Saturday, June 27, 2020

Entertainment Events in the Future - Ed Vincent

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VoiceAmerica  0:04  
One problem facing people at many levels of business is how to make time for a work life and a personal life. Do you find that one seems to keep getting in the way of the other? This is the work life balance with Rick Morris. Even if you're not involved in the business world, you'll have a lot to gain by tuning into today's show. Now, here's your host, Rick A. Morris,

Rick A. Morris  0:26  
and welcome to another edition of the work life balance. So excited to have everybody along. We've got a very topical show today. I'm really excited about it. First want to give a shout out. You know, we did some really cool things. A couple of weeks ago, I'm getting a ton of social media love from you guys on that. We just wanted to have an honest conversation got some of my friends together and started one. But I appreciate all the feedback I've been getting on that show and love you guys for that. But let's jump into our guest. today. Our guest is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of business technology and managing Been experience. And I'm excited for the show because it's a blend of kind of my two paths my two careers which is technology and project management, mixed with that entertainment background that we've had. So this gentleman has started and exited several companies in that time. some highlights include the launch of film festivals in multiple locations and creating the concept for a maximum branded Hotel in the Caribbean. And most recently, he's led a platform and consultancy in the entertainment space with clients like ad networks, AMC network, screen vision, movie tickets calm, and he started something new called a festival pass. But before he started that he was brought into movie pass as an interim head of debt data. Let's bring him on Ed Vinson, how you doing it? Good. Rick, how are you? doing? Fantastic. It's it's awesome just to I feel like we've got similar backgrounds and the fact that if you're head of data, your database guy, you love analytics, you love metrics, all of those things, but blending that in the entertainment space has largely been difficult, hasn't it?

Ed Vincent  1:57  
It has it has so so I've been For a while now and you know, depending upon what aspect you look at the director, the director, consumer data. Link has been difficult for many years and started back in the TV days when analog TV displays the ability to have direct consumer interaction. So the cable companies knew exactly who was there, but the TV companies did not.

Rick A. Morris  2:24  
Wow. And so and that's where Nielsen comes from, and all those different rankings and really, that's, that's more algorithm driven than really knowing what people are watching. Is that fair?

Ed Vincent  2:34  
Yeah, the beauty of digital is you actually have a one to one relationship. All the Nielsen panels and all the other things you refer to was just a group of sample size of 10,000 people and they represented the entire country.

Rick A. Morris  2:47  
That's incredible. Yeah, so with digital Netflix and Hulu, all of those things coming aboard you really know what people are tuning into what what they really like and you can definitely see a turn towards programming but You started, you started this thing called festival pass. And wow, what a great time to be having a live music venue. Nobody saw, you know, COVID coming the way it has. But let's talk about, first of all your idea how you came up with it. And then we can talk about the impacts of what's occurring to the business. I know a lot of people out there ready to, to start hearing some of their favorite bands and get back out there on the on the concert track. But let's first start with how you had the idea for festival pass.

Ed Vincent  3:27  
Sure, sure. So context is king and been an entrepreneur for over 20 years. I've touched many different paths and businesses throughout my life that kind of culminated into why this happened. So you know, starting back in the early days of understanding ecommerce as an e commerce company I built and sold and then for about eight years, I had an agency that was an experiential agency and during that time, you referenced a few things, but we were activating a lot of big brands big major events. really drove my love for the community and the feeling people get when they're actually attending events. And it can be a music festival. We did a lot in the film festival world, the whole food and wine world. You know, you see people go into Comic Cons and all these other events that just bring communities together. And I really enjoyed that. Fast forward. You know, many years, I spent a lot more time in digital in the SAS space in the data space. And then when I when I was working at movie pass as a as their chief data officer, kind of the light bulb went off in how can you build a business model that is a data driven business model in a way that engages people to do more of what they want to do, and still find a way to do that profitably. And when I when I finally started looking at the live events business, it's a $200 billion dollar a year business globally 20 times the size of you know, the US film box office. So it's a massive industry and fundamentals just made a lot of sense. It's a very disparate industry with thousands upon thousands of players. And as an entrepreneur, when you look at businesses like that, that's that's an ideal situation for a marketplace to emerge. That's what happened with Uber in the ride sharing space. It's what happened with Airbnb, in the, you know, renting out your, your room space. Those marketplaces really bring disparate supply chains together with a consumer doing something in a more efficient, frictionless way.

Rick A. Morris  5:32  
And so it's it's interesting, because quite frankly, the music business itself has changed dramatically in the last 20 years with the with the advent of technology to the point where there's really no money in the music anymore. All of the money really comes from touring. And so now that, you know, we're limiting tours, it's really inhibiting the ability for a lot of these artists to generate the revenue that there used to. So let's talk about what's the structure of festival pass, walk me through How do I, as a user, or consumer interact with that? What do I get out of the platform?

