The Future of the Experience Economy, by Eventbrite’s CEO

This week I attended a conference, The Future of the Experience Economy, to discuss and learn how to succeed in the Experience Economy, what innovations will drive it forward, and how progressive brands can stay ahead of the curve to create incredible experiences that build loyal audiences.

Over the next few days I’ll publish some short posts sharing some of the highlights.

Up first: Julia Hartz, CEO and Co-founder of Eventbrite, a global marketplace for live Julia Hartz, Eventbrite CEOexperiences that allows people to find and create events in 190 countries.

Julia shared three megatrends which Eventbrite sees driving consumer behaviour, and therefore vital intelligence for businesses competing (as they must) on Customer Experience:

  1. Changing Values – “the shift from materialism to experientialism“.  By 2020 Millennials (I know, how far were we going to get into a trends post before that word came up) will be the largest income group – and they’re “bored of stuff”. Between 2008-2014 music purchases/downloads declined while live music attendances increased. Referring to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a growing sense of needing to belong/be connected is facilitated by social networks. An Eventbrite survey found that 1 in 2 would pay more for a dining “experience” than for the same meal in a normal restaurant.
  2. Technology – rather than replacing live experiences, as may be thought, technology is fuelling the growth in live events and experiences. 1 in 3 share their experiences whilst they are having them; 1 in 4 share afterwards. Think about the multiplier effect of all those shares x the people who were actually there! Selfies are the new autographs; Museum Selfie Day  is a great example of leveraging thi2016-06-15 17.51.45s trend to attract younger people into museums.
  3. FOMO Fear Of Missing Out! 1 in 2 (Eventbrite survey) admitted to this syndrome, driven by seeing others having fun on social media. The Coachella music festival in 20111 took the then radical step of live streaming the whole event, for free. As a result, ticket sales for Coachella skyrocketed between 2012-2014. 3 in 4 (Eventbrite survey) have bought a ticket to see a live act, having discovered the act live (i.e. not from recordings/downloads).

In summary

Hartz called for brands to “own the experience“, because it’s the experience that will drive awareness, revenues and brand loyalty. Technology will facilitate that, not undermine it. How to think about technology in the Experience Economy will be covered in later posts.


Stephen Spencer is a keynote speaker, business coach and consultant, helping organisations create better Customer Experiences to unlock team and profit potential. He has over 25 years’ experience as a leader, trainer and experience developer with some of the UK’s most prestigious Retail, Tourism and Hospitality brands. Sign up for Stephen’s POSITIVE Customer Experience newsletter here.

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