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June 14, 2005

Comments

Allen Searls

Definitely a fan of Fatlens, got to meet Nanda Kishore at Under the Radar and in our latest trip to the valley. Tickets was a nice vertical search niche for them to grab. Lots more to come from those guys...

Allen

Sooz

Forced to work on smaller events, eh? I guess I find that interesting (for obvious reasons). You've got to start somewhere. It might be nice if you could break in on a Lollapalooza-sized event early on but how practical is that? Afterall, didn't WhizSpark get it start because you planned an annual ski trip for friends and that transformed into a business?

And no, I'm not taking anything personal. Just disappointed.

Sooz

I probably hit "post" too soon. Obviously I am a fan of WhizSpark. Those last tidbits might seem a bit sassy. I figure that there's room at WhizSpark for the rockstar mega large events and the smaller events. Though of course author events (linked on your "smaller events" tidbit above) are not necessarily small. That is all. I'll stop blathering now! ;)

peter caputa

Thanks Sooz for your feedback. From a cash generation perspective, you can't deny that it is difficult to make money from small events. Our goal, all along has been to build solutions to meet the needs of events, large and small. And we are pricing our services to fit within the budgets of promoters and planners that do smaller events, in terms of revenue.

I've recently had several meetings with PR professionals and event planners and when I tell them the prices, they ask me why it is so cheap. And I tell them that we want to be able to provide the tools to smaller events. It is our roots. As you mentioned, WhizSpark wouldn't have happened without small events. We want to provide the tools to event planners, venues, non profits, small businesses to market and organize their events more effectively and within their budget. That's our goal.

And hopefully, when we launch our DIY tools, we'll have lots of event planners using our tools for small and large events alike. With a handful more people using WhizSpark for "smaller" events on a regular basis, we could be sitting pretty - pretty quickly.

Nonetheless, from the perspective of selling our services, I am selling to larger and larger organizations, as I can get face time with them. And when I sell them, I am piling on additional marketing services for their events (or strategic alliances), so as to gain additional revenue from additional online advertising services we can provide OR make it easier to sell our services as a result of partnerships.

My point in this post was that it is difficult to land larger clients that promote large ticketed events, because our sub-promoter/affiliate tools can't track sales made at other ticketing services. Ticketmaster doesn't go after [most] non profit events, nightclub events or author book signing tours because the revenue is too low and ticket printing is not necessary. And they are smaller events compared to concerts at Stadiums and convention centers.

All that said, I think that those are all perfect markets for our tools to address. You've read the business plan. You know that we are going after those markets. So, I was not meaning to disparage them.

The challenge that we have as we bootstrap is how to make short term cash flow. If we could get deals to sell tickets as affiliates and integrate our direct marketing and promoter tracking capabilities with a ticket merchant, we might be able to generate income without coordinating wine tastings, bikini contests and book tours. Not that those are less important, in any way. They just take a lot more work and time.

I am always looking for easier ways to support our long term vision. I think the vision is pretty clear: DIY marketing and registration services for events. How we get there while keeping food on the table, requires us to constantly re-evaluate what I am doing - on a daily basis.

Zach

I agree with this article. CPA type of advertising is a better way to go.
I can only think of one site within all the price comparison sites who uses CPA that is PriceComparison.com (http://www.PriceComparison.com).

Zach

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