This “small and scrappy” team in Melbourne has big plans and plenty of opportunity as it grows the local market in APAC.
Eventbrite may be known for being a San Francisco-born tech startup, but Australia is one of the ticketing company’s fastest-growing markets and is home to one of Eventbrite’s 11 offices across the globe. Based in Melbourne, the Aussie team is small and scrappy, but with big ambitions as we enter a phase of strong international growth. We help each other out as we work towards our shared vision of making Eventbrite a household name when it comes to live experiences.
To get an idea of what it’s like to be a part of the supportive and collaborative team in Melbourne, we interviewed staff across the business:
- Laura Huddle, Head of New Business
- Kelly Burge, Technical Customer Success Manager
- Leah Godden, Demand Generation Marketing Manager
- Stephanie Cowles, Senior Business Development Manager
- Priya Kanniappan, Senior Product Marketing Manager
- Eamon McKenna, Customer Enablement Manager
See open positions with Eventbrite’s Australia team here.
Can each of you introduce yourself and what you do at Eventbrite?
Laura: I’m Head of New Business for Australia & New Zealand now, but I came to Eventbrite eight years ago. I started off as the first product manager in San Francisco, then moved to a category marketing position, then here to Melbourne as Head of Marketing three years ago. It’s been a great adventure so far.
Kelly: I’m the Technical Customer Success Manager for Australia & New Zealand, charged with client success and account management. What that means for Eventbrite customers is that they have access to a proactive resource that partners with them on events, helping them plan how to achieve their goals while using Eventbrite as the ticketing platform. I look after the top-tier and key accounts, so I get to be involved in a really broad and exciting range of events.
Leah: I’m the Demand Generation Marketing Manager and it’s my job to build opportunities and fill the pipeline with leads for the local sales team. I started with Eventbrite in January 2017 as the Content Marketing Manager, and within just eight months I was given the opportunity to shift into this role that aligned more closely with my career trajectory and the skills I wanted to develop. Eventbrite was really open to the shift and I feel there is a lot of internal mobility opportunities as we are a fast growing team.
Stephanie: I’m a Senior Business Development Manager and I came to Eventbrite about two years ago. I was hired out of Singapore, where I was working for a competitor of Eventbrite. I’m focused on servicing the incredibly exciting array of festivals in Australia.
Priya: I’ve just joined the Eventbrite team (less than a week ago!) as the Senior Product Marketing Manager. Although I’m new, I can already see that there’s a great energy amongst the team and real sense of collaboration which I’m excited to be a part of!
Eamon: I’m a Customer Enablement Manager and every day I help to onboard organisers with all kinds of events, which is really interesting and a lot of fun.
How did you come to work at Eventbrite and what attracted you to work here?
Priya: I’ve always been passionate about the online tech space and Eventbrite is really leading the category in this respect. The idea of working in a global business and sharing knowledge across continents was also incredibly appealing — it was a no brainer to apply!
Leah: I saw Laura speak on a panel at a women in business event. She spoke about Eventbrite’s philosophy on equality and diversity, which were really important to me. When I saw a marketing role come up a couple months later, I knew I wanted to work with her and the team! The small, startup-style team was also an attraction, because I knew I would be pushed and grow in my career. It’s been exciting to play a role in Eventbrite’s expansion (domination!) of the APAC region.
When and why was the Australia office opened? Laura, you were the first person to get sent over, right?
Laura: Eventbrite’s eyes had been on Australia for a while. People were already organically organising events and buying tickets on Eventbrite, so it made sense to build on the ground here to service that market locally. We started in April 2014 with a team of about three people, and we’ll be 10x that size by the end of the year. We’re still small and scrappy, so there’s lots of opportunity to come in on the ground floor. It feels like a startup, but you have all the resources of a larger company.
This is a really exciting time to join the team because we have brand cred amongst attendees and organisers, and we’ve helped some high-profile organisers deliver outstanding events. The people we’re hiring now will help shape our brand and define our unique value proposition in the Australian and APAC market.
What do you love about working at Eventbrite? What does Eventbrite have to offer in Australia compared to other startups in the same stage of business?
Kelly: Without a doubt, the people and culture. On my first trip to the US office I kept thinking that everyone must have been told to put on a happy face and be nice to the ‘newbie’ — but it’s not an act — everyone I know here truly loves the company and what our leaders are bringing to events and ticketing. Eventbrite’s technology has disrupted the industry, they have challenged other ticketing companies to provide better features and make their customers demand more, which is compelling to be a part of.
Leah: The team are inspiring and incredibly talented. I have a lot of faith in our leadership in the US, and I am constantly pushed to grow.