Ed Vincent  6:05  
Sure, sure. So it's a subscription platform, you know, in other words to say is a membership. So as a consumer, what happens is you sign up to be a member of festival pass, and you can pay as little as $9 a month or as much as $99 a month. And when you commit to, you know, we call it living in an experiential life, meaning you commit to the fact that you are going to go to events. And we have thousands of different types of events on the platform. So it's not just going to a music concert. When you can make that commitment you get, you get credits. So if you're committing to $9 a month, you get a certain amount of credits. If you commit to $99 a month, you get a lot more credits, and the credit, the per credit price is much cheaper, the more you commit to. So then what happens is you can redeem those credits for many, many of the thousands of events that exists that I always liken it to, you know, for the the older folks that have Might be listening to when I say older, I mean, kind of kids of the 80s and 90s is arcades, you when you go to an arcade and you put $10 in the token machine, you get a bunch of tokens, and the pinball machine might cost one token, but the really cool driving game might cost for using credits, or tokens is a great way to keep a budgeted monthly subscription price, but still enable people to choose how to spend that in whatever way they want to spend it.

Rick A. Morris  7:30  
And so do they have the opportunity to choose their own seats or things of that sort? Or is it is it more

Ed Vincent  7:35  
It depends, right so in a concert venue where there are seating they will be able to choose their seats just like you would on any other ticketing platform. In the from the festival world and we are all events, not just festivals, but just from a go to market brand perspective is most festivals our general mission as they are anyway.

Rick A. Morris  7:55  
And so then from a revenue perspective or back end perspective, you look at how many people are going to generate these credits and then go get the tickets yourself. You've got an inside. How does that? How does that how do you ensure that you have enough tickets to satisfy the demand?

Ed Vincent  8:08  
Good question. So so that's exactly how a marketplace works, right? So there are two sides to the marketplace. So we need to build the supply, which are the tickets, and then we need to build the demand, which are the consumers. And without getting too technical or too deep into what how marketplaces work, there's things that are route density versus global density. So for example, can a marketplace exist just in a local environment? So if you're only in New York City, and you have enough people that want to go to events, you obviously need enough events in New York City to satisfy those consumers? So the answer is, is we're partnering with hundreds of these providers of whether it's the venue themselves, whether it's the rights holder that owns the right to hold that event, or in some cases we're aggregating ticket inventory from other suppliers

Rick A. Morris  8:59  
because that could be MX, that is even changed. I remember, in the really early 90s Generally, the first two or three rows were always reserved for friends and family. I mean, they that those were just free seats that you kind of gave and you know, people always hit you up. But there would be certain people that would come through town and I'd have to take my phone off the hook because everybody wants to tickets, right? But but they even got smarter than that with this whole friends and family plan that they do, where essentially they set aside there's still good seats, but it's generally like the first two rows of the first deck to stage left or something of that sort. And they're, they're fixed price there, but they're still you know, 30 bucks, 40 bucks way below what most people pay. But you have to like send your your buddy, the friend that you know has to send your name and you have to commit to four tickets and send cash and then you get your tickets. But I thought that was brilliant in the sense of how much revenue they were losing in those front rows, right to artists pass and management pass. So there's there's tons of things I think that people don't think through when you're putting on you know, a festival or events or even trying to build a ticketing agency. So I think, yeah, I really want to start to dive into that stuff. But I think we're going to take a break at this moment come back, I want to talk about what the impact has been on your business and how you see us coming through COVID. And where you were like, what are some of the indicators you're catching, whether it be data or just the market itself, and get into that portion? And then I just want to hear a lot more about festival pass. So we're going to take a break right here. You're listening to Rick Morris, I'm interviewing Ed vincit. We'll be right back on the work life balance.

VoiceAmerica  10:36  
Are you frustrated with the overall productivity of your project management processes? Do you lack consistency and project delivery? Our squared consulting provides end to end services to assist companies of all sizes in realizing and improving the value of project management. Whether you want to build a project management office, trained project managers or learn how to bring the oversight and governance to your project processes. r squared has tailored best practices to help you in all areas of project management, visit r squared are you getting the most out of your project management software? In many cases, it is not the software that is failing but the implementation limitations or processes surrounding the use of that software. r squared can analyze your current use and help improve your return on investment. r squared can also suggest the best software for your organization and goals and assist in the selection implementation and training. Allow r squared to ensure that you are getting the value of your investment visit r squared today from the boardroom to you. Voice America business network.

You are tuned in to the work life balance to reach Rick Morty or his guest today, we'd love to have you call into the program at 1-866-472-5790. Again, that's 1-866-472-5790. If you'd rather send an email, Rick can be reached at our Morris at r squared Now back to the work life balance.

Rick A. Morris  12:22  
And we're back on the work life balance on this Friday afternoon. we're interviewing Ed Vinson, Ed is founded, festival pass, and we'll be talking through that piece. So Ed, let's, let's get the big elephant, as you said, the big elephant in the room as you were saying it when we were just talking COVID right, life is changing dramatically at this point with COVID. And life is going to be different at some point with social distancing. But you know, filling these arenas the way we used to right pet packing people in in the standing room or even festivals you look at Bonnaroo or some of these others. How has that impacted the business and what do you See us? Or how do you see is starting to come out of that?

