MeraEvents Grabs Percept Live Events; Deal Valued At $10mn

MeaEvents_Logo_HighEvent listing, promotion and ticketing platform MeraEvents have partnered with media and communications company Percept Live Pvt Ltd to offer end to end technology solutions for managing the online and offline ticketing, ground management of entry of attendees at upcoming events of Percept Live across India.
Percept Live holds the IP for Sunburn, which is among India’s top Music Festival. Percept Live also has multiple properties like Fly, WindSong, Bollywood, FightNight, and Champions of the world – in different genres.
MeraEvents will provide complete end-to-end event technology platform needed for executing and completing access to the Events, like providing requisite platforms in relation to online payment gateway and offline sales support. The company would also handle digital marketing with its exclusive teams to promote events on digital platform to reach a wider audience, enhance brand visibility and ensure increased ticket sales.
The deal value is estimated at USD 10 million. MeraEvents claims to process transactions upto INR 3 Crores per month.

MeraEvents Secures $1 mn From OMICS International; To Raise $4 mn More

MeaEvents logoEvent ticketing & solutions company has raised $1 mn from OMICS International, a company which publishes open access journals and organizes science conferences across the world.

MeraEvents said that it has provided technology solutions to 10,000+ events during 2013-14 and is targetting 25,000 events for 2014-15. It sells more
than Rs 1 cr worth of tickets per month.

MeraEvents offers various solutions including EasyTag, Digibroc, MoozUp, and Venues. Over the last few years, MeraEvents has grown from 6 people to well over 40, and expects to reach a head count of over 100 by the end of this year.

Chennapa Naidu Darapaneni, the Founder & CEO of MeraEvents said

It helps us to raise four million USD more, which is likely to be sealed in the next six months to take MeraEvents to the next level.

OMICS International has plans to conduct over 300 Scientific and Medical conferences planned.

MeraEvents Launches New Tool to Distribute Brochures Digitally

MeraEvents, an events portal has launched a new feature called DigiBroc which will help exhibitors distribute their brochures and other communication collaterals digitally.

MeraEvents helps connect organisers, delegates and service providers.

It claims that the new tool will help exhibitors gain better visitor leads, user preferences and collateral requests and save substantially on printing costs.

DigiBroc lets exhibitors send personalised brochures to visitors based on their interests.

Visitors can use DigiBroc to scan the QR codes of products they like and gain access to electronic brochures based on interests, after sending a request to the exhibitor.

MeraEvents competitors in the space include Explara and Instamojo (although not a pure ticketing play). Explara had most recently introduced a mobile PoS app and an app called Entriz that helps the registration desk go paperless.

Our previous comparison of online ticketing services in India found that most of the platforms still needed serious improvement. MeraEvents new tool may just help get them there.

Compared: Online Ticketing Services [Explara, Instamojo, MeraEvents, PayUPaisa]

For any event organizer, online ticketing service is an important aspect of the event and for the last UnPluggd, we used 4 ticketing options.

In fact, this was the first UnPluggd conference where we didn’t even add an option to ‘pay at venue‘- i.e. our focus was mostly on maximizing the online conversion.

The Online Ticketing Services We Used for UnPluggd

» , , and PayUPaisa*.

For the sake of discussion, I am removing PayUPaisa from the list, as I believe the solution is more geared towards smaller merchants and we generally found the product to be a bit unstable (discount codes didn’t work well).

First, the Average Conversion Ratio

Before I share the conversion ratio, let me mention that there is no standard way these ticketing sites define ‘view’. For example, is ‘View’ defined as view to the event payment page? Is number of widget impressions also added to the view?

I believe, it’s the former. For the sake of clarity, MeraEvents views aren’t clear – the dashboard doesn’t contain any detail (that I could find), so I looked at the numbers that were shared in the daily emails.

Instamojo’s high conversion is primarily because of the simpler checkout process – the widget is way too cool as opposed to any other payment platform.

Ticketing Site : Online Conversion
Ticketing Site : Online Conversion

Features Important to any Event Organizer

1. Daily Reports Delivered Via Email.

Any event organizer would want a daily report on number of views and sales conversion. This helps one gauge marketing RoI and unless you have a dedicated analytics team, you won’t get all the time to go through GA and track conversions on ticketing sites.

Given that most of the organizers are (probably) too busy organizing the event, an email with daily reports just adds to the stickiness.

As of this date, only MeraEvents sends out daily emails and I must say that it’s pretty well done.

2. Attendee Details.

So somebody buys 5 tickets – wouldn’t you as an organizer want to collect the names of all 5 attendees? Explara and MeraEvents do a neat job. Instamojo needs to get it’s act together – even the attendee report doesn’t capture the number of tickets bought by the buyer. For event organizer, this is a huge pain (imagine the scene at registration desk!).

3. Dashboard.

Okay. Who cares about the dashboard? How much of your marketing efforts impacted conversion? What was the traffic source like?

Big shout to Instamojo for their awesome dashboard. Explara does a decent job, though needs to improve.

instamojo_dashboard

MeraEvents has a long way to go.

4. Ticketing : Pricing/Cancellation/Refund/Setting up policies.

Refunds/Name change etc features needs to be standardized. None of the solutions offer a comprehensive view, though organizers get a lot of such last minute requests.

A self-serving platform is an ideal way to go.

In terms of pricing, Instamojo has a standard pricing package (5% of transaction), followed by Explara (Rs. 15/convenience fee + 3.99%). MeraEvents has a complex pricing option, which is more geared towards event marketing solution than pure ticketing.

