I get fascinated whenever I see the power of leverage in play. Recently I saw this with SimplyHired job boards. With almost no coding, you could create a job board on your blog or website and start making money.
Bala Musrif at EventBee has a new offer from his company called Network Ticket Selling and Network Event Listing. I am also interested in the people who are behind companies with interesting business models. So I had an opportunity to ask Bala Musrif a few questions about himself and his business. Here is the quick interview that will provide the “Behind The Scenes” view of the whole thing
1. RS: Bala, tell us a bit about yourself. You had a successful career at Sun. What prompted you to start EventBee in the first place?
Bala: I started my full time job as a Hardware Engineer when I was 19, since then I worked in National Remote Sensing Agency, Wipro, Imake Software and Sun Microsystems. I am always fascinated with new technologies and ideas. My quest for technologies made me work in many areas at Sun, from clustering to Portal servers. While I was managing portal server partnerships at Sun, I saw the opportunities Internet is brining to every industry you name it. I evaluated many opportunities and found focusing on events market is not only rewarding, but also risk is limited with huge market size.
2. RS: EventBee was competing with many other registration systems out there. Apart from being commoditized, what were the challenges with EventBee?
Bala: Yes, there are many companies who provide registration software. The fact is events market is very big, and there is no clear established leader. That gave us opportunity to enter the market with new innovative ideas, and quickly establish our self as a most advanced web based registration system. The initial challenge for us was to establish our self as a trusted partner as we deal with tens of thousands of registration payments. The next challenge for us was to educate Event Managers to tap state of the art technologies to promote and sell more event tickets.
3. RS: Network Ticket Selling and Event Listing seem to be the place where you are expecting home run. For the benefit of readers, tell us what exactly is “network ticket selling and event listing”
Bala: Network Ticket Selling allows Event Managers to sell tickets from third party Websites (or Blogs) that are part of Eventbee Partner Network. By simply listing and enabling Network Ticket Selling at Eventbee, Event Managers tap “Network” effect to drive more ticket sales, and reward commission to third party Websites for each ticket sale they generate.
Using Network Event Listing, now Webmaster (or Bloggers) can monetize traffic by enabling premium event listing on their site with zero investment. By simply enabling Network Event Listing on their site, webmasters tap new revenue stream that was not there earlier, and allow Event Managers to reach website visitor community in a seamless fashion.
Network Ticket Selling combined with Network Event Listing allows Event Managers to create Viral Marketing effect, Distributed Ticket Selling phenomenon, resulting in maximum ticket sales with minimal efforts.
4. RS: Why should webmasters or bloggers be excited about Network Ticket Selling and Listing?
Bala: By joining Eventbee Partner Network, and displaying Evnetbee streamer (widget) on their site, webmasters (or Bloggers) earn money two ways –
2. Get paid commission for each ticket sale they generate.
This is completely new revenue stream for Webmasters (or Bloggers) with zero investment, does not conflict with other revenue streams they already have in place, such as Google Adsense or Job Boards.
5. RS: How did this idea come about?
Bala: Last three years blogosphear is growing explosively, but the audience have limited time they can spend online, that made them to stick to their favorite websites or blogs. This created a new challenge for Event Managers on how to reach this audience which is scattered across multiple websites or blogs, it is very time consuming and almost impossible for Event Manager to contact each webmaster and request them to display his event on their site. That is when Eventbee saw new opportunity and came up with the idea of building Partner Network that consists of Websites and Blogs, and allow Event Managers to make use of Network Ticket Selling and Event Listing features to push event across multiple websites (or blogs) automatically, and reach wider audience with minimal efforts.
6.RS: How do you think your competition will respond?
I am sure competition will come up with similar solution, the fact is
Eventbee has been in the business since 2003, we already established
our self as a trusted partner with over 6000 event managers. Apart from
being first to the market, we have the advantage of loyal customer base.
7. RS: What were the lessons learnt during your four-year journey with EventBee (from inception until the launch of “Network Ticket Selling and Event Listing”)?
Bala: Well there are so many things I learned as a first time entrepreneur for last four years. Most importantly one need to build great team that is flexible enough to adapt to new market conditions and deliver the results in half the time than competition can do. Most of the times markets may not react the way you expect, so be bold to recognize market dynamics and change the direction of the company if needed.
8. RS: If you were do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Bala: Having done one startup, now I can take more risks in my next ventures. Focus on completely new idea that has viral marketing built into it.
9. RS: What is next for Bala and EventBee?
Bala: My goal is to make Eventbee most successful company in events space, reach every event manager and become their trusted partner in promoting and selling their event tickets. Eventbee will focus more on leveraging existing customer and community base, and release more innovative features that tap “Network” effect to sell more tickets.