Peatix, a Japan-founded, New York City-based startup, has launched its pilot program at the University this semester. Peatix is a ticketing platform that allows users to sell tickets for and promote events, as well as browse current events.
Peatix is currently the most successful online ticketing platform in Japan and has since expanded to Southeast Asia and the U.S. The company hopes to start a campus program, which is beginning with its presence at the University.
Yohei Okada ’16 is currently working with a University alumus who works at Peatix, Daniel De Rienzo ’11. De Rienzo is the Community Manager at Peatix. The company was founded by Taku Harada, who studied at Yale University and subsequently began working at Amazon.
“He thought [that] since [Di Rienzo is] my friend, I [would be] able to help him out with a lot of stuff happening at Wesleyan, so that’s why we chose Wesleyan [as the pilot program] because there’s that connection,” Okada said.
Okada expanded on the company’s reasons for tapping into the college scene.
“One of the things that we’re doing at Wesleyan is trying to figure out a way the U.S. team can enter the college market, because universities have a lot of cool events happening,” Okada said.
Peatix has two main goals in coming to the University. First, it hopes to make organizing and hosting events easier with its efficient ticketing process.
“[Ticketed] events are perfect, because event organizers here don’t really have a good option to do paid ticketing yet,” Okada said. “Cash is kind of difficult because people don’t really carry around cash. Venmo is starting to increase, but some people don’t use Venmo. [With] the box office, you have to pay to use box office services. Peatix is free to use; so it’s an extra way to do ticketing.”
Okada also noted how the online platform to purchase tickets makes it easier for the customers who can’t physically come to Usdan to buy a ticket.
“People are all over campus and it’s difficult to get people to buy tickets quick because…maybe they’re busy, and they don’t even go to Usdan,” Okada said. “People can buy it whenever they want online, through their credit card.”
Another major goal for the Peatix team is to create an alternative way to market events to a wider audience. Right now, it is difficult for students to find events happening on campus.
“Social events aren’t really on the University calendar,” Okada said. “Facebook is normally limited to certain groups; if we make an event such as the Japan Culture Show, it’s kind of hard to promote that outside of the Japanese and Asian communities.”
Peatix hopes to use its personal “Wesleyan Peatix” website in order to organize all the events that are happening on campus in one place.
“The platform acts as a place where as an attendee, you can search for events happening on campus, and as an organizer, you can promote it to a bigger range of people,” Okada said.
Zhi Ming Gan ’18, who is also involved in developing the Peatix platform at the University, spoke to the usefulness of this landing page.
“We really think that Peatix has great potential in making student organizers’ lives much easier by taking the bulk of the responsibility for student marketing efforts,” Gan said. “The dream is to have a one-stop site that features every student event and student group activity on campus.”
Similarly, users can experience a new check-in experience at the events themselves. Using the app, attendees can use a color sync check-in system, which flashes colors on the screen signaling a valid ticket for the event.
Okada estimates that there are around 300 University students who have signed up on Peatix since it has been introduced.
“In terms of Wesleyan email, [the number of people who have signed up] is around 110, but I’m estimating it to be much more than that because we sold 200 tickets with ESQUE,” Okada said.
Eventually, Okada hopes that everyone on campus will start using Peatix on their own.
“Our ultimate goal is to get event organizers to post events themselves, because right now we’re kind of managing event pages and posting events on behalf of organizers,” Okada said. “But eventually when people start finding the landing page to be useful and the platform to be useful, they will create their own events and we won’t have to do the managing part.”
The Peatix team on campus has been in contact with the University’s SALD office as they are providing the team with event information to post on the website and also to help market the platform.
Gan is also an organizer for the Whey Station delivery service, which makes use of Peatix as well. It allows customers to order by purchasing tickets on Peatix, as this helps with providing a payment platform.
The platform has already been used for two major events on campus, namely the annual ESQUE performance and another event which featured two renowned DJs, Loudpvck and Crnkn.
José Luis Sanchez ’18, one of the organizers of ESQUE, wrote in an email to The Argus stating how Peatix helped streamline the organizing process of the event.
“Peatix was a great addition to our ticketing servicing for ESQUE,” Sanchez wrote in an email to The Argus. “It made the process for checking people in so much simpler and it was really a great way to keep track of people who were attending. It also took the process of tabling out because people could easily sign up online.”
Sanchez further discussed how he believed users were pleased with the platform.
“It’s a step into the future,” Sanchez said. “Also, it’s very aesthetically pleasing for users since the experience is very self-explanatory.”
Ron Jacobs ’16, an organizer of the DJ event and part of the Wesleyan DJs & Producers Club, said that he really enjoyed working with Peatix for the event.
“The event was a success because we were able to think outside the box to publicize it and make it enjoyable for the hundreds of students who attended,” Jacobs said.
The Peatix team helped the event in several ways, with Okada helping to design the trailer for the event, and Gan live streaming the concert via Facebook, which garnered over 150 viewers. Peatix also gave out free blacklight painting and water bottles.
“The Peatix team is a brilliant new promotions group and I hope that more student groups including my own will use them not only to set up RSVP ticketing service but also to properly advertise the event,” Jacobs said. “They are multi-faceted when it comes to events and they are passionate about working with you and bring lots of creative ideas. Most importantly they connect very well with the students in this community and I felt very confident organizing it with them because they truly cared about every event they partner with.”