Saskatoon startup becomes the “Kickstarter for events”
If you’ve ever bought a ticket online for an event in Saskatoon, chances are you’ve heard of Picatic, a local event ticketing website that recently reinvented itself as a tech startup and crowdfunding platform.
Picatic has existed as a traditional eTicket seller since 2009 but launched an exciting event crowdfunding platform last September while enrolled in the Extreme Startups accelerator program. During the program the Picatic team relocated to Toronto for three months to transform their lifestyle company into a world-class tech startup where they received a large cash investment and gained access to some of the industry’s top minds and mentors.
Crowdfunding encourages people to buy tickets faster than they normally would.
Picatic co-founder and CTO James Sapara explains that the company’s goal has been to develop tools for event promoters to help improve the success of their events. Sapara notes that “Crowdfunding encourages people to buy tickets faster than they normally would”. This urgency can be achieved by offering a fixed number of discounted tickets or setting a time limit on their sale. Not only has crowdfunding improved sales for traditional events but people who would never consider throwing an event have come to Picatic because of crowdfunding. Sapara exclaims that even gourmet dinners and exotic vacation packages have been realized through their platform.
Ominocity recently used Picatic to sell advanced tickets to our OMFEST 2 event in March and saw a 3x increase in ticket sales over selling direct the previous year. We opted to use Picatic’s traditional eTicket service as we were confident that our event would be a success and we required multiple ticket tiers, something which is not yet available with their crowdfunding platform. While we were hesitant to use a third party as selling direct allowed us to receive payment from ticket purchases immediately, Picatic was more than willing to work with us to ensure that we received payment on the day of our event to put toward our expenses. The team also wanted to hear exactly what features we required and wished for from a ticketing agent so they can work to include these requests in a future version of their product.
Ominocity recently used Picatic to sell advanced tickets to our OMFEST 2 event in March and saw a 3x increase in ticket sales over selling direct the previous year.
OMFEST patrons were provided with a professional eTicket that could be scanned from their phones or a printout, and Picatic’s service allowed us to view visitor analytics, expand our mailing list, and easily send out complimentary tickets and set up our guest list. The experience was much more convenient and desirable than handling our ticket sales directly.
Not only does Picatic plan to offer multiple tiers for crowdfunded events and adaptative payments allowing event promoters to be paid immediately as tickets are sold, but the company is now working on creating tools for event patrons who wish to come back and share their experience. This will include partnering with popular services to pull in photos and videos taken at the event which Sapara proclaims “will provide social proof that a promoter’s events are worth going to”.
Having completed an accelerator program and taken part in entrepreneurial programs in New York and San Francisco, Picatic now shares their knowledge and insight through a free monthly lecture series called #TECHTALKSyxe that exposes local entrepreneurs to prominent insiders in the tech startup scene.