Lets Own the Process and Save Money

When I first joined the company, we were utilizing Eventbrite to sell passes to our conferences. I saw an opportunity in bringing everything in-house by developing our own unique ecommerce platform, built with Woocommerce. By bringing everything under our control, we reduced the loss of revenue triggered by Eventbrite's fees and created the immediate availability of funds.

This initial transition occurred nearly 4 years ago, and since then, the platform promotes, discounts, and sells passes to all of our conferences 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. At its peak, the platform was conducting and transacting in 12 different cities in real-time - and under unique circumstances, such as payment gateways and the types of currency accepted.

How our Attendees Purchase Passes

It quickly became evident that our customers needed the unique ability to purchase passes not only for themselves, but also on behalf of other individuals - a unique premise I had only seen addressed well in the airline industry. Beyond that, there were about a dozen different scenarios, based on the number of pass types we were selling. Additionally, each pass purchaser then required a SMW account to be created for them and/or linked, based on the data passed on by the individual who placed the order. All of this had to happen in real-time, at the time the order was placed, as each pass recipient required immediate user access to the site so that they could view and access events and sessions that the pass provided them access to.

I was able to complete this task roughly 3 years ago along with an independent contractor that I hired, as well as Anca Mosoiu; a contracted engineer who built the initial version of the SMW platform prior to me coming onboard and taking the reins. 6 months later, we were selling passes.

#SMWNYC Pass Options

What Happens after a Pass Purchase

The objective of the company, how we run our conferences, and what we enable our attendees to do on our platform is a constantly evolving and changing Rubix Cube. At this point in time, attendee data from the ecommerce platform is utilized in our SMW user account system. These accounts enable our attendees to access city agenda areas from which they can bookmark and save their favorite sessions. Additionally, the attendee data is fed directly into our registration platform called SMW Checkin. I've written out a detailed description of its purpose and features here.

In turn, passholders receive a mailing with unique conference related material. Our team has full access in not only creating the types of passes we sell to our conferences but also the information that we provide in these mailings.

During the pass-purchasing process, a visitor to the site becomes an SMW attendee and an SMW User. Once they login to the website with their credentials, they can reveal and access their pass info. This is helpful to us - and the attendee - if physical passes become misplaced. It's also an example of future features that I plan on developing on the platform.

What's Next?

Increase conversions and continue to enhance and speed up the means in which attendees purchase passes.

It's not an easy feat, but at least there's no ceiling. Only way is up!

Other Projects