5. Adding more accounts with different ACLs

Except Explara, others do not allow addition of more accounts to administer the event (correct me, if I am wrong?). This is a basic feature request, I believe.

6. Post-Event

Collecting attendee feedback is important and while organizers will do their own bit, these features could be enabled by the ticketing platforms. It just makes them more useful and meaningful than just being a ‘transaction play’.

Only MeraEvents does a good job of this.

7. Failed Transactions

Now, this is interesting. As an event organizer, you should be in the know of failed transactions and why they failed. Both Explara and MeraEvents offer a feature around this, but the feature is almost hidden.

I believe, they should provide a support solution and reach out to customers whose transactions failed, citing reasons. This just makes the entire process more transparent.


There are various other aspects of event organization (like replacing the ticketing platform’s support contact details with event organizers’ details in the ticket) etc etc that are important to look at, but I would recommend the above online ticketing companies to look at easing the life of an event organizer and also, focus on analytics part.

Agreed that 90% of your customers don’t care about analytics, but it’s just a matter of time that they will start evaluating your solution against competition and importantly, will revisit their marketing RoI.

TL; DR: Long way to go. Most of these companies have reached a product-market fit. The actual product needs some serious improvement.

What has been your experience with the online ticketing services?

* We did try using DoAttend, but by that time, we were exhausted with the different options we were using for ticketing – so decided to not go ahead with it.

New Launches:SupportBee : Mobile Version (HTML5), Cleartrip: PriceWatch, MeraEvents : Responsive

SupportBee has launched mobile version of its support product. The mobile version is a browser based (HTML5) version ensuring that it works well on both android and iPhone devices.

supportbee

Demoed at UnPluggd, Supportbee aims to bring a simplified version of support tickets (allows only 2 states – answered and unanswered).

Cleartrip launches PriceWatch

With Pricewatch, Cleartrip wants to take the uncertainty out of booking your international tickets, so you can book without worrying if the price is right.

As soon as you book an international flight on Cleartrip, Pricewatch kicks in and begins monitoring airfares for your trip. If the fares for the flights you’ve booked falls by more than the associated change fees, Pricewatch automatically reprices your tickets to give you the cheaper fare. And, of course, Pricewatch automatically gives you money back to the tune of the difference.

launches new design

MeraEvents has launched new design of the site. Event listings have been simplified into categories making search simple and easy.  The events view has been made city specific and the team has also implemented auto-suggest search feature.

Mojostreet and MeraEvents Partner : Now check-in to events and collect coupons

Mojostreet and event ticketing/promotion company, have partnered to enable event attendees to check-in to events. As part of this integration, members of mojostreet will be able to Check-in to various events where ticketing is powered by Meraevents.com. Users will be able to check-in quickly without having to create a location and also get coupons which they can redeem on Meraevents.com for their next purchase.mojostreet_meraevents

Mojostreet currently has more than 100,000 users and is witnessing activity from nearly 2500 cities across the world. Mojostreet users can get real world freebies and discounts at more than 4000 merchant locations. The startup earlier partnered with Deccan Chargers team, Mast Kalandar and CCD.

MeraEvents has a separate event networking solution called MoozUp, which enables event attendees to network pre and post the event (MeraEvents is also launching its own app as well).

MeraEvents brings down the payment gateway charge for event managers. Will others follow?

We earlier shared our comparison of Ayojak Vs. DoAttend, the two ticketing service we have used and MeraEvents, Hyderabad based event ticketing solution has now announced curtailing the payment gateway charge from 4.9% to 2.5%, making it the lowest payment gateway fee in the market offered by any event portal.

meraeventsThe company is betting on the fact that lower payment gateway charges will get more event managers to get online and start using the platform.

Here is an interview with Naidu Darapaneni, Founder of MeraEvents

Pluggd.in: In general, what has been your insight/market understanding before taking this step?

MeraEvents: We are seeing more than 200% growth YOY. The number of event are increasing very steadily. MeraEvents sees more than 1000+ new events added every month.  We know that MICE* Industry still not organized sector and not even 20% of the events are online now so we feel there is a huge scope for this industry to be online. As the convenience of buying tickets online increasing we are expected this industry would grow very rapidly. 

Based on our experience 5% is lot of cost for the Event Organizers from their ticket value. The penetration to online ticket sales are low due to this reason. We decided to reduce the price to more affordable way. Company might loose this additional 2.5% revenue but if the transaction volume increase it would benefit the industry a lot and in turn MeraEvents would be successful.

Pluggd.in: Are you getting specific discount from payment gateways? Still have a margin?

MeraEvents: As the volume of the transactions are increasing I am able to negotiate betters rates with payment gateways.  Right now we are passing the actual payment gateway cost directly to organizers but we still make some margin on CODs. The COD transactions also increasing, usually COD Transaction cost is half the payment gateway cost. As the volume increases we can able to negotiate better rates with payment gateways and it would leave some margin to us. Currently our primary revenue generation source is promotion of events, as more no.organizers are using the platform we expect to increase our promotional revenue. We would be charging Rs.1000 for event listing from now onwards and that amount would be waived off if they integrate our ticket widget code in their website. Combination of all above actions would increase our revenue as well as more more organizers would benefit from the system.

Pluggd.in: Future plans?

We are revamping our UI completely as more user-friendly. We would release our next version in next 2-3 months. We are in the process of Releasing iPhone App for MeraEvents and soon other Mobile versions too. We are enhancing the MoozUp – Event Networking Platform with more features and Mobile Apps. We are expanding Sales offices in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi-NCR, Chennai in next 3-6 months

* MICE stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions.

Will Ayojak and DoAttend follow?