Ed Vincent  13:02  
Sure, sure. So so you're right.

Obviously, nobody anticipated COVID to be as impactful as it has been, and as, you know, challenging for everybody, for every industry, but especially in the live events industry, you know, really just came to a halt. So, the interesting thing is that it is changing a lot of what live events are. And when I say changing it, it's there'll be a short term kind of world of how we come back and how we slowly come back. And there'll be, you know, the, the path to what happens in a year from now. And can you go to a 70,000 person show in a big arena. So what, uh, what I am seeing is that people are being very innovative. And one of the things that, you know, just to kind of reiterate from some of the things we said earlier is, I believe that live events will come back and they'll come back very Strong. And they'll probably even come back more strongly than they were prior to COVID. Because there's this, there's this connection that everybody has been missing over over the time of COVID. And the realization that community is super important.

So I don't know if we want to ask a little more about

Rick A. Morris  14:19  
Yeah, no, I mean, I think it's a good point. I like music to me is it's an nlb Oh, I mean, I love the life experience. I, I have several artists, friends that I feel like, you know, I listen to their music on Spotify, it's great. But when I hear them live, it's just spectacular. You know, it's just such a seeing people like at Red Rocks, or, you know, some of these venues that are just incredible. But I agree with the pent up demand as well. But then I fear like everybody's going to there's going to be a lot more fear. And so what are some of those innovative ways that you've seen where people are starting to try to come back at the moment to do that stop gap before we get back to 2021?

Ed Vincent  14:58  
Yeah, so I think it's two things right? Outdoor is is the first right so anything that is not inside an arena, I think has given consumers some level of confidence that as long as they're socially distance in an outdoor environment, that's going to be the first days we're seeing that now with some of the big groups putting on Drive in concerts. You know, Who would have ever thought the drive in movie would be the most popular you know, thing going on after it's been phased out over decades. We had one just go out of business just prior to COVID.

Rick A. Morris  15:33  
And you I talked about just missing the boat, right cuz everybody's dying to go to the theaters. But so how does the drive it? I've heard the driving concert. We talked about Garth Brooks. And I've heard several others announcing these tours. How does that work? Do you have any insight in that?

Ed Vincent  15:48  
Yeah. So on the on the big tours, the ones that are really driven by the live nations of the world. What they're doing is they're taking some of the arenas that they typically would use the inside of the arena for people Answer. And what they're doing is they're repurposing the parking lot. So they're putting a large stage outside, they're putting large screens up. And they're using the parking lot in itself to manage rows of cars. And then even in some circumstances, they're creating pretty interesting experiences. I think, if I remember correctly, I think hard rocks down in Miami. The Hard Rock Rena is doing this, where not only can some VIPs drive in their car, but then they set up a couch at a table outside of your car in the spot that you're in socially distance from everybody else. So you actually have a comfortable setting to actually be able to watch the show.

Rick A. Morris  16:38  
That's interesting. I'd have to see one to come through. But I think also with the advent of technology, like there was some really cool things starting to happen in terms of fan interaction. A couple of things that came to mind. There was a avatar show that went around that actually utilized everybody's cell phones to do lighting and special effects. So when you got into the show, you logged on to the app, you put your seat number, and then it would tell you to hold your phone up. And they were doing all background mining very, very cool. So a lot with the wristbands to and the colors, you know, being able to control that within the arena. What What is some of that other emerging technology that you're seeing that that just really is driving that customer experience or listener experience?

Ed Vincent  17:21  
Yeah, so there's there's two levels. One is the the pivot lot of people made to live streaming, which, in my opinion, is a great, complimentary aspect to the to live entertainment. So you know, obviously during COVID, a lot of big artists didn't have the capacity tour to be engaged with their fans. So in order to keep that engagement, you know, they were streaming live from their living room, sometimes on Instagram, live Facebook, live Twitch. But the hard part with those scenarios is there's not really a long term business model. It's difficult to make money doing that. And I'm already saying Some fatigue in that, you know, if people are on their computers after their eighth zoom meeting of the day, the last thing they want to do is log on at night and watch a live stream concert. Not to say there's not a place for that because I think once we normalize, you know, in the next six to 12 months, it will be a great complimentary aspect. I think people will want to see a live stream of a show at Red Rocks when they just can't make it Why not spend 510 $20 to see something that might cost 100 Live,

Rick A. Morris  18:29  
right? Indeed, I have a condition now I call zoom ears, right because I wear these big headphones so you can hear everything properly. By the end of the day. They're just they like stick to my ears. But with that being said, the the streaming put like I've seen platforms like stage it come out which you know, we utilize so we were recording a album a group called the party that I own was recording an album. We used to sell access to backstage of that. So essentially do a 30 Live Show whoever tip the most got to spend another 30 minutes with the artists while we're in the recording studio playing music that's never been heard before. So I think the access to these artists have grown so much. So I'm interested to see how they start to try to blend those two experiences, especially if there's only so many driving concerts you can do like, I can imagine some complaints coming around from outside businesses and things like that when they when they set these things up. Because a lot of times you got hotels and all this other stuff surrounding that may not like having that live concert outside. There may not be a group that they want to listen to.

