Eventbrite Navigates Change Through Skill-Building and Leadership Development

Eventbrite is a global self-service ticketing, marketing, and experience technology platform that serves a community of hundreds of thousands of event creators in nearly 180 countries. Since inception, Eventbrite has been at the center of the experience economy, transforming the way people organize and attend events. The company was founded by Julia Hartz, Kevin Hartz and Renaud Visage, with a vision to build a self-service platform that would make it possible for anyone to create and sell tickets to live experiences.

The Eventbrite platform provides an intuitive, secure, and reliable service that enables creators to plan and execute their live and online events, whether it’s an annual culinary festival attracting thousands of foodies, a professional webinar, a weekly yoga workshop or a youth dance class. With over 290 million tickets distributed for over 5 million total events in 2021, Eventbrite is where people all over the world discover new things to do or new ways to do more of what they love.

Eventbrite has earned industry recognition as a top employer with special designations that include: a coveted spot on Fast Company’s prestigious Brands That Matter List, the Great Place to Work® Award in the U.S., Best Employer in Argentina by Apertura; and Inc.’s Best-Led Companies honor. Headquartered in San Francisco in the heart of SoMa, Eventbrite currently has over 850 employees across 9 countries.

Challenge: A Need to Rebuild and Restructure the Business Model

Since the company was founded, the core business focused on providing sales and services to support a diverse spectrum of live and in-person events such as musical concerts, holiday festivals, networking events and conferences, recreational, wellness and hobby classes, and several community and cultural events. The Covid 19 pandemic put a sudden halt to all in-person events and upended Eventbrite’s business model.

With in-person events seeming implausible in the near future, the company needed to rapidly pivot to online events and services. This implied a shift from a sales and marketing focus to developing deep expertise as a product engineering company. Eventbrite needed to rapidly transform and rebuild its business model, restructure jobs and roles, and embark on a drastic skill-shift journey to support this change.

John Adcock, Eventbrite’s Chief People Officer explains, “Our business came to a standstill when the pandemic struck. We needed to restructure and transform the business, and it required us to rethink our budget spend. We strongly believe that our investments in learning are indeed investments, and not costs. The Eventbrite team unanimously agreed to continue investing in skill development with Udemy rather than cutting back, reinforcing our focus on our people over processes.”

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