Eventbrite’s new Neon, launching in the app store today, combines the functionality of both its organizer side apps At the Door and Entry Manager into one single smartphone app.
Eventbrite has been working on making it easy to process ticket sales right at the box office and at larger venues for a few years now. However, the process was divided into one app for iPhone and Android called Entry Manager and another app for iPad called At the Door. Entry Manager allowed organizers to scan tickets and At the Door allowed organizers to process sales at the venue. Neon combines those features and includes a few more to create an all-in-one ticket selling app on site. Organizers can process tickets, check in attendees, accept payments for tickets or merchandise, and also offer refunds or partial discounts all within a single app.
The new app also gives organizers the ability to track sales and get analytics insights that were previously not available in the other apps. An organizer might notice via the app check-in data that lots of people are coming late to their concerts and realize it might be a good idea to push back the start time for future shows, for example.
While Eventbrite says it wants to just focus on processing tickets and offering sales insights to organizers at event venues like a concert hall or the box office, Neon actually has legs beyond just that. Eventbrite created their own custom credit card payment processing dongle and software a while back for At the Door. This is very much like what PayPal or Square offers in terms of payment processing in real-time using mobile technology. However, with Neon, organizers have access to proprietary sales data within Eventbrite. This gives insight into event sales information. With the ability to process sales merchandise, sell tickets in real-time and offer refunds, customers could potentially also use the Eventbrite software to process sales in a store or reserve seats with a fixed fare price at a restaurant just as easily as it could for an event. Eventbrite rolled out seating selection tools for organizers so Neon could potentially provide a bigger concert producer with real-time, organized in-app ticket and merchandise sales insight at a Jay-Z concert, for instance. This further provides Eventbrite with the ammo needed to take on bigger ticketing platforms such as Ticketmaster.
“Truly innovative companies look years ahead to predict the technology landscape and anticipate the needs of their customers,” said Eventbrite’s new VP of product, Laurent Sellier. While he didn’t want to cop to taking on the likes of Square, he did pause for a long bit at the suggestion when the question was posed. “There are a lot of places it could go. We’re focused on venues right now,” he said. Sellier has a background at both Twitter and Amazon. He helped provide the “everything store” with the roadmap and long-term platform vision for the Kindle and drove the product strategy for Twitter’s mobile apps suite. Sellier was hired on by Eventbrite a couple of months ago to provide the vision needed for the new Neon app.
Eventbrite has processed 200 million tickets and registrations worldwide, totaling nearly $3 billion in gross ticket sales, thus far. Online ticketing in the U.S. has been estimated to be around a $4 billion business. The company hit $1 billion in gross ticket sales in 2013 alone.