Ed Vincent  19:34  
Sure, no, agreed and I just think it's an evolution right. So it's a something that is happening and I'm glad it is because it means the industry is putting people back to work. It's it's fans are being able to reengage and what I have also heard with a lot of our relationships is a lot of artists call them kind of mid tier artists that might traditionally play on a 30 40,000 person arena. Less times during the year, they're just going to have to tour more. They're going to have to do multiple 5000 person, arenas, some maybe outdoor amphitheaters, but they're already being prepared that their, their business model is changing. And they might the artists themselves might have to just do more shows less people.

Rick A. Morris  20:20  
So it'll be interesting the what we see evolve out of that the some of the things that we take is standard. So I was actually talking to a dear friend of mine today, and they were saying that somebody, somebody was sending a bunch of documents on CD and she was like, CD, she's like, like, my computer doesn't even have a CD player anymore, right? But that just, what, 10 years ago, 15 years ago for us that was like this evolution of music, and it's just amazing to watch how we continue to do that. So I'm interested to see then what you're seeing or what you think's gonna happen on the festival side, like, I mean, part of the festivals is that fan experience of being smushed together, camping out at the same place, having four or five days of just, you know, hanging out with each other. Do you see that changing?

Ed Vincent  21:01  
Yeah, so there's a couple of things. One, the smaller ones will come back first. You know, I already know for a fact there's numerous festivals still planned to go off in September, October, mostly in states, you know what we'll see if the new information or the day in terms of some resurgence of Corona in the southern states, but I know there's been a few scheduled to go in Texas and Ken, Kansas City and a bunch of others. But most of those are 10 to 20,000 person outdoor shows. And I think the idea really is just to create more social distancing opportunities, but those will be the first ones that come back, and then call me an eternal optimist or an entrepreneur. Usually, it's one in the same one in the same it's, it's part of disease in itself. But um, but I just have faith in the fact that as we turn the corner, the 2021, we will have some form of additional therapeutic sessions. treatment will be on the verge of of a of a,

Rick A. Morris  22:04  
what am I missing vaccine or cure second

Ed Vincent  22:08  
will be on the verge of the vaccine. And most of it ends up being some consumer confidence, right? So when people feel more comfortable about going out, knowing that there's a vaccine around the corner, knowing that there are some therapeutics, I believe that confidence will lead to more and more things coming back online.

Rick A. Morris  22:26  
Yeah, and so a large part of my revenue stream being an entrepreneur, but being a professional speaker. And so, you know, I saw a dramatic decrease in revenue, obviously, is is several, but I was booked out, you know, really for the rest of the year, and all those went away. And so the in some of those are, you know, 2000 3000 person events, and some of those are, you know, 50 people events, and but I'm waiting to see that confidence returned, what's been the attrition rate then on your platform because of that, as you see a lot of people kind of being more cautious with joining festival paths, or is there enough opportunity there that really satisfies

Ed Vincent  23:00  
Yeah, it's a good question. So So obviously, when there are no events happening there is we're not signing up as many people from a paid subscription perspective. However, what we have and something that we, you know, want people to understand is that our credits when you sign up and you get credits, you bank those, so they don't they don't go away for a month a month. So if you have a plan that gets you 18 credits a month, if you don't go in one month, the next month, you have double the amount. So I was I likened it to say that because signing up gets you the ability to use your credits to attend future events at a lower cost than if you were to buy the ticket. It's a good investment Sanja professors will pass actually will earn you more than put that money in the bank.

Rick A. Morris  23:47  
As an engineer, so do I have to be a paid member though to use credits so let's say I have 200 credits banked but I want to cancel this subscription, those 200 then go away. That's the point that they that they leave.

Ed Vincent  23:57  
Yeah, but what we do is we have ability to people can go on hiatus for a little while, and we allow them to move down to a lower tier. So for example, currently, the way it works now is for $9 a month, you get six credits, and for $99 a month, you get 100 credits. As long as somebody continues to be a paying member, so you only have to be a $9 a month member, you'll maintain all your credits, we likely will, in the near future, even have a lower tier, which is kind of a maintenance tier, which you'll get zero credits a month, but you'll pay a couple dollars a month just to maintain

Rick A. Morris  24:31  
to extend the credits. Yeah. Especially especially when things are going on. So how many events so we got about two minutes to break, but how many events right now are on the platform just interested?

Ed Vincent  24:41  
Yeah, so so a lot of those events aren't happening, but we have listings of thousands upon thousands of events. So eight to 10,000 events are listed on our platform. A couple thousand of those are partners of ours through some sources, whether the director ticket aggregators or other but because a lot of Didn't happen. They'll happen again next year or they'll happen again, once they postpone and go live. So any consumer will have access to thousands of events.

Rick A. Morris  25:09  
How many of them do you see going off in the next month? Would you say?

