We caught up with Rickard Green, CEO of Evvnt, a relatively recent R&D partner in the events calendar space, who said he is on his way to disrupt the calendar revenue industry by offering media partners a calendar platform with no licensing fees and significantly higher revenues, especially now that a partnership with Site Impact is in place. Note: This interview has been edited for space and grammar.
LocalMediaInsider: We heard about your company at the MEGA conference. What does your platform bring to the table that other calendar revenue companies do not offer?
Green: The biggest difference is that the other companies are selling the platform and data collection via licensing plus a revenue share of advertising that does not amount to much.
Our model is syndication. We give away the technology and data, but we aggregate and sell across the events listings providers that include print, voice and other listing sites.
LocalMediaInsider: So you have more to sell. How do you know it is making a difference in the outcome of revenues earned.
Green: If you look at the [calendar revenue software] industry, there are five incumbents who charge an average price of $30 per premium listing and have a retention rate of about 3%.
[Evvnt’s] average spend per event organized over 12 months is $3,000. When a media company goes live with a calendar event, it starts generating revenue in three hours. We call them “Revenue generating event calendars,” not just something publishers have to have.”
Our average newspaper makes $250,000 from the calendar. One of our partners is forecasting $1.6 million.
LocalMediaInsider: That is a big number.
LocalMediaInsider: How does the sales funnel work?
Green: It is free to submit a listing. Then you can feature it on the homepage of a newspaper and syndicate to 40 or 120 more listing sites (depending on market size) with a click. We also voice feed your event to Alexa. That is the premium buy. Some media are adding more weight to the product offering and bundling it in. We leave it up to the client to charge more.
The email is separate. It is just three clicks from the “try email” button, to choose more or less people and calculate the price using a slider. The email goes out within 24 hours.
Green: They all have a different model so we are not competitive. We also really worked hard on the forms; it took seven years to get the form right so that it collects high-quality data, with three or four images. This takes longer for organizers to fill out, about three minutes, but it's the high-quality data that syndicated partners are looking for. If the form is too light, it may only take a few seconds but you get a lot of garbage.
LocalMediaInsider: What is the business model for media partners, and how many media partners do you currently have?
Green: We give about 70% to 86% of the newspaper depending on who sells it. Today we have 630 media customers, 472 of whom are properties of Gatehouse. We are targeting another 9,000 media websites in the newspaper industry and 7,000 in radio.
We just closed a group of radio stations based in Daytona Beach, Florida. Radio has no traffic to the website; the owner told me, “I have 51 websites I can’t even make a dollar on.” With Evvnt they can e-package in on-air mentions and be making thousands of dollars in a few weeks. Television is next. The event calendar industry is $2 billion worldwide.