Loveland started 25 years ago when Marnix Bal organized a pool party. “He was an artist and he organized parties and he turned that into a career,” says Mariëlle Hilgenga, marketing manager at Loveland Events. “We started as a foundation, but now we are one of the largest promoters in Amsterdam.” The small production team of 12 people organizes large scale events like Loveland Festival and Loveland van Oranje. “We’re talking about 75+ artists and 6 stages and we’ve organized 8 events at ADE this year.”
"Marnix’s passion seeps through the company. As a result, the production process runs smoothly. Both Marnix and the production team have a lot of experience. We run a small company with employees who are strongly connected to our events. That is reflected in our top-notch lineups. The lineups are growing with us; young talents who started their career with us and who have grown to be famous artists.”
Know who to turn to
When you supply a lot of tickets for a major event, you need a reliable partner. For years now, Loveland has been working with Yourticketprovider to handle the ticket sales. Mariëlle: “Our ticket partner Yourticketprovider is a small company. As a result, we have 1-on-1 meetings regularly and our communication is effective. I know exactly who to turn to for specific issues and my contacts are always on standby at the start of an event to help us troubleshoot. They work hard and our communication is always pleasant.”
It didn’t work out with our other ticketpartner
A few years ago, Loveland tried to collaborate with another ticketing partner, but that didn’t work out. “That’s why we’ve partnered up with Yourticketprovider again. They give us a lot more attention and when we organize a new event, they are brainstorming with us and they are supporting us actively. They are giving us tips and advice and they are regularly checking all settings instead of sending us a superficial response after a quick scan. They literally pick up the phone and walk us through it. Another ticketing partner isn’t as devoted.”
Last spring CM.com acquired Yourticketprovider. Mariëlle was somewhat shocked by that because she was content with the way things worked between the two partners. Mariëlle: “First I thought: oh, such a big company! What will happen to the direct way of communication that I appreciate so much at Yourticketprovider? But we still have our own account manager and contacts. And we still do everything the way we used to do it. We just have more tools at our disposal.”
Loveland Events was supposed to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. But since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, things started to look less promising. “There is no script for a situation like this. We had no experience with a pandemic whatsoever, and all of a sudden we had to reschedule events. Loveland van Oranje had been sold out completely. We have postponed everything for one year. We’ve tried book the same artists, but we’ve also offered refunds.”
In a short period of time, Yourticketprovider created a compensation tool providing several options like refunds and vouchers. That tool enabled organizers to communicate quickly and clearly with their visitors about postponed and canceled events. Loveland Events used the tool to refund tickets.
We all remember the moment when we thought events were allowed to welcome visitors again. “That was my biggest challenge. We all worked extra hard. I even worked on evenings and weekends because we had to organize a festival in a short period of time. And then we all found out that it had to be canceled after all.” That was a huge disappointment for our Loveland team. “We are all determined to organize a fantastic event. Our reward is to be present at that event and to realize that you’ve contributed to its success. We haven’t had that for two years.”
Despite the setbacks in recent years Loveland Events prefers to look forward, so innovation is important. For example, Mariëlle added text messaging to the ticketing process. “I started using CM.com’s SMS tool for ticket payments. We used to send our visitors an email which they could use to pay the other 50% of their ticket. When that email remained unanswered, we did send a text message. We received a lot more responses to these text messages.” Mariëlle sees SMS as a smart way to reach people “But in this age of phishing, you have to think carefully if and how you want to use SMS. It works really well for ticket payments. SMS is working nicely and is very user-friendly for both us and the visitors. Together with CM.com and Yourticketprovider it was very easy to start using the SMS tool.”More about SMS
Mariëlle is going to use the SMS option more often, especially now that Loveland van Oranje and Loveland Festival have been completely sold out for 2022. “And even though it’s a bit later than planned, we are also going to celebrate our 25th anniversary.” Loveland is going back to its roots with the Loveland Pool Party during Loveland Festival’s opening night. “There will be a proper Loveland Hotel and much more. We are looking forward to it!”
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