Toronto-based Picatic recently announced the launch of EventTilt, their new Kickstarter-style event management platform which allows event organizers to set a target number of ticket sales and only holding the event if the goal is reached. It aims to help guarantee successful events for event organizers, while offering attendees perks for being one of the first people to buy a ticket.
The company started with providing an online event management platform which provided the ability to create, promote, and sell tickets. With the launch of this new service, they’re looking to mitigate the risks for organizers, primarily the large upfront costs of booking speakers, venue, and promotional material, by letting organizers recoup their costs before they commit to holding an event. ”Event organizers assume a lot of risk organizing events, there’s a lot of upfront cost. There’s talent, venue, and marketing and advertising budget,” co-founder Jay Parmar said in an interview. “The problem is it doesn’t matter how good you are as an event organizer, you just never know how diluted the market will be be six months from now.”
EventTilt lets event organizers offer a preset number of tickets at a discount and incent early buyers with perks related to the event, like a signed album at a concert or VIP access at a party. Once those tickets are sold, tickets go back to full price, and the event “tilts,” meaning the organizer knows that there will be enough money to cover the upfront costs, thereby increasing the chances of profitability. However attendees are only charged if the event tilts, so if the goal isn’t reached their ticket is released and the event organizers are not obligated to put on the event.
Picatic takes 2.35 percent of each ticket sale, and already has a established number of customers using their online event management platform they are hoping will roll out their next events on EventTilt. Their other aim is to make EventTilt an industry best practice and introduce the word ’tilt’ into the industry’s vocabulary whenever they discuss the success or failure of a promoted event.
The company is hoping early bird purchasers will drive the success of the events by sharing the event with friends before it hits its goal. ”That’s what we found from our research, that there’s two reasons why people go to events, number one is the professional fact, like the entertainment, the keynote speaker, and then there’s the networking effect, the friends effect. Never have I heard of anyone going to their favorite concerts, and not telling anybody…it’s a social activity,” Parmar said.
Several startups have entered the events space using the crowdfunding model, including Tixelated, a Washington-based startup targeting college students, and Zokos, a platform specifically designed for dinner parties. Another one is GigFunder, which lets fans crowdsource the necessary funding to bring their favorite bands and artists to their city, with artists setting the amount required to cover expenses. However, EventTilt’s primary advantage may just be that it could have a much broader appeal across the event spectrum that can range from a college party all the way to an industry concert.
The company will be looking to eventually transition their identity from Picatic to EventTilt, with the crowdfunding platform currently layered on top of their existing event management platform. Parmar says they’re still testing the waters and feeling out the response they get. While the crowdfunding model seems to be catching on with products and creative projects on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, crowdfunding events is still a relatively new idea. Getting it to catch on with event organizers and attendees alike could be a tall order, especially for a company that’s new to the events space.