Laura: We really do have an awesome team! Because of the nature of our business, we go to a lot of events together. We also attend quarterly offsites, and have team lunches every Friday. It’s an innate part of Eventbrite culture. We all sit together, including Phil (our GM), so we don’t have that level of politics or bureaucracy larger companies have. Well, unless it’s about snacks. [laughs]
Stephanie: No joke. Snacks are serious.
Aside from spending time together socially and having fun, there’s another way Eventbrite Australia is unique in comparison to other startups of the same size. We have the international reliability of a platform that’s already been used for over 10 years globally and when you’re promising to deliver technology that makes an experience better, reliability matters. By being plugged directly into Silicon Valley, we get to contribute to powering innovation in Australia while still having a solid, reliable backbone that younger startups don’t have. When you join this team there’s not much risk. It’s all about growth, and that’s kind of exciting.
Leah: We’re lucky in the breadth of customers we handle. It presents us with exciting challenges because we’re working with different types of events, and extremely passionate people who want to make their events better. It makes me feel like I’m making a difference and getting to work across many varied industries, instead of being laser-focused on one area, like many startups are.
Tell me about how you work together as a team.
Laura: We all roll up into our General Manager, Phil Silverstone, and have four main arms — Marketing, Business Development, Customer Experience, and Account Management. Marketing focuses on fueling the self sign-on side of our business. Leah focuses on professional organiser sales, working with our BDMs like Steph to bring their events onto the platform. Once they onboard an organiser, Account Managers like Kelly work to to provide those clients with recommendations on how to best utilise our platform — like how to develop a pricing strategy, publish to Facebook, sell more tickets, and tap into some of our tech partnerships. We also deliver marketing and analytical expertise to help organisers maximise event growth.
What types of clients do you work with?
Stephanie: A full range of event organisers, from food and drink festivals such as Pinot Palooza or Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS), to big outdoor shows like the Darwin Show. Australians are really into live experiences and going out — plus we’re lucky enough to have the right climate for outdoor events year-round. I have some really fun festival customers, from a raw challenge, to Nutella-Palooza, to an Easter show.
Laura: Even though we’ve only officially been in this market for a little over three years, the events and venues on our platform are very well known throughout Australia — everything from Melbourne Music Week and The Corner Hotel, to Rainbow Serpent.
What opportunities have you had since joining Eventbrite?
Kelly: Since joining Eventbrite I’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredible events and play a part in their operations and success. I’ve travelled to the San Francisco office about six times, twice to the London office and also went to visit and learn from the Berlin team last year.
Eamon: I knew I wanted to move to working in events and when searching for event jobs on LinkedIn I found an opening to apply for the new Eventbrite Customer Experience (CX) team in Melbourne. This gave me the opportunity to start in a new team within a growing company and further my skills by working closely with Account Managers and high-value event organisers. I’ve since progressed into the role of Customer Enablement Manager — Eventbrite is super supportive of internal progression.
Leah: I have worked for app development agencies in Melbourne and Vietnam. I love working in the tech/startup industry because it’s fast paced and I get to wear a lot of hats! As I mentioned before, I have been able to transition to a new role within eight months of starting with Eventbrite, so there are a lot of opportunities for growth in this industry and company.
Has there been anything that’s surprised you about Eventbrite?
Stephanie: Our CEO, Julia Hartz, is actually really funny. I haven’t had such a hilarious CEO ever. And she’s a great leader. She sits on the floor with everyone else, and I think that’s pretty cool.
Laura: The surprise for me has been transparency. Our executive staff do a really good job of sharing information. This creates trust and accountability across the organisation.
What’s your pitch for someone who’s thinking about coming on board at Eventbrite?
Laura: When I first interviewed at Eventbrite a long time ago, there were only 20 people. Initially I was like, “What’s so exciting about ticketing and registration?” But, from the first phone conversation I had with our head of product, the excitement was contagious. Everyone shared a passion and seemed genuinely pumped about what they were working on. It’s not just about ticketing and registration. It’s about empowering people to gather in-person around their passions and interests. That level of engagement at Eventbrite has not changed, and we’re a 700+ person company now. We have offices in 12 countries around the globe and and power millions of events in over 180 countries. To be able to empower that passion amongst our employees is awesome.
Stephanie: When I interviewed with Eventbrite, I met so many different types of people with one common interest, and I felt so empowered by that. It was a done deal for me, in terms of the people I would get to work with every day.
Kelly: Working with Eventbrite gives me the opportunity to work closely with the people who put on some of the best events around and I feel like I’m part of their team. Sometimes it’s challenging but there’s nothing better than being there when all that planning and hard work come to fruition — watching people arrive and have an amazing experience. That is a buzz that I can’t get enough of.
Join the team!
Love the idea of working for a small team with big ideas and loads of ambition? Interested in joining the Eventbrite team in Australia? Check out job openings here.