Meet our Data Nerds: Ticketfly’s CEO Talks Actionable Analytics and the Fan Experience

Ticketfly is a San Francisco-based technology company reimagining the live event experience for fans and promoters. Legendary independent venues and festivals like 9:30 Club, Burning Man, and Pitchfork Music Festival use Ticketfly’s powerful ticketing, digital marketing, and analytics tools to get fans in seats and improve the entire event-going experience. Ticketfly is overflowing with data to help make live events better, so if you’re a data nerd and you love going out, you should definitely consider joining their team.

We caught up with Ticketfly’s co-founder and CEO, Andrew Dreskin, to better understand why innovation and actionable analytics are so important at Ticketfly. See what he has to say in the Q&A below.


Q: Your data nerd line is: “Data helps us connect fans with great live events.” Can you elaborate on that?

Ticketfly helps create better live event experiences by providing venues and promoters with valuable data about what’s resonating with fans. For example, as fans are browsing events, we recommend shows we think fans will love based on their favorite venues and the events their friends are going to. We also help our clients make their websites and marketing campaigns more effective based on what’s working and what’s not. For instance, a promoter can evaluate the relative effectiveness of display advertising vs. search-targeted advertising to drive ticket sales and see which email subject line drives the highest open and click-through rates. By making event discovery more targeted and compelling, Ticketfly helps more people find and attend great live events.

Q: How does your company tackle data organizationally?

Ticketfly is overflowing with data that can be harnessed to help our clients improve their businesses. We have a team of people dedicated to managing data for both internal and external use. Our data team uses system performance information to keep our infrastructure humming like a well-oiled machine. They also make data accessible to teams across our organization so we can better serve our clients and optimize our business internally. Using internally-developed visualization tools along with New Relic, our team can predict when an issue may arise during an on-sale or event and solve the problem before it occurs.

One of the reasons venues and promoters choose Ticketfly is that we provide actionable analytics to help our clients increase ticket sales and build loyalty. We slice and dice sales data on a number of dimensions (by time, ticket type, marketing campaign, top fans, etc.) and visualize these data in our platform to make analysis and decision-making easy. In addition to driving increased ticket sales, our partners have found that Ticketfly’s analytics help them save a lot of time trying to connect the dots.

Q: What kind of “aha” moments have you had analyzing your data?

We’ve made some unexpected discoveries mining our data. For example, we found that on average, seven percent of fans drive about 30 percent of a promoter’s revenue. This made it clear just how important it is for our partners to identify and reward their most loyal fans. As a result of that insight, we developed Ticketfly Fanbase, the first customer analytics suite for live events. Before, promoters could see how many tickets they sold, but not who purchased them. Ticketfly Fanbase finally gives promoters insight into the purchase, attendance, and social activities of each fan. Promoters use these data to create customized loyalty programs that reward top fans, and help create experiences that make them want to keep coming back. It’s great for fans to finally be recognized – they are the reason why we love what we do!

Q: How have you used data discoveries to improve your business?

Innovation has always been the number one priority for Ticketfly. We’ve had a long history of challenging the status quo in live events by using data to identify opportunities to better serve clients and fans. The data have shown that mobile traffic to Ticketfly’s network of sites is exploding, and that every dollar earned on tickets drives two times more revenue in concessions. Understanding the importance of mobile and in-venue purchases helped solidify our decision to acquire WillCall, a leader in both mobile event discovery and mobile in-venue transactions. WillCall’s app features a curated list of concerts in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York and allows fans to purchase and share tickets with just a few taps on a mobile phone. Their latest innovation leverages beacon technology to let fans open bar tabs on their phones with a single swipe as they enter the venue and close out at the end of the night by simply walking out the door. We will use this technology to help accelerate mobile innovation to improve the live event experience for fans and provide purchase data to venues so they can create better, more personalized experiences at the show.

Q: Looking ahead, how do you see data changing the world?

Today companies must be able to effectively harness and unify data – particularly mobile data – to personalize and improve the end-user experience, or else they will be left behind. The fact that most people are tethered to their mobile devices means that there is a consistent, growing stream of location-based data that presents the opportunity to create dramatically better experiences, particularly for fans of live events. By melding ticket purchase data with information on consumer behavior and transactions at the event, Ticketfly will bridge two previously separate data sets to give promoters access to a unified data layer of consumer behavior. This will be a huge differentiator for Ticketfly that will enable insights that can really change the game for fans of live events. That’s our raison d’etre!

Morgan Flatley is on the customer marketing team at New Relic. Before making the New Relic marketing team her home, she dabbled in PR for startup tech companies. View posts by .

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