This interview is part of the Lennd and Eventbrite integration. We thought it would be helpful to do a deep dive into how this integration impacts you: a Ticketing and Credentials Manager.
In order to highlight the impact, we thought you’d appreciate the perspective of someone who has walked in your shoes and seen all aspects of Credential and Ticketing Operations.
As such, we had the opportunity to catch up with Biasha Mitchell, Director of Festival Strategy for Eventbrite, to share her background and get her thoughts on the integration and how it will help.
Image Cred: jobportraits.com/#welcome
Where did you grow up? How did you get into the event business?
I grew up in Laytonville in Northern California on a community-based ranch called the Black Oak Ranch. My family was really tied to the music industry and the Grateful Dead and we produced several music festivals with Bill Graham back in the late 80s and early 90s. I basically grew up backstage at Grateful Dead shows.
I like to think that my career in the events business was inevitable. It started at age 11 with my first job at a music festival where I worked as horseback security. I’ve also held a ton of varied roles from security at Shoreline Amphitheater to credentials at Bonnaroo Music Festival. All of these different types of jobs taught me a lot about how every single touchpoint for a live show is important – from the first moment someone arrives at a show to the last camper to leave the parking lot.
When you were working these events, what was your favorite part?
I love the ever-changing, fast-pace of producing live events – you just never know what your day is going to be. I thrive in that type of environment and there is definitely a certain kind of person that can actually do that well. It is extremely rewarding to help people connect through live experiences. There's just nothing like a live music festival for peer to peer, human to human connection.
Biasha (right) working onsite with Jen Stiles (left), festival director of The Governors Ball Music Festival.
When you were working as a Credentials and Ticketing Manager, what were the biggest operational challenges you came across?
There are a handful of hurdles I constantly dealt with as a credential and ticketing manager that still stand out to me:
- A big one is not having a single source of truth for the data and inventory. I can't tell you how many times people would hand me a Post-It note with four names on it, or a piece of cardboard with a list of names you could barely read. Information is coming from so many different places – the process is a time suck, stressful and error-prone. I remember always looking under my laptop to make sure I didn't miss the credential requests given to me on a Post-it note.
- I was also constantly dealing with last minute changes. People are always like, "Oh, can you split that order, and add two people? By the way, these two people now need a bus pass, and this person's now coming with this artist...” It became difficult to understand what was approved, what wasn't approved, what was allowed, where my inventory was, how many wristbands were left.
- Which brings me to one of the more complicated challenges, understanding inventory. Running out of credentials is probably the worst nightmare for a credentials manager. If I had trained any entire security staff about a specific credential, what it looks like, the level of access, etc. and a change, like swapping a wristband color, is made mid-flow, you have to drop everything else to ensure everyone from security to check-in is informed about the change so major mistakes aren’t made.
- Another one that stands out is the lack of efficiency of the check-in experience. Often times we relied on technology to help with things like looking up names to get the right wristband or find whatever parking pass they needed. If you’re relying on technology - like wifi or a piece of software - and it goes down or doesn’t update in real-time, you're totally hosed.
Before we get into the benefits of the Lennd and Eventbrite integration can you tell me a bit about Eventbrite App Marketplace?
Simply put the Eventbrite App Marketplace is a collection of industry apps designed to help event creators save time, run events more efficiently, and, ultimately, sell more tickets all with the simple click of the button. We’ve made it really easy for our partners to integrate with us because we offer a really simplified API that we’ve been iterating on over the last 13 years. Hands down, the Eventbrite API is the best in the ticketing business – we’ve put in the work to make it really easy for partners to integrate with us.
With a growing directory of over 100+ apps, integrations - such as Lennd - work seamlessly with Eventbrite giving creators the power to extend and tailor the functionality of the Eventbrite platform to suit the specific needs of their business. We announced our improved App Marketplace in April and we’re just getting started – I’m personally really excited to continue to watch it grow so our event creators can use tech to run more successful and efficient events.
Why do you think it's important Lennd and Eventbrite work well together?
We look to integrate with best-in-class solutions to enhance and extend the power of the Eventbrite platform for our creators. The Lennd integration does just that and it solves a really unique challenge experienced by our festival clients. Together, we’re offering a reliable and easy-to-use solution that saves time, reduces data entry errors, and ensures a single source of truth.
How are most events managing the credentials process today?
I’ve seen everything from a Google doc to pen and paper, Excel, phone calls and text messages. There are some basic tools Eventbrite offers to manage lists of people that need to check-in. But this concept of requests, approvals, and managing wristband and credential inventory is still very manual for most folks–most events are still working in spreadsheets today.
Why do you think so many ticket managers are still managing things manually?
I think that they're still doing it this way for a number of reasons but mainly time and cost. Everyone in the industry is moving quickly, most don’t have a moment to step back and really identify a solution. Cost is often a burden, especially when every single dollar has to be really thoughtfully spent. I think many in the industry are not investing in this part of their operations, even if it could save them a lot of time, money, and make their event safer.
I think people will be happy to know we are rolling out a light pricing package to make Lennd even more attractive for those small to medium size events.
That’s amazing. While cost is definitely a factor, I also think that many don’t realize there's a solution out there. Hopefully, this integration partnership will help educate those events a bit more.
Why do you think the integration between Lennd and Eventbrite is so interesting?
I think there are a few really exceptional things about the integration that make it really interesting. Mainly, Lennd is robust, it works well, and it solves a really specific challenge that most festivals need a solution for but don’t know where to start. Similarly to Eventbrite, Lennd is self-service so users are up and running without a lot of training, getting on the phone or pulling in an engineer – you don’t have to be a tech whiz to get going!
If I was Ticketing or Credentials Manager, how do I know if I'm a good fit for the integration?
I’d say if you have more than a couple of spreadsheets, you're probably a good candidate to think through how Lennd and Eventbrite integration can really help you. Eventbrite has some tools to manage credentials on a smaller scale (with Guest List), but most music festivals have more complex requirements.
Before I let you go, I’d love to know if you have any career advice for young ticketing or cred managers out there?
My feedback is to do every job in the book. Do every job that comes your way, because you're gonna learn and then people are gonna start relying on you. Especially if you're starting at the beginning, start out as a runner at a local venue. That's a really good way to get in the business and it is the path that led me to where I am today.
For more information on the Lennd & Eventbrite integration: CLICK HERE
Lennd is a next generation event and venue management platform that simplifies operations and logistics so event teams can work smarter, move faster, and improve their ROI.
From tracking and managing requests, orders and allocations for credentials, comp tickets, documents, catering, inventory, guest lists and applications to on-boarding vendors, artists, sponsors, suppliers, staff and crew, or any other group, organizations have everything they need to deal with the demands of today’s complex events, all in one central place. Users can move seamlessly from one function to another based on their access level in a fully integrated system.
To learn why some of the most respected event teams trust Lennd to power their operations or sign up for a demo: www.lennd.com