Our newly appointed European General Manager, Simeon Klein, sat down with The Ticketing Business to talk about his first impressions of the business, where he feels the biggest opportunities lie, and the importance of customer obsession and trust in the premium ticketing space.

Tech growth expert Simeon joins the Seat Unique team to drive the operational and strategic direction of the business.

Check out Simeon's insightful Q&A with The Ticketing Business below.

Tell us a little about your experience prior to joining Seat Unique

I’ve had a broad range of experiences across my career, with a common thread of entrepreneurship and growth. I started out in tech sales before making the bold call to found a successful TV production company. After exiting that business, I joined a growing marketing agency working closely with the founders to scale that business globally.

Simeon Klein, European General Manager at Seat Unique
Image: Simeon Klein, European General Manager at Seat Unique

Moving back into tech I joined Gett, a unicorn start-up with $800m+ funding providing 15,000 businesses a global mobility SAAS platform, firstly as head of account management before moving up to global head of commercial strategy.

Most recently, I was General Manager at Cutover, a series B fintech start-up providing a collaborative automation platform to some of the world’s largest FSIs and banks.

What appealed to you about the Seat Unique business?

Seat Unique was an opportunity I just couldn’t say no to. There are a few fundamentals that I have held since the start of my career; a market ready for disruption, a strong product offering, a customer-obsessed team and inspiring founders. Seat Unique ticked all of those boxes and I am delighted to be leading a team that is already making waves in the market.

What are your first impressions of Seat Unique from the inside, now you’ve been at the business a short while?

The culture; it is the cornerstone of any great start-up and it has been a privilege to join such a motivated and knowledgeable team that’s totally bought into the Seat Unique mission.

The Seat Unique team group photo
Image: The Seat Unique team

I can already see that the business is heavily focussed on the customer, in this case, fans. Not just through the numbers (Seat Unique has delivered incredible new customer acquisition for partners, as well as increasing customer lifetime value), the customer journey is at the centre of the product roadmap and commercial strategy. Everything we do is about building a relationship of trust with partners and, most importantly, fans.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities for the business in the short term?

The opportunity is twofold and incredibly exciting! Here’s where I see the biggest areas of opportunity:

  1. Continue to engage with rightsholders across Europe - with the current economic climate, and the need for rightsholders to maximise the value of their experiences, we are uniquely positioned to transform access to their experiences to new audiences. The core of this opportunity is our tech; our hospitality and premium ticket offering, dynamic inventory pricing and fan-2-fan enabled 24/7 access.
  2. Hyper-scale our marketplace - we’re rapidly solidifying our place as the go-to premium ticketing marketplace and we have an ocean of opportunity to engage with fans across Europe to give them safe and easy access to the best experiences in the market.

Putting it simply, the opportunity that lies ahead is the ability to enable rightsholders to bring the very best experiences for fans through Seat Unique.

Even since you arrived, Seat Unique has set up some significant partnerships with some key clubs and venues. Why do you think Seat Unique has been so successful in this?

Our model of having direct relationships with clubs, venues and rightsholders is key in ensuring that the supply chain is shortened, while at the same time increasing the range of experiences on offer. What's more, this ensures that we only offer officially approved and guaranteed tickets to fans.

This is not always the norm in an industry where reselling is commonplace and supply chains are not always transparent. This has changed how the premium ticket and hospitality space is operated and ensures that fans have a reliable place to go when in the market for premium experiences across a range of sports, music and cultural events.

Trust has been a common theme across