Ed Vincent  25:14  
Not that many, we've been beginning to bring in some more virtual events just because of the simple fact that, you know, events actually aren't happening. But yeah, in the next month, not that many are physical live events. But as I was saying earlier, I see a lot of that changing as August, September, October comes, I already see a lot of events booked that are planning to go live in September, October.

Rick A. Morris  25:40  
And so as we let's talk about the app itself, though, it's it's basically everything's virtual on on an app, there's no person to person contact or anything like that whatsoever to be able to engage with the platform. Is that true?

Ed Vincent  25:53  
That's correct. Yes.

Rick A. Morris  25:54  
Okay. And so it is that tell me really quickly The difference between like a StubHub, right so StubHub is the repurchase of a ticket, right?

Ed Vincent  26:05  
Yep. Yeah. So you look at ticketing in this way. There's primary ticketing, use Ticketmaster as an example, there's many other ticketing firms, and then StubHub as a secondary market. So on the primary market, you know, what we're building is a frictionless way to attend events at a better value, and not be stuck with ticketing fees. So, you know, not not putting down Ticketmaster in any way. They're an amazing company on by Live Nation, I think it's great. But how many consumers you know, that went and spent $100 on a ticket, and was super happy to get bang? 20 bucks on the way out? Right? We're thinking so so what we do is by pre committing to that base, and giving us the insight to subscription revenue going forward, so we have insight to certainty of recurring revenue, we're able to eliminate that ticketing fee and take that against our margin.

Rick A. Morris  26:55  
Oh, that's interesting. We're gonna take a pause right there. We'll come right back. We're talking with that density. You're listening to Rick Morris and the work life balance.

VoiceAmerica  27:07  
Are you frustrated with the overall productivity of your project management processes? Do you lack consistency and project delivery? Our squared consulting provides end to end services to assist companies of all sizes in realizing and improving the value of project management. Whether you want to build a project management office, train project managers, or learn how to bring the oversight and governance to your project processes. r squared has tailored best practices to help you in all areas of project management, visit r squared are you getting the most out of your project management software? In many cases, it is not the software that is failing, but the implementation limitations or processes surrounding the use of that software. r squared can analyze your current use and help improve your return on investment. r squared can also say Adjust the best software for your organization and goals and assist in the selection implementation and training. Allow r square to ensure that you are getting the value of your investment, visit r squared today. When it comes to business, you'll find the experts here voice America business network.

You are tuned in to the work life balance to reach Rick A. Morris or his guest today, we'd love to have you call into the program at 1-866-472-5790. Again, that's 1-866-472-5790 if you'd rather send an email Rick can be reached at our Morris at r squared Now back to the work life balance.

Rick A. Morris  28:54  
And we're back to the work life balance on this Friday afternoon talking with Ed Vincent who founded festival path And I want to dedicate this segment to the technology geeks out there like myself, and I think you are as well. I love to kind of get into some of the infrastructure and things. So we have a lot of people online. And there's this boom now of online products and everybody going to subscription. Right. And, in fact, there's a whole industry Tony Robbins Russell Brunson, those guys have started this whole industry of, you know, you yourself can be a digital CEO, and you know, all these different things. So, a lot of people are starting to understand what the cost of an acquisition of a customer is where the advertising goes, What click through rates are all of those different things. I'm seeing a lot of people get better educated. So walk me through some of the theories though. How are you acquiring customers right now? How are you advertising?

Ed Vincent  29:45  
Sure, sure. So we have different media partners that are in our network that are investors as well as just pure media partners. I think I was mentioning a little bit is one of the largest radio networks in the country, third largest called town Where media is a partner, you know, we have millions of dollars of media across their portfolio of media sites that we've been leveraging to, to push consumers or make consumers aware of the site. You know, back to flip back to the COVID thing for one moment is just on April. One is when we were going to go heavy on adspend related to kind of the spring season of live events. And, you know, we had hundreds of thousands of dollars a month planned out to spend to drive consumers to our site, but we obviously paired that back so it's kind of a silver lining in a lot of entrepreneurial worlds as a data guy and an infrastructure guy. I've been given kind of the opportunity now to to set up the infrastructure correctly for scale. And as a data guy, I really want to see every single click every single impression and what that turns into from a click and from a click to a free signup and from a free signup to a Paid signup. That sales funnel is super important to me, and having a little bit of time, you know, so we've been spending 10s of thousands instead of hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last couple months getting it right.

Rick A. Morris  31:11  
I think he brought up something really interesting in I think it's that entrepreneurial spirit. But I always felt, you know, everyone was kind of saying, I don't know what to do with Kobe, a lot of people that, that work for other companies or work for, you know, a boss, essentially. But this was like the time this is theirs. As an entrepreneur, there's so many things that we put up because we don't have time. And it was like, Hello, time. It's like, all of a sudden, you actually put a pause where I won't get in trouble because sales are dropping where I can really focus on the backend infrastructure. So you felt like you take great advantage of that time? Yeah,

Ed Vincent  31:45  
yeah, very much so and part of it is putting those analytics and infrastructure in place, so that when we flip back to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars every month, we know exactly how to track it. You know exactly where to move the needles and And the dials, but also just on the pure infrastructure of the site itself and collecting data and building a recommendation engine or building out partner dashboards. So all of our festival and event partners have a place to log into and see what their consumers look like.

