You may not have noticed the subtle changes going on at Eventfinder.co.nz of late, but they mark the Kiwi-grown event guide's commitment to going truly international.
Rebranding with a new logo and under the Eventfinda masthead, it's looking to take a bite out of the biggest market there is, setting up digs in San Francisco, where founder Michael Turner is tasked with driving global development and Andrew Summerville will lead US operations.
The platform was already up and running in Singapore and Australia, as well as Austria, where a local entertainment organisation licenses the platform and pays a fee for the privilege (including technical support).
"It gave us an opportunity to prove that the platform was solid and was of an international standard," business development manager Grant Hall said.
"On the basis of the growth we've enjoyed there and in Australia we thought it was time to enter the biggest and most competitive market there is."
Turner said the strategy had always been to build at home then launch around the world.
“With a secure domain and updated brand we are now ready to take on more overseas markets as and when the timing makes sense. Right now though, it’s all about the US," he said.
But eventfinder.com had already been registered by another company, and despite "multiple generous offers" refused to relinquish the domain.
Eventfinda.com, on the other hand, was up for grabs – not just in the US but in every single country around the world, according to Hall, even as far away as Liechtenstein and Uganda. So the company secured the rights to the name in all those nations.
"Find a gig, find a venue, find a band, [the name] works."
Hall said the brand needed to be more internationalised, and as a result the trumpet-blowing kiwi mascot evolved into more of a generalised caricature.
While that was painful for the company – which started back in 2005 and has since grown to a team of 20 at its Parnell headquarters – both logistically and emotionally, it was the right move from a global perspective.
It also posed a threat to the site's search engine ranking, which it has worked hard to build over the years.
But according to Hall: "We've got a lot of very talented people here that work on SEO, and they've made sure that we've managed that as effectively as possible."
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