trying new things.”
Billetto is not alone in seeking to nail event recommendations. Other companies have either tried or are currently working on doing the same. As we’ll see in later posts, getting event recommendations right can be quite tricky. But there’s no doubt in Anders’s mind:
“I’m absolutely convinced that this is where the event industry is heading. Someone will eventually solve the puzzle of personalised event recommendations, or at least have a serious go at it. Might as well be us.”
Watch this space.
Every Thursday, we’ll be posting about the promise and challenges of personalised event recommendations, along with Billetto’s current efforts and future plans.
Have some thoughts on or experience with event recommendations? We’d love to hear them. You can leave a comment or send an email with your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll read it. Promise.