A young entrepreneur from London has scooped a national award after setting up a business that provides a digital ticketing solution for niche entertainment event organisers. Shoobs enables event organisers of all sizes the ability to set up an online ticketing, promotion and a social media platform to connect people to London’s most vibrant, hippest events.
Louise Broni-Mensah, aged 27, was selected by a panel of judges and the public to be a Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award winner and worthy of £1,000 funding.
Frustrated at the inefficient selling process faced by smaller event organisers, Louise set up Shoobs as a solution to make professional ticketing accessible to all organisers, regardless of size. The niche event market includes nightclubs and small gigs, which has largely been ignored by the ticketing industry, with players such as Ticketmaster focusing on large events. Shoobs embraces these smaller events and provides a refreshing, innovative and connected approach to online ticketing.
Her frustration was felt by Tim Campbell, the first winner of the BBC’s Apprentice, who backed the business through the Bright Ideas Trust.
Unlike its larger counterparts, Shoobs is a young, vibrant Web 2.0 platform for today’s savvy, socially connected generation, putting both the event organiser and the consumer at the heart of the entertainment market. Event organisers can set up a profile ticketing page on a unique web address and customise their ticket event pages with pictures, video and audio to bring their events to life. Shoobs provides access to intelligent data and reports to enable event organisers to keep track of their sales and build their contact database. The service is completely free for event organisers, whilst Shoobs adds a small booking fee on top of the face value of the ticket.
The Shell LiveWIRE Grand Idea awards are designed to give aspiring young entrepreneurs a no-strings-attached financial boost of £1,000 to help them get their business ideas off the ground.
Louise Broni-Mensah, founder of Shoobs, comments: “With growing youth unemployment and economic unrest, it may seem that there are little opportunities for today’s young generation. However, I encourage those with a business idea to take the plunge and go at it alone! Programmes like the Bright Ideas Trust and Shell LiveWire can help you turn your business idea into reality. The financial boost of winning a Grand Ideas Award has been a huge help and will enable me to further develop Shoobs, but in the long run, it’s the credibility of winning an award like this that really makes a difference.
Since being launched (just two months ago) Shoobs has been met with phenomenal response. Promoters are using the site to promote an eclectic range of events, everything from comedy, club nights to live music and more. One of the recent promoters to use the site is The Bantu Group, a Back to my Roots Ltd production. They used Shoobs to sell tickets for their “Bantu Fridays” events – London hottest “Afro Western” fusion club night held on the first Friday of each month at Parker McMillan. ‘K’, co-promoter of The Bantu Group a Back to my Roots Ltd production, comments: “At Bantu, we take our brand very seriously, so sending our customers to a third party website with an unattractive interface and high booking fees, would do nothing but devalue our brand. We were impressed by Shoobs, as they offered low booking fees, allowed us to create a profile page on a unique web address and we were able to customise our page with a logo banner, pictures and video. The result is a streamlined process that enables us to maintain our brand and have a clear sales path. We have had a great response from our customers, as ticket holders are guaranteed entry and can enjoy faster queuing times. The Bantu group will continue to use Shoobs to sell tickets for their monthly event, see for more details http://thebantugroup.shoobs.com/.
For Louise, the dream is expansion and for Shoobs to be synonymous with niche events. The £1,000 cash prize will be used to support a marketing campaign. Louise adds “Smaller event organisers are spending too much time, not to mention money, running around town selling tickets offline. We want to let them know that we are here to help, so they can concentrate on what really matters, putting on a great event!”
Shell LiveWIRE, which has 84,000 members in the UK alone, hosts a business networking community at www.shell-livewire.org which enables the best business brains from every corner of the nation to share ideas, insights and inspiration with fellow entrepreneurs who understand the challenges they face. To find out more about the Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Awards visit www.shell-livewire.org