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Geogy Ross

Get To Know YC Chia, Founder Of Ticket2u

What we built is what is demanded in the market, and our services, our leads, are all recommended and addictive to the market

Hey there, YC. Welcome to Marketing In Asia and truth be told, I am excited to know about you and Ticket2u! So YC, let’s talk about you first. Tell our readers here about yourself and your passion. 

I love everything about IT, technology and programming since I’m 11. I dreamed about how to build a search engine, and walked through my 3 years entrepreneur path of CloudHAX.com since 2013, where I built a vertical search engine but I failed to sustain the business. I had never given up on my IT passion and started Ticket2U immediately, a smaller system, an event ticketing with booking system combining my past built products. I had never learnt or had any knowledge in the event industry.

But I knew, as an IT entrepreneur, I need to fix a very simple problem, which is online ticketing, online listing, online payment, online check-in, which is solving each and every traditional event manager’s problem. To make them feel easy, convenient, fast, queue-less, interactive, all technology matters in event, to be their technology arms, to impress our client and attendees, in another way, it made Ticket2U a pioneer in event technology very fast. 

I’m an introvert, just like most IT specialists, we are good at talking to the computer and not people. After I failed in my first business, I had no choice, but to go out to speak, to entertain, and to sell my products to strangers. I had no choice but to enjoy it throughout my journey, and I now love it. 

Walk us through what Ticket2u is all about. 

Ticket2U is an online ticketing and event management platform that helps you buy and sell, manage and check-in tickets for your event with ease. We sell events such as concerts, theater, sports, marathons, conferences, seminars, courses, theme park and more. We provide online and offline ticketing platform, admission solutions on ticket box or gate entry, seating chart system, event registration on counters, kiosks or mobiles, check-in system with app or counters, qr scan and facial recognition for event flow management and invitations, exhibition kiosk for self-service registration and badge printing, REPC solution for sports, interactives event system such as lucky draw system, treasure hunt and lead manager. 

Other than event ticketing and management systems, we are now venturing into transportation ticketing such as bus and flight ticketing, which is going to be launched in 2020–2021. 

Ticket2U has served more than 500 of corporates and event organisers by selling more than 300 events per month in total of more than 10,000 events, 2,000 tickets per day, and with a crazy growth of 6 figures sales in 2017, 7 figures sales in 2018 and 8 figures sales in 2019. This has proven the scalability of the business with a zero-cost marketing fund we have. Having said, we spent nothing (RM0) to market our brand these years, but we gained high reputation in the market, so the question is how? Because what we built is what is demanded in the market, and our services, our leads, are all recommended and addictive to the market. 

Growing up in a low-income family in Lahad Datu, Sabah must not have been easy and despite the struggle, you did not deter for one second to be who you are today. As a well-known entrepreneur who exudes a strong sense of passion and responsibility for your business, what are some of the challenges you faced, YC? 

Technology and solution wise are never our problem. The challenge I’m more concerned now is how can we penetrate regionally. There is a maximum capacity in the Malaysian market for the event industry, hence we keep a lookout into transport ticketing and regional expansion such as our neighbour market, Singapore and Indonesia.

Let’s talk about Ticket2u, YC. From my understanding – and correct me if I’m wrong, Ticket2u’s platform sales lead is automated, which requires less effort to market the product. My question is, how do you ensure that it continues to scale the business and services especially managing a growing customer base without affecting quality and service?

Yes. Ticket2U launched in late 2016, and of course, during the first year of operating, we started sales by begging for tickets to sell or even sponsors for events to gain exposures, not money sponsor, but with services offered! Our clients tried our product and services, which we said will be addictive as it proves less effort and crews were needed. In 2018, we started attracting many event organisers from word of mouth and referrals from past clients; many of those clients were from organic leads or from repeating clients.

As you may have asked, why don’t we hire extra to handle more sales and projects? To ensure our quality and service are not affected with a high volume of events to handle, that is where we believe that technology can solve all these problems not by hiring, but by continuously upgrading our system to an unlimited scale. In the past, we needed to send 3-5 technical crews to an event. Now, we only need to send 1-2 technical crews or even no crew but only renting devices to our clients. 

There are no errors allowed during the event. Imagine we are scanning and checking in 5,000 pax on an event within an hour. What if the system is down for a minute or two? This had never happened in Ticket2U events! We handle more than 50,000+ pax check-in every month, and more than hundreds of events per year, and we have never failed a single client! 

Now, Ticket2u also boasts its treasure of Big Data – it can harvest powerful insights on customers’ behaviour especially in spending and trends. In doing so, this will enable Ticket2u to collaborate with partners to build powerful marketing and advertising tools to help brands identify their captive audience and enhance sales conversion.

Could you explain further how this can amplify the brands and strategically provide consumers with the engagement that they desire in today’s competitive landscape? 

Yes, definitely! Big Data can help us analyse user behaviours and better targeting through ads or specific partners. The best part of Ticket2U, we are quite distinctly different compared to other competitors. Most competitors focus on one industry like concerts, or only sports or conferences. Ticket2U, however, covered all admissions, from selling, to free registration events or exhibitions. From there, we are able to study the user behaviours, spending powers, and more with big data. Imagine this – today a partner of financial services wanted to conduct a financial seminar and with Ticket2U, we can help to target the right interest audiences, the right areas in the location and thus, turn the conversion rate higher – value to both buyers and sellers. 

Other than ticketing, Ticket2U provides interactive event modules such as survey form, polling, lucky draw and treasure hunt, which directly gather more details on big data and best to analyse deeper engagements for future usage. 

Also, we are coming with our new business entity like transports ticketing in which we can target the event goers who wanted to attend an event after purchasing the ticket; the next step of recommendations of transports of bus or flight tickets needed, or vice versa, if they purchase a transport ticket, we can recommend nearby events that might interest them. 

What do you hope to achieve for Ticket2u in the next couple of years, YC? 

We hope to create an ecosystem that makes Ticket2U a daily needed app used by millions. From purchasing event tickets, to accommodations, to transports, to loyalty rewards, to highly efficient scanning of tickets or facial recognition to a venue or a seamless check-in. 

Currently Ticket2U is having our first ever fund-raising awareness in hopes of expanding our business in Bus Ticketing (which is already ready to launch) and to expand regionally to Singapore and Indonesia within 2020 and 2022. We hope we are able to find our strategic partners in these regions and accelerate faster. 

For those who wish to get in touch with you, what is the best way?

You can get in touch with me via my email: chia@ticket2u.com.

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Geogy Ross is a content creator at Marketing In Asia. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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