We are the new generation of online ticketing and our aim is to use the social revolution to bring people together for genuine social experiences. Our team recently travelled to the Phocuswright Travel Innovation Summit in LA to present this vision to the world. This is what we had to say.
The state of the industry at the moment
There are so many events and experiences being sold online that people have more opportunities to get together with friends than ever before.
The global travel and live events industry is worth $2.9 trillion (i.e. nearly double the annual GDP of Canada). An estimated $870 billion of this amount is attributed to social and group bookings; however, there is massive potential to grow this part of the pie, as roughly 25% of planned social activities remain merely as plans.
At Make it Social, we believe in staying ahead of the curve. Be the best you can be, that’s what we say. Staying ahead often means being the first to implement something fresh. That’s why we work with businesses to provide a leading social booking interface and functionality that enables them to capture the growing social booking sector better and be innovative with it to-boot.
By building progressive web components using Google Polymer library we’re able to quickly compose bespoke, highly responsive solutions and enhanced user experiences to meet a full potential of custom client needs.
At Make it Social we’ve done a lot of growing this past year. We’re delivering great results for incredible clients with our fierce API and the knocks at our door just keep coming. With some exciting news on our growth soon to be released – keep a look out for that, folks – in this week’s blog, we want to focus back on the basics. The fundamentals. What do we mean when we talk about wanting to make the world a ‘truly social place’? This is our mantra, and we live and breathe it. But what are we talking about and how do we make this happen for people? Allow us to explain…
It seems almost throw-away to say it, but in our digital culture, so-called ‘connections’ are everywhere, yet nowhere. Our ‘friendship networks’ are well-meaning, but in real terms – they’re a fugazi – they’re in the ether, they’re not really ‘real’.
For some businesses, payment gateways are locked, static spaces where innovation rarely gets through. Often a place where one payment method has endured, regardless of whether it creates frustration for customers. Yet it’s widely acknowledged that the more payment methods you can offer your customers, the easier it will be for you to convert your service into sales.
At Make it Social, we believe in the power of payment innovation – delivering the key to unlocking revenue and helping your customers make payments faster, safer, and more simply.
For fans, waiting for tickets to go on sale can feel like the start of a race; against time, against ticket numbers, against every other fan out there. Poised at the starter gate for the release – either ready and waiting to pay online, or waiting to dial the hotline with your finger hovering above redial before you’ve even heard the busy tone. And we know what that sounds like – the sound of someone else getting your ticket.
Even with access to pre-sale purchase, fans can find themselves queuing or waiting hours in front of their computer while websites and servers struggle to cope with online demand.
This weekend, Eddie and I were busy getting to know some awesome and disruptive hackers. Tnooz’s IATA THack roadshow in Hamburg gathered over 60 hackers who worked in 17 teams to create innovative airline and travel industry products. Some of the solutions felt as if they were straight out of the future! During the two day THack, participants got to play with IATA’s next-generation NDC-compliant APIs for airline shopping and related travel services.
We successfully debuted our Make It Social API in front of this international crowd of hackers. We have proven that our technology is compatible with GDS and NDC, as well as with the systems of the other APIs available to the hackers: Hotelbeds, Jet Messaging Technologies, SITA, Airbus BizLab, IBM, HP, and Sabre.
“You can’t buy innovation”. Well, we disagree. The great API buy-in, are you having your Edison moment?
Like it or not, increasingly tech buy-in is trumping tech build. And it makes sense – if you can buy in specialist APIs, why waste time trying to reinvent the wheel? In an increasingly well-catered for market “you don’t need to go out and source the talent to build these functions,” says Accel Partner Vas Natarajan, “you can outsource entire swatches of your company to very reliable APIs. It’s a bit of a talent arbitrage game” (TechCrunch). Using easily accessible, quality APIs is a simple way to build your business with specialism where you need it, solving your tech traumas now, and leaving you free to focus on growing your business for the future.
During my relatively short times of running my own businesses I’ve seen (and done) some ‘interesting’ social media practices! Some worked a little and some failed. This blog finishes with 3 questions to make those who are selling ‘experiences’ (tours, gigs, festivals, hotels, shows etc) online think a little bit differently about how they use social media… with specific focus on generating revenuesfor your organisation.
Firstly, like it or lump it, the glory days that were enjoyed on the major open social networks (Facebook, Twitter etc) are over for the selling of experiences. The stories of overnight success (loads of shares leading to likes leading to revenues) through a clever viral social media campaign are no more. Unless you’re doing something game changing like the Scottish Referendum or have the support of the worlds biggest celebs like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge did, you’re going to really struggle to get that viral spread you’re dreaming of. Let’s face it, our hotel rooms, tours, shows etc are good, but they aren’t good enough to make people stop and get involved when there’s a hilarious video of a dad struggling to tell off his kids for making a mess (watch this)! There can be steady successes and modest returns still, but the question really is, are there better ways of generating a return?