If you've had it up to here with Ticketmaster's insane fees, or you're looking to buy or sell tickets to your school's bake sale, your band's concert, or a local cooking class, Eventbrite is for you.
Ticketmaster, dubbed the "most hated brand in America" by Fast Company, has historically left much to be desired from a user standpoint, with its eye-popping service fees and market stranglehold on large events that makes them damned near impossible to avoid. Meanwhile, a massive part of the ticketing market has been virtually untapped—Ticketmaster will get you into the U2 and Sting megatours, but if you're looking to sell or buy tickets for a knitting class, an obscure music festival, or a neighborhood nonprofit fundraiser, forget it.
Kevin Hartz, CEO and cofounder of the social commerce company Eventbrite, says the huge, sleepy ticketing market was "ripe for disruption." Eventbrite's goal is to bring that disruption, through offering ticketing services to smaller events and venues, slashing buyer fees to a fraction of what Ticketmaster charges, and focusing on social media integration so your friends can get in on the fun when you decide to attend or offer an event.
Eventbrite, which last month opened its first overseas office in London, has helped event organizers host more than half a million events, and it's on track to process half a billion in gross ticket sales in 2011. The company, founded in 2006, has raised $80 million in investments and has helped its customers organize events in 147 countries. Events are "naturally social," says cofounder and president Julia Hartz (who is married to Kevin), so it makes sense that Facebook—where Eventbrite users can share their ticket purchases and events they plan to attend—is where the most new Eventbrite customers come from.
"Our team finds motivation in knowing that we're transforming the ticketing industry, this notion that we're bringing democritization to an industry and disrupting it using technology," says Julia Hartz. Check out the video below for more on how the Eventbrite team is transforming the business of ticketing.