Rick A. Morris  32:17  
So blending your experience, you know, you said in your bio that you'd built some data platforms and consultancy, like with a&e networks, AMC Networks, what were some of those key lessons that you picked up from your time there that you're applying at festival pass?

Ed Vincent  32:34  
That could be a show in and of itself.

But I'll try and

give the the high level so

there is a lot to understand, especially digitally about consumers and how they interact. So a couple of the key takeaways and the things we're building from day one is the reason why we are an app. And the reason why a mobile app is the way that people are We'll be able to show their ticket when they go to an event that gets scanned is everybody, we have a one to one relationship with the consumer. So everybody that downloads the app, we have their email, everybody that uses that goes, we're able to actually know who they are and build a profile about them. So we have a deterministic one to one relationship with each consumer. So when they actually do things, we can then predict other things that they might like to do. We talked about it, I think earlier with Netflix, you know, we're effectively building the the Netflix of live events in that capacity where once you're on the platform and going and seeing things, the art of discovery is so fun, right? So when you're logged into festival paths, you're immediately going to say you're currently today you say what are the festivals that are near you? What are the festivals in the genre that you've already said or self selected to say that you'd like to do? And then what are the festivals or events that we recommend you might like because we know other people like you happen to like them as well.

Rick A. Morris  34:07  
And that certainly can be can become something from a data perspective that you could mark it to. Not only it would grow festival pass, but market that of why people should join festival passes that you can direct people that are going to like that, right? It's it's analytics on both sides.

Ed Vincent  34:23  
It is. And we also have a partnership with another data company. And again, I don't want to get too granular. But if you're tech geeks appreciate it is there was a data management platform that sold the Salesforce for $800 million, a few years back and that same team, the band got back together, and they created a new platform, which they call a data operating system that we've overlaid onto our platform. And what it enables us to do is whenever somebody comes onto our site, whether they've logged in with an email or just even kind of, you know, traditionally the cookie based world were able to kind of Look at who that visitor is. And then look across the data graph of 200,000,250 million US consumers and get more insights about the type of person they are.

Rick A. Morris  35:10  
I think that's what most people didn't understand by social media platforms like Facebook, and they get mad now is like, but you've, you've I mean, you put your kids on there, you told them everything you like, when you like something that goes, you know, that's a data point. It is crazy. Now, to me, a friend of mine just made this post but, you know, I could be talking on the phone to a friend go to Facebook, and you know, all of a sudden, there's an ad for something where I was talking about, like horse farms in Chattanooga, like, I've never owned a horse farm north. And I lived in Chattanooga, one point, but literally was showing me an advertisement for real estate of horse farms in Chattanooga. And I was like, wow, that's, that's incredible, right? But that's the point of data mining and data learning in the organizations and advertisers that are very, very good at understanding what that consumer wants then drives behavior, right? They don't want to think they just want to click a button and say, Yep, that's perfect. That's exactly what I thought I wanted to do. Right?

Ed Vincent  36:02  
Right. And I think it becomes a larger discussion on privacy versus non privacy. But at the end of the day, if you're a good caretaker of the data that is interested in you, and you provide a better experience from it, and you're not just out, you know, selling it off to the highest bidder, you can build trust in your consumer base in the relationship. And, you know, for us, it's really just about making the experience better for the consumer and making the experience, you know, easier to manage for the partners.

Rick A. Morris  36:33  
That's, that's interesting. So where do you see the future of festival paths going? what's what's the five year vision you see,

Ed Vincent  36:41  
in short, so we want to, you know, have millions of subscribers here in the US and because it is a read density and global density marketplace, it's relatively easy to open in other countries. So we're looking at Europe and Australia and Latin America because you can replicate that ecosystem with the same technology and the same infrastructure. And it doesn't have to, you know, rely on US consumers to drive a European market. So that's one. The other is, is we're building out a, an advertising mechanism. So the same way you think of Google. There's so many, so many analogies I can give. But, you know, when, when you're on Google, or you're buying AdWords for Google, you end up buying a slot that is above an organic search. So a lot of our partners will be thousands of partners. And there's a couple things of course, they want to increase the ability for our consumers to want to go to their events, but they also want to learn about, you know who, what other consumers might directly go buy a one off ticket, right? Because we're we're a membership program. So you can only get the price that we offer through our credits if you're a member, but they also sometimes want to sell one off tickets. So because we'll have so much data, we'll enable them right in the partner dashboard. To, to use our data for free to then go buy advertising across other platforms, whether it's social platforms, but more likely platforms like radio networks. You know, we're talking to XM, satellite radio and Pandora and I arts of the world, and the ability for them to buy ads directly to their consumers using our data as just a service of being a partner.

Rick A. Morris  38:26  
So other than COVID, what's one of the biggest challenges you've had to overcome and standing up festival? I know there's tons but what would you say is the biggest challenge?

