In a millennial world that thrives on experiences over products while at the same time still posting daily updates, one Canadian company is making it easier than ever to attend live events.
The Calgary-based Showpass has announced a new partnership with Facebook to allow Canadian users to purchase tickets right on the social media platform without having to navigate to a third-party app or site. Facebook is a huge resource for planning events, concerts, festivals and more—over 700 million people use Facebook events each month—so the social media giant offering a native in-app purchasing method through Showpass is a massive step for the Canadian company.
Showpass’ CEO Lucas McCarthy cites his company’s unique approach to solving customer pain points rather than consolidating platforms as a major point of success.
“Our entire business is focused on people who are passionate about live events,” says McCarthy. “Our distribution network is defining relations with people on a human-to-human basis that has traditionally been cut out of the live event and ticketing process.”
The integration with Facebook allows Showpass users to extend their network to an even wider base. Customers can even access merchandise marketplaces, mobile POS systems, discounted tickets for those who share on social media, and more.
“Ticket sales today are about creating meaningful relationships with people instead of the simple, isolated transactions they used to be. Facebook has a unique ability to help foster those relationships,” says Yoav Zeevi, product manager of Facebook Events Ticketing. “So, our focus with ticketing on Facebook is to make that process easier for people and our partners. This partnership with Showpass is another way we’re making buying and selling tickets easier for everyone.”
The way the partnership works is through Facebook’s and Showpass’ APIs working in tandem. Whenever an event goes live on Showpass, it is pushed through immediately to Facebook. The entire payment process is integrated on the social media giant, meaning a customer can use their credit card, buy and hold tickets without downloading anything else. Customers can even get a single barcode to use instead of fumbling through various different ones in another app.
“We’ve stayed focused on retaining that native experience with our partners,” says McCarthy. “We’ve seen a really big uptick as our conversion ratio went up about 20 per cent when we introduced that native integration to our partners.”
Showpass has been growing quickly throughout Canada, as McCarthy touts that the service allows event organizers to sell around 15 per cent more tickets than competing services.
Still, the relationship with Facebook all started with a cold call. McCarthy reached out to Facebook about a partnership and now meets with the company’s executives whenever he is in Palo Alto, helping to constantly develop and extend his platform.
“I think Facebook has seen the value and growth trajectory of Showpass even in the time we’ve been working together,” says McCarthy. “That’s helped us define the partnership as a really beneficial one to both parties.”
The new platform is live now for select events, so keep an eye out when checking out things to do this weekend. Showpass has a lot coming down the pipe including more major partner integrations and new ways for viewers to engage with live events.
“Imagine standing right beside a tee box and a golfer, and seeing stats, players and a scoreboard. It’s a real great intersection in a very smooth way,” says McCarthy
The company’s first AR announcement is expected to come later this year.
Showpass is a member of the Lazaridis Institute’s second Scale-Up Program at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. That cohort began in mid-October last year.