TixSuite CEO James McGlinn on shaking up the legacy ticketing model

Eventfinda CEO James McGlinn has launched TixSuite in Australia.

Kiwi-based company Eventfinda has debuted its new ticketing model TixSuite in Australia providing ticketing software via subscription. CIM spoke with CEO James McGlinn about their goal of disrupting the legacy ticketing services in a big way.

Why Australia for the global launch? It’s just the size of the market. You look at the population, there are five times as many people in Australia as there are in New Zealand but there are far, far more than five times the number of events here because you have a critical mass in all of these niches, people who are interested in specific types of content.

How long did it take to develop this subscription based model? When COVID came along, we suddenly found, as everyone in the events industry did, that we had to find things to do to keep ourselves occupied. And one of the things that we focused on right back in 2020 was building a subscription marketing event product into the Eventfinda platform. The event organisers and venues that were using it were telling us this is a fantastic model. And we thought, is there something that we can do here around ticketing that works in a very similar way… that would really solve quite a few of the problems that we’re seeing out there in the industry.

Given the challenge of rising costs for events and festivals this seems like a great time to launch? I think it is as festivals are really finding it challenging. The input costs have gone up, meanwhile, the rising cost of living is contributing to challenges on the other side. So it’s a really tough time for the industry and we certainly feel for the promoters that are in that space and taking that risk.

We think that putting this type of model in place and removing what has been a little bit of drag on cash flow and the ticketing fees being somewhat of a tax on that sector will help.

For organisers who are in that space being able to then not only have the cash flow, but also put their own ticketing fees on top of it, which they keep 100%, hopefully that helps to swing things in their favour a little more than it is today.

What size or types of events are you targeting? There are three tiers ranging between [those] selling 200 tickets a month [up to] 1000 on the professional plan.

It’s a product that’s aimed at this point at the lower to middle levels of the market. It’s not so much for those festivals who are once a year. We are looking at the ones who are doing events regularly and often and the ones who are doing the bulk of their ticketing work themselves.

Is this a battle between David and Goliath in the ticketing industry? I see it more as a battle between business models. Unlike in the past, there’s not a huge rigmarole that promoters and venues have to go through to have their own merchant accounts set up to be able to take payments for tickets. It’s the sort of thing that can now be done in a few hours or overnight. So we think the time is right [for] a new business model and that’s what we see this battle as being between.

Can you see this ticketing model being replicated elsewhere? Absolutely everywhere. The ticketing industries around the world are markedly similar, so we see global potential for this.