Ed Vincent  38:35  
It's the initial aggregation of the inventory, because it's a chicken or egg, right? It's a, you know, it's if without the inventory, people don't want to sign up. But without the people, the people that have the inventory, don't believe we're going to drive enough volume. So it's the seesaw of you know, we need we need some inventory. Then we get some users then we get more inventory. Then we get more users and it just keeps going back and forth.

Rick A. Morris  39:00  
So how did you how did you overcome that first kind of that big win?

Ed Vincent  39:05  
Yeah, a couple ways. First is just get a few, you know, known entities on the platform. The second is work with some ticket aggregators. So we have one relationship where just the one relationship itself brings thousands of events onto the platform. So through an API, we're getting their inventory and just reselling their inventory.

Rick A. Morris  39:26  
Oh, that's interesting. So what's it? I mean, what's it basically built in then?

Ed Vincent  39:31  
Technology wise? Yeah. Yes. happy to share. So we're based on react React Native. I don't know if you know that codebase. So for me, it was super important coming out of movie pass. We had an iOS development team and Android development team, a web app development team, you know, about 4040 developers all working across the board, and it took forever to get anything done. Whereas with the React Native platform, it's the same codebase Across iOS, Android and web, yes, there's some differences. And yes, there's some tweaks across the different platforms. But that was the first piece. I tell me if this gets too techie or to love it, you know, fine. The second thing is the problem with react is it is hard to be SEO friendly with react, because react is a component based system. And it doesn't render pages that are trackable, or scannable for Google. But of course, whenever you have really cool technologies that have problems, people figure out the problems. So there's a there's a great product called gets he gets out and gets beat rerender the React pages so they're crawlable by Google.

Rick A. Morris  40:44  
That's it. I love watching how things build like that. And you know, one problem is, again, one one major technical problem becomes a whole industry, your whole company for somebody. And, by the way, failed as well. Right? So movie pass is no longer around. Is that correct?

Ed Vincent  41:00  
That is correct. Yeah, that's uh, I was, you know, joking that there's a book out that john bolton recently called, room where it happened. room where it happened I was in the room where it happened and for for movie pass, it was a get it getting that chance to sit and watch so many great decisions they made and a few very distinct wrong ones. That that effectively brought it to, to, to what the eventual story tells. So that was it was a great company that you know, at its height had three and a half million subscribers 500 million in revenue and it was a it was theirs to lose in some strategic decisions. lost it.

Rick A. Morris  41:40  
Yeah, it was a great idea. But I think I think things like that end up inevitably shaking consumer confidence as well. So certainly things overcome. We're going to take a break right here we'll come back with our final segment that you're listening to Rick more on the work life balance.

VoiceAmerica  42:01  
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Rick A. Morris  43:47  
And we're back in the work life balance on this Friday afternoon. final segment as we're rounding the bases coming on home but Ed, we were kind of teasing that on the on the the end of the last segment they're talking about movies And that you were in the room where it happened. So obviously, there's got to be some big lessons that you took from movie pass to apply to festival pass. What are one of the two of those?

Ed Vincent  44:09  
Sure, sure. So you're right. There's many, and there's different pieces, but there's some that are more impactful than others. I think the core of it is the type of business model. I made a distinct promise to myself that I would never start a business that when I asked a consumer to do more of what I'm asking them to do, and they do it, then I lose money. So meaning that I want people to engage more, not engage less. And the basic core of the movie pass model was you pay a certain month fee per month and you can go to unlimited movies. But the problem is that only that works in software where your incremental cost of goods sold isn't isn't much for every additional consumer. In movie passes, well, they didn't know the inventory and festival pass. We don't know the inventory either. So you can't build The model where you have to keep paying the cost of goods sold when you're not getting incremental revenue from an actual transaction. So the way we've done it, you're gonna say something.

Rick A. Morris  45:10  
No, I just is so that the intent was like 1999 subscription. But I could go to 40 movies a month if I wanted to, right. That's essentially what you're saying. So,

Ed Vincent  45:20  
yeah, that the model in that world is, you know, 70% of the people don't go and 30% of the people do go and they overuse it. And somehow in the middle, you end up with a profit margin. But the problem is, is when it's priced too low, you can't you can't generate a gross margin. You know, in over time, I think they thought with scale, they would have more pricing power to get bigger discounts for the movie theaters, and others, but it just didn't work out. But with festival pass, and that's why we have the credit based model. We learned a lot from a company called class pass. I don't know if you're familiar with them. I've heard of it. It's a class pass. You know, they kind of paint In this credit based model in the way it works today, they also had all the same problems movie past did up until about four years ago. And they switched over to a credit based model. And all it does is it enables. Every time a transaction happens, there's a gross margin. So if somebody goes to a concert or an event or a festival on festival pass, we will make some money. You know, we have a target margin that we want to get we get that with, on average across the board. But we might make less of a margin on a really popular festival that we might make more of a margin on one that needs to send bodies to it.

Rick A. Morris  46:37  
makes total sense. So outside of all of the different experiences, what's some of the best advice you've ever received?

