What Ticket Tailor got up to in 2020

Thank you to all of our clients, collaborators, advisors and team members this year. You make our work possible and mean so much.

(PS if you like our illustrations and need an illustrator, get in touch with Beatrix, she’s awesome).

This is our 2020 story, including some secret numbers, the things we built, team achievements, and our plans for charitable donations this year. If you don’t have time to read it all, here are the highlights:

  • We made it through 2020, and kept the team together
  • We went free for online events, effectively donating over £250,000 ($333,000) in ticket fees
  • We launched some great features including seating charts (with social distancing), recurring events, beta API, 2FA, and we made Team access free to use
  • We will be donating £10,000 ($13,300) to important causes this holiday season
  • We were ranked #1 easiest to use ticketing platform (out of 300 ticketing companies) by G2 Crowd

Keep reading for the full story…

What happened at Ticket Tailor HQ this year?

In full transparency, here is the effect of COVID on ticket sales, in 2020. This is total issued tickets (free, paid, online, in-person) week-to-week, although excluding cancellations.

Back in April when ticket sales came to a standstill, I wrote a blog post about managing anxiety. Now, with a more upbeat outlook, and events on the rise, that anxiety has turned in to anticipation for a more event-filled year ahead.

I know that for a lot of event organisers, opportunities have been slim this year, and if you are waiting for the comeback, I hope you are feeling as optimistic about 2021 as we are, and we can’t wait to support you when you are ready.

I am very grateful that we have made it through this year with our head above water and to have kept all of our staff on.

When lockdowns came in to force in April, we threw our growth targets for the year out of the window and refocussed on adapting to your needs. Here’s a recap of what we got up to:

We went free for online events

Ticket Tailor went free for online events and we built a number of relevant features to support those of you who could find opportunities here.

This offer seemed to go down well. We donated over £250,000 (£333,000) in ticket fees to you, and you used it run over 38,000 online events, and sold over half a million tickets.

We thought seating might have been the answer to social distancing

When we were approached by a number of churches earlier in the year, we decided to help them out by launching Church Ticketing — essentially church-goers could register in advance and choose where to sit. We knew this was a frequently requested feature from many Ticket Tailor clients, and we thought this could help all event organisers accommodate social distancing restrictions at their events.

Whilst it wasn’t as simple as: add a seating chart and every event can now run with social distancing, the take up has been good, and we imagine this will come in very useful for a lot of you in 2021. Incidentally we have recently updated seating charts to allow you to create social distancing rulesets.

We have also enjoyed some creative use-cases including this reindeer poop bingo raising money for a good cause.

Recurring events have exceeded expectations

A good number of you told us that you’d be running more regular, smaller events, so we made it easy for you to create and manage recurring events. Now, in a few clicks you can set up an event that takes place weekly, daily, every ten minutes, or whatever configuration you need.

Since we launched new event creations have doubled.

We have some more improvements in the works here, and look forward to sharing more in the new year.

Our beta API left you wanting more

Our beta API launched in the early part of this year, allowing you to programatically access your Ticket Tailor data. Thank you to those of you who have built on the API. The take-up and feedback has been really positive. We have big plans for the API in 2021 but I don’t want to get too technical. Feel free to reach out to api@tickettailor.com if you would like discuss how the API could be useful for you.

Security, data, and reliability have been a top priority

Security has always been a top priority for us, and this year is no exception. With cyber security threats increasing, we know that you put a lot of trust in us to keep your data safe. This year we have launched a bug bounty program, increased the frequency of external pen testing, and have regularly audited data flows to ensure your data stays safe.

In case you missed it, we also launched an option to secure your account with two-factor authentication (2FA). If you activate 2FA, as well as needing a password to log in, you will also need an authentication token from an app on your phone. This means that even if someone managed to get your password, they wouldn’t be able to access your account without your phone too.

Team access allows you to invite your team members to create logins for your dashboard. This used to be an add-on with additional fees attached, but we made this free for everyone this year, because we believe it is good security practice to give everyone their own logins and security shouldn’t cost extra.

We have also worked hard on improving the reliability and scalability of certain parts of our platform. The check-in app works faster, and can handle up to 100,000 tickets, and we have made ongoing improvements to checkout so that it can handle high demand events.

Small team, big impact

We are proudly independent and we work hard to keep everything simple so we can grow, maintain our quality, and keep our prices low. Meet the other 11 people who have helped you sell more than 4.8M tickets this year.

Jamie, Audrius, and Jake are our tech team. They have released 821 updates to the Ticket Tailor platform so far in 2020. That’s over three updates per day for every working day of the year. They have also made sure the platform stays up with over 99.99% uptime. 👏👏

Next year we will be hiring for two new roles in our tech team. Keep an eye on our careers page if you are based in London and interested.

Emily joined us at the beginning of the year to focus on all things ops. As well as keeping us sane in a world of remote working, she has also been working on a top secret project that will cement our commitment to growing better, not just bigger (more on that next year).

George has been focussing on growth and whilst we threw our growth goals out of the window in March, you may have seen George’s excellent webinar series, Event Creators Collective, and the launch of Church Ticketing to help with socially distanced services.

Rhio joined us mid way through the year as our customer experience lead, to make sure we are serving you as best as we can.

You may know the customer support team (Lorant, Cy, Sabina, Florin, and Aleksa) from dealing with them from time-to-time. Your glowing reviews show they are doing a great job. Our speedy, friendly, helpful customer support often gets called out by you as one of the most important parts of our service.

This year they have handled over 20,000 support conversations, with an average response time of just 2m21s with 94% of ratings being 🤩 or 😀. Amazing!!

We occasionally ask you “How likely are you to recommend us?”. Every time we get a response the whole team sees it. This year we have received over 1,000 responses with an average score of 9.2/10!

We appreciate all the feedback we get from you. It is so motivating to receive lots of high scores but we are not complacent and recognise we have a lot of room for improvement.

The last bit of showing off, I promise: I am very proud of the fact that we are rated the #1 easiest to use ticketing platform by G2 Crowd out of more that 300 ticketing companies. In second place is the market leader who employ hundreds of people and have raised over $500M in funding. And this wasn’t the only accolade. We appeared at the top of the lists for SoftwareAdvice, Capterra, and GetApp.

With revenue down this year, I had planned to scale back our usual charitable donations, but then it struck me that now more than ever is a time to show compassion, and so we will be donating £10,000 ($13,300) to causes that so badly need it. Although we haven’t decided on the charities yet, we have decided the themes will be mental health, poverty, international medical aid, and the events industry.

Over to you

This year has been difficult for so many, not least for event organisers, and my sincerest heartfelt sympathy goes out to those who have been severely affected by the circumstances of this year.

We are hopeful that more in-person events will be coming back soon, and boy, do we need them. Whether you are running fundraisers for important causes, getting people together around a passion, educating people, or just creating good times, we believe that you, the event organisers will be the heroes of 2021 and we look forward to supporting you.

Thanks for reading.
Thanks for all your support.
Have a great holiday and new year.
I wish you and your family great health.
See you in 2021!

Jonny

Find me (@jonnywhite) and Ticket Tailor (@tickettailor) on Twitter.

Founder / director of www.tickettailor.com (@tickettailor).