Ticket search engine SeatGeek.com recently began testing “Columbus,” a new feature that tailors the ticket-buying process to an individual consumer.
According to company founder and CEO Russ D’Souza, the idea for the new feature grew out of staffers asking the question why fans don’t buy more tickets or attend more events?
“Ask fans why they don’t attend more events, and you’ll hear a rendition of ‘I’d buy more tickets if only I knew when the teams/bands I liked were in town,'” D’Souza told TicketNews.
Columbus is aimed at discovering what interests each individual buyer has and then offers the buyer a personalized calendar tailored to those specific events.
Once an individual logs into Columbus, they are asked to provide it with their favorite sports teams and musical artists.
After collecting the information, Columbus creates a calendar of upcoming local events that match the parameters provided. In addition, the feature also mines the individual’s interests to suggest additional artists or teams.
If Columbus returns an event the buyer is not interested in, the buyer can tell it that and all further events featuring that artist/team will be removed.
“The SeatGeek team is obsessed with fixing the ticket-buying process and couldn’t wait to solve this thorny problem. Over the last few months we’ve been heads down building Columbus, an event discovery engine, and we’re proud to beta launch this feature,” D’Souza said.
In addition to using data provided directly by the user, Columbus also collects information from social networks to further flesh out a user’s potential ticket buying interests.
“We use data from sites like Last.Fm, your browsing history on SeatGeek, your location, ticket prices, and even the artists you like on Facebook to determine which of SeatGeek’s 70,000-plus upcoming events you’d be interested in,” D’Souza said, adding that Columbus currently is being beta tested and is expected to officially launch in the next four or five weeks.
“We’re getting a ton of awesome feedback from consumers and that’s helped us think through which features are most critical to add to Columbus,” he said.