TicketLeap was originally founded back in 2003 when founder and CEO Chris Stanchak built a web-based event attendance management platform for his own use and then realized it would make it sense to offer the same kind of tools to others, too. It’s a company that’s been around for a while now, and seen the introduction of competitive platforms like Eventbrite and Meetup, and attracted big name clients across a variety of industries. Now, however, Stanchak and his team have decided it’s time for a significant change, including a total rebrand and a refocusing of efforts on the areas that he sees will be most important to event organizers going forward.
In addition to a completely new look, logo and interface, the company is introducing a number of new features today, including event pages that collect multiple sub-events, showtimes and venues under one roof, particularly useful for things like street or food festivals that share a common theme but take place across a variety of locations around a city. Also new are DIY drag-and-drop seating charts, which event organizers can generate directly in their web browser, allowing them to present customers with a visually accurate representation of their event’s seating layout quickly and without any additional upfront costs.
“What competitors do, is they kind of take the approach of let’s let the organization customize the HTML and layout and put whatever they want on the page,” he explained about the new event page templates. “That really works well for people who have a certain level of technical expertise, but for the vast majority of event organizers, it’s a little bit overkill. People have so much control that it almost ends up looking like Myspace.”
TicketLeap’s approach is more like Facebook’s according to Stanchak, providing relatively fixed elements that are useful to all event planners, offering them things like calendars, a photo album, venue lists and more to work with. And on the customer side, the checkout process reflects the aim of helping users shop for multiple events all in one place, whether under the umbrella of a single festival or across multiple contexts, with an agenda-style checkout process that essentially provides an itinerary for event-goers to see and properly plan what they’re doing.
The company is also now featuring a couple recently-added features more prominently, including social integrations that are everywhere on the site, allowing event-goers to login with Facebook or Twitter, and also share out their ticket-buying activities with either network. Stanchak said that he hopes to make social elements central to the ticket-buying process, since “very few people attend events alone,” and going to shows, festivals, etc. is essentially a social experience offline, so it should likewise be the same online, as well.
Another key area for Stanchak and TicketLeap going forwards is mobile. The company has solutions for iOS and Android that provide complete control over the event box office, including check-in and ticket sales operations on-device. Mobile is not only where events are happening in terms of attendees, but also organizers, according to Stanchak, and TicketLeap has placed an emphasis on making sure that its organizers get mobile products by default as part of the overall platform, and a full-featured, cross-platform solution, unlike what the competition offers.
TicketLeap has been around for longer than some of its competitors, but it’s doing a good job of refocusing its efforts on where the market is headed. That’s caused the business to put a lot of its revenue back into development and expansion, betting on mobile and social. The company focuses more broadly in terms of verticals than competitors like Eventbrite, but Cvent’s recent acquisitions and success could put in right in line for a clash with TicketLeap. This space looks to be all about slightly older players with a little traction under their belts gearing up for major changes in the way people think about events, so it’ll be interesting to watch how those strategies fare against new players trying to shake up the market.