Ed Vincent  46:46  
Oh, wow, that's a it's a big question.

Unknown Speaker  46:51  
I think

Ed Vincent  46:53  
I don't know if it'd be advice but learnings over time, and I think it's really integrity over speed. And I saw that a little bit and I'm not here to pay a movie pass, but I saw their desire to grow fast, kind of put some kinks into building some infrastructure. And I have learned lessons from other entrepreneurs, I highly respect that. I've always said, you know, hold true to your core, your core mission and your core company values, and make sure that filter is looked at on every decision. Even if there's some pot of gold that looks like you can get to quicker if you go down the path, it often leads to the amount of the wrong pot of gold, for sure.

Rick A. Morris  47:39  
So what about do do a pitch for festival pass and then leave the listeners with some final comments?

Ed Vincent  47:48  
Sure, so so anybody that's ever wanted to experience, you know, community and live events in any capacity, whether it's a concert, a film, where we will have movies, actually In the app at some point, theater, sports, all the above, even just a whiskey tasting or a wine tasting, there's really something for everybody. And the first thing, you can just go ahead and join festival pass comm for free. You become a free member. And eventually, when you want to upgrade to get credits to go to something, you just can upgrade to one of the paid plans. But you'll never pay more than you would if you went direct, and you'll never pay technically.

Rick A. Morris  48:26  
That's awesome. And so final comments, final thoughts for the audience.

Ed Vincent  48:32  
I just keep optimistic events and life will come back to quote unquote normal, the new normal I think we should say. So, you know, I think all of us just need to hold steadfast in our pursuit of kindness and happiness and joy and we'll eventually get to the other side.

Rick A. Morris  48:51  
So you bought and sold or you've created and sold how many companies so far,

Ed Vincent  48:56  
I would say two real exits, one Marshall exit. So they are coming during different times.

Rick A. Morris  49:04  
So what's been kind of your prevailing theme throughout all those different exits each time you create a company? What? What's part of that culture that comes with that Vincent that says this is this is the way my company is going to work?

Ed Vincent  49:18  
Well, I think over time that that evolves, right, so, so technology is an underpinning data is an underpinning. So, you know, when I started this company, it was the core, it had to be a data driven organization. And it had to be something that was passionate, gross margin positive and people culturally lead with kindness and gratitude.

Rick A. Morris  49:42  
And that's been kind of the prevailing theme. And what are some of the other companies if you can say, some of the other companies that you created an accident?

Ed Vincent  49:49  
Yeah, so the first one was called city stuff. It was 1999. I sold it in 2001. It was a it was a we sold things that made cities famous it was before Google existed. So a lot of these Junior's cheesecake from Brooklyn, New York shipped overnight in New York City pizza shipped overnight. You know, Vinay is from New Orleans shipped overnight. So it became a logistics company before everybody actually had their own website. So that was back then then had my agency all that throughout the 2000s. that that wasn't necessarily sold. But that, you know, back in when 2008 came about, you know, we had about 70 people in the agency and people stopped spending money, so I had to kind of evolve that company. But it evolved to a software as a service business. In the franchise multi unit space, we basically had one platform that would feed into social into a website into other messaging aspects. And we sold that in 2014. And then I had the consultancy, it still exists today. I'm still a partner in a consultancy called predictive analytics. It just was only at once festival pass started. I went full time the festival pass and held on to some equity in predicting And actually, I did give some of it back to some of the current partner.

Rick A. Morris  51:05  
So and we certainly appreciate you've been very, very open vulnerable honest with us. And I appreciate the transparency in which you talked with us today.

Ed Vincent  51:13  
Thank you for having me on. I appreciate the opportunity.

Rick A. Morris  51:15  
And so the the Is there a website though to go see, obviously, there's an app festival pass but if people are trying to find more information, how do they do that is exactly that festival pass calm. Outstanding. Well, again, thank you so much for joining us today. And you know, I'm gonna go take a look at the platform when we're done. We'll go see watch for the sign up. You say it's coming through. Outstanding. So next week, we're going to have Tyler dicker who Fano it does a really talks about impact driven leadership, so growth and leadership skills development site, and really works with people to try to drive a bigger impact in their leadership style. So super excited to have Tyler on with us. That's next week. As always, you can hit me on social media. You can find me on Twitter. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, it's always Rick A. Morris, you can reach out to me at Rick at Rick A. Morris calm if you know somebody that you think would make a great guest in the work life balance or you just want to reach out and talk to us about what you heard from Ed or a takeaway from AD we'd love to hear from you. And otherwise, always on all the different podcast networks. We appreciate you guys tuning in every Friday, or wherever you listen to this program. And until next Friday. We'll talk actually next Friday being next Friday. We do have a show then. July 3 is a replay. But looking forward to having everybody with us very soon. And we'll talk to you guys next week.

VoiceAmerica  52:41  
Thank you for joining us this week. The work life balance with Rick Morris can be heard live every Friday at 2pm pacific time and 5pm eastern time on The Voice America business channel. Now that the weekend is here, it's time to rethink your priorities and enjoy it. We'll see you on our next show.

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