We are here in Nashville for the next few days for 36/86. There are a ton of great speakers and startup pitches in the lineup. Kyle went over the event in broad strokes a bit earlier. Anyhow, the event kicked off with a bang. The keynote speaker, Julia Hartz – Co-Founder and President of Eventbrite – shared a ton of great insights. Perhaps the most interesting part of her talk came when she discussed several key trends that have emerged in Eventbrite’s business over the past year or so.
The first and most important, overarching theme that has emerged is the rise of experientialism, a term Hartz admitted was made up. Made up or not, experientialism is driving the bulk of Eventbrite’s business. In a nutshell, experientialism is a shift away from materialism. The economy, as a whole but for millennials in particular, has seen a huge rise in experience based spending. As an anecdote, Hartz noted a statistic from Eventbrite’s latest market research. A whopping half of the respondents to a survey said that they would pay more for a restaurant’s same exact menu items if it was in a pop-up type scenario. This shift towards experience-based spending leads directly to the second trend.
As people are attending more and more events, there has been a huge rise in social capital. As people are spending more money on experiences, social capital is a natural byproduct. The – to coin my own term – power experiencers are sharing at a ridiculous pace. This sharing, in turn, is driving more and more sales, partly as a result of the thrid major trend: FOMO, or the fear of missing out.
As people are exposed to the social capital coming out of these events and experiences, FOMO takes over. Hartz cited another interesting statistic at this part in her talk. In 2011, the Cochella music festival began to live stream all of the performances on YouTube. As Hartz noted, there was initially a large amount of push back from the music festival industry, as it was believed that these live streams would cut into ticket sales. Rather than cutting into sales, Cochella has seen a huge increases in sales for every subsequent year.
Rather than fearing this shift from materialism to experientialism, business should embrace it. It is clearly here to stay. Just take a look at a hashtag from any event, anywhere in the world and you can see it.