By: Mark Fowlie, CEO of AudienceView
2020. What a strange year it’s been for the world and for the live events industry. Never have we seen our industry be put on pause so dramatically as has occurred during COVID. Even as announcements are made that drive reopening plans around the world, there’s no doubt things will look different moving forward. Very different, in fact.
The industry that AudienceView has served for over 20 years will be going through a massive metamorphosis. As the leader of a company that serves thousands of organizations with our software and engages millions of passionate followers of live events through our consumer brands, I knew we also had to evolve with this change.
Since 2002, AudienceView has served live event organizations globally with a world-class, enterprise ticketing solution used by some of the most respected brands in the industry. In 2017, AudienceView acquired TheaterMania, which included TheaterMania and WhatsOnStage, both popular consumer brands, along with a fantastic all-in-one software product formerly known as OvationTix. In 2019, we made two additional acquisitions with Vendini in May and UniversityTickets in October. All throughout this, we were building a comprehensive strategy to bring these brands, client bases and products that once competed in the marketplace together under one brand, one solution and fewer products.
Once COVID hit the industry, we rapidly accelerated our plan. This is both due to the industry pause that allows more time and space for product consolidation as well as, frankly, out of necessity from the economic hardship brought on by COVID. In March, we made the difficult decision to furlough over half of our company as the industry halted. And then our incredible team remaining went to work to figure out a plan forward, both during COVID and as we come out of this pause into an industry that’s forever changed.
This week, we communicated to our clients our plan to consolidate our ticketing softwares that allows AudienceView to continue our mission to help live events be discovered, attended and remembered around the world. Our industry needs fewer systems with more capability. We will continue our mission forward with three fantastic all-in-one ticketing solutions that fit anyone in the industry.
Beyond software, our clients will need help rebuilding their audiences when we pass this chapter – and we will. Our strategy, which we outlined in our strategic innovation plan, has moved into execution mode. We are doubling down on connecting our consumer brands with our remaining ticketing solutions to help our clients find their future event goers, subscribers and long-term supporters. Over the next few months, we will work closely with our clients to upgrade them to one of our remaining products where we will continue to innovate with features that pave the way for a next-generation solution that is needed in live events.
Although 2020 has thrown more curveballs at me than any other year in my professional career, I can honestly say that I’ve never been more energized, hopeful and eager to take this next step. The people at AudienceView are committed to our strategy, our clients and our industry. It truly is a fascinating time to be in the live events space and I’m so grateful to lead a company that is committed to be here with our clients to help survive today and thrive tomorrow.