Introducing Tix and Festival Coins
When we started Eat.Drink.Lagos events, our biggest challenge was ticketing. We organized monthly supper clubs and we want to sell seats at the table to people on our mailing list. The Lunch Club wasn’t big event so it didn’t make any sense to reach out to big providers to list our event. It didn’t help that we couldn’t create the event on their platform by ourselves like Eventbrite. Eventbrite was ideal, but it didn’t (and still doesn’t) support Nigerian payments. We tried Eventbrite once, but emailing payment details after a ticket was “sold” was just a bit clumsy.
The idea of meetings and back and forth emails before listing our event sounded like the worst thing, so we decided to do it ourselves. We created a Shopify account, integrated with Paystack for payments and decided the $14 monthly fee for Shopify wasn’t the worst thing in exchange for full and total control. We could always sell merchandise to justify it.
Well, the Naira tanked and all our dollar expenses had to come under the microscope. We weren’t making any money from the Lunch Clubs. It was just supposed to be a fun thing we did with our readers. We weren’t supposed to be losing any money either. The monthly fee plus the charge on tickets sold suddenly became untenable. We tried a couple things after that like Paystack payment pages, but nothing quite worked so the Lunch Club quietly went away.
In 2018, however, our ticket problem came back. We maxed out our capacity at the previous festival and we were moving to a smaller location. A free event just wasn’t going to work and we decided to introduce a small entry token to manage the crowd and improve the guest experience. This meant we had to fix our ticket problem.
We reached out to our friends and now co-founders, Timi & Ope, to help us build a simple DIY ticketing platform. All we needed to do was create our event, link our bank account and we were good to go. Jubril came on later to build a check in app for access control at the gate.
From managing vendors to ensuring contractors don’t cheat you, organizing events in Lagos is hard enough and it shouldn’t be. Who is coming, who isn't coming, who has paid, who still owes... these are things you should never have to worry about. Because Eat.Drink.Lagos is for the people, we went through the struggle so you don’t have to.
Tix will help you:
Create your event - customized, professional looking event pages.
Share it with friends - in one click, you’ll be able to share your event across the popular social media channels
Manage guests - use our check-in app to manage attendance.
Cash out - sell as an individual or a business. Determine when and how you get paid, all you need is a bank account.
Our mission is to take the stress out of events by making it easy for users create and sell events. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to create an event on Tix.
But that’s not all.
If you’ve been at our last two events, in Lagos and Abuja, you’ve probably noticed we moved to a purely cashless festival. After the POS terminals we were using ground transactions to a halt at our festival a couple of years ago, we decided to take control of all payments at the festival. By taking the event cashless, we created closed loop payment ecosystem and reduced all external sources of failure. No more “network is down” for us.
After the Festival, we decided to build out a product around this that we could share. We’re calling this Festival Coins. By going cashless, we were able to improve the guest experience at our festivals. In our last two events, we haven’t experienced a single payment failure. Even though POS terminals are still in the mix for top-ups, with significantly fewer POS terminals at an event the network channels are less likely to get clogged and start failing.
Festival Coins goes beyond cashless payments at events. Charging a fee for tickets means ticket fraud suddenly becomes a risk to deal with. With Festival Coins, we were able to implement an Access Control system to reduce ticket fraud without creating more lines at the gate.
Finally, we know what dealing with sponsors is like. With every pitch, you need to justify your ask and to do that, you need data. Festival Coins has allowed us harness data like never before. We know the exact number of people at our events, how much they spend, and what they spend it on.
The best part of it is that Festival Coins can work with any ticketing provider in Nigeria. I mean, we’d love it if you used it with Tix too.
With Tix and Festival Coins, we can offer end-to-end ticketing and event management for your events the same way we have done for our events. Our struggles with live events aren’t unique to us and this is why we’ve decided to build this out so you too can organize incredible events.