Eventbrite plans to become the go-to marketplace to discover all kinds of events

13 May 2015

Marino Fresch, Eventbrite Ireland

Through a combination of APIs, algorithms and data insights, Eventbrite is aiming to become the go-to discovery marketplace for events in every country it is active in, the company’s new country manager for Ireland has said.

Eventbrite, which opened a new office in Dublin last year, has processed more than US$3bn in ticket sales worldwide up from US$1bn in 2013. The San Francisco, California, company recently raised US$60m in venture capital, valuing it at more than US$1bn.

Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, Eventbrite country manger for Ireland Marino Fresch, who is also head of marketing for Eventbrite in the UK, said that locally Eventbrite is experiencing triple digit growth in the Irish market.

“It began mainly with tech events but now we are seeing the Eventbrite platform being used by an increasing number of other verticals including food, drink, music festivals and the arts.

“We are seeing a tidal shift in consumerism online from products to actual experiences and this is being amplified through the use of social media.

The experience economy

“Whenever you go to an event that is good it creates a powerful experience that stays with you forever and that’s what people are seeking right now,” said Fresch, who still remembers his first concert – U2 in Dublin – keenly.

He said that Eventbrite is focused on lean and agile growth but at the same time is using technology to drive it in new directions. As revealed last year by CTO Renaud Visage, APIs feature strongly in this new direction, along with data insights and algorithms.

“One of the areas we are starting to move into this year in Ireland and globally is the event discovery side of things,” Fresch said.

“We are the go-to site for events organisers but we also want to become the go-to site for something you want to do this evening or this weekend.”

He said that at present the Eventbrite Ireland website has 2,000 events that users can book right away.

“The next step is to start recommending these events to customers both editorially and through algorithms. We will use social media and blogs to amplify events but also we will rely on algorithms to make smarter and smarter recommedations based on users’ preferences and interests.”

The long tail of events

Fresch, who prior to Eventbrite held senior roles at eBay and Expedia, said that globally there is a long tail of events that, combined with Eventbrite’s ticketing and organisation expertise, could provide a valuable resource for organisers and especially people looking for things to experience.

He said that facilitating events that attract large numbers of visitors is not unlike experiencing a denial of service attack in hacker parlance in terms of the spike in hits on servers.

“A big event like the recent UFC event involving Conor McGregor was only meant to host 2,000 people but more than 70,000 people tried to book tickets. Within two minutes all the 2,000 tickets were gone.

“You have to have a platform that can handle that kind of demand and our infrastructure is prepared for such spikes in demand.”

Fresch said that Eventbrite is broadening out from corporate events to concerts and recently managed the ticket sales for the Black Eyed Peas in New York as well as the Pieta House Darkness into Light festival, which attracted more than 100,000 people.

“For us it starts with tech and business events and broadens out into music festivals and food and wine festivals and a lot more such as the Big Grill BBQ festival, for example, or the upcoming KnockanStockan festival in Blessington or the Holi Festival of Colours, which is taking place in cities all across Europe and in Dublin in June and of course Silicon Republic’s Inspirefest in June.

“It is natural for us to try and build out traction and there is a role for Eventbrite to play to keep that going and build that awareness. The more we can showcase that inventory, it will have a flywheel effect.”

Inspirefest 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-20 June in Dublin that connects sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years