Eventbrite | Case Study

How Madman Entertainment Built a Booming National Anime Convention

Madman Entertainment is Australia’s #1 distributor of anime. So when one of Melbourne’s biggest anime events ceased, they saw an opportunity to step in and connect with their huge community of fans. In 2016, they launched Madman Anime Festival in Melbourne, an event that has quickly grown to four annual fandom festivals Australia-wide.

The challenge:

Fandom festivals and conventions have an incredible number of moving parts. From day pass entry to movie screenings and star autograph sessions, Madman Events needed a solution that would bring everything together in a single, seamless experience for fans.

When they first launched Anime Festival, they needed to rely on on their ticketing provider to manage all of their ticket listings and any changes or updates – a process that caused delays during critical times. They also had a large database of fans through their film and streaming services, but this data lived separately from their events and didn’t integrate with their existing communication channels without a lot of manual handling.

“Our main motivation for switching to Eventbrite was the technological advantage it brought to our events. Eventbrite is completely world-class in terms of service and product, and someone we wanted to partner with as our events scale across the country.”

– Nathan Kershaw, Event Manager, Madman Events

The solution:

In 2019, Madman switched to Eventbrite to provide ticketing for Anime Festival and its subsidiary events. Switching to Eventbrite has allowed Anime Festival to:

Integrate their events into their existing database, without any manual intervention

Streamline promotion and admission for subsidiary events such as autograph signings and movie screenings

Provide fast training with on-site support to skill up a large volunteer workforce at events

An integrated platform avoids “data chaos” and maximises revenue for every ticket

At the heart of every event marketing decision, sponsor pitch, and attendee communication is one critical asset: data.

As an entertainment company, Madman Events had access to a rich dataset across their entertainment channels, but their event data lived separately. As it was managed by their ticketing partner, integrating attendee information into their email system was a manual process.

Using MailChimp for their communication, switching to Eventbrite gave Madman the chance to automatically integrate the Madman Anime Festival data into their existing system for the first time. Event Manager, Nathan Kershaw, says the MailChimp Sync app was a huge motivator for switching to Eventbrite.

“It’s so important to have integration with our own data. We have a comprehensive database of our audience through our streaming platform, Animelab, plus a huge social media following. Knowing who in our audience is specific to events is incredibly beneficial,” Kershaw explains.

“We were already using MailChimp to handle the Madman databases, but it wasn’t integrated with our previous ticketing partners. The Eventbrite integration with MailChimp avoids a lot of the chaos with our data”.

– Nathan Kershaw, Event Manager, Madman Events

The seamless integration of data does more than make life easier for staff. It’s also allowed Madman Anime Festival to focus on ticket upgrades for the first time, instead of relying on social media alone to communicate subsidiary events to their fans.

“If someone buys a day pass, we can contact them a few weeks out and suggest ticket upgrades such as the chance to interact with our guest stars, or invite them to a film screening. Before, it was much harder to make contact with our audience and we relied on them to find information for themselves.”

– Nathan Kershaw, Event Manager, Madman Events

Real-time insights streamline admission and programming

Madman Anime Festival, like many fan events, has complex ticketing needs. The main event itself offers a variety of day and weekend passes, but within that are more than 20 subsidiary ticket types for upgrades and mini-events. A token system supports fan activities such as ticketed meet and greets, autograph signings, photo sessions, and premiere movie screenings. First release tokens are offered to VIP ticket holders exclusively for 48 hours, before opening up to the general public. .

Having the token system integrated through the Eventbrite portal and linked to their website helps staff better manage their programming and talent.

Nathan Kershaw explains, “By having our tokens linked to an Eventbrite ticket and scanned on site, we can instantly see how many tokens have been redeemed, how long people are waiting, and make on-the-fly decisions about our programming. Particularly when managing our guest stars, if we can see that only 50% of tokens have been redeemed for an autograph signing, we can plan for them to stay longer. When only a handful are left, we can let them know when they can finish up,” he says.

The right support on the ground keeps things moving smoothly

Large events often rely on a volunteer workforce to keep running smoothly. Of course, this only works in practise if the jobs are simple enough to not drain the resources of full-time event staff. With almost 300 volunteers to onboard for their Melbourne event alone, Madman Anime Festival needed a solution that was easy to use and fast to learn.

With the help of Eventbrite’s ticket scanning equipment and professional onsite support team, Madman Anime Festival has been able to put their volunteers to best use and keep staff focused on operations and taking care of their guest talent.

“It’s been really easy to get people familiar with the tech and we’ve had an Eventbrite rep at every event to help manage that for us,” says Kershaw. “We’ve had some disappointing experiences with account managers in the past, but the service and support that Eventbrite provides is brilliant. They’ve never let us down.”

“Our movie screenings seat up to 1,000 people, but with just a few scanners we can get everyone seated within 10 minutes.”

– Nathan Kershaw, Event Manager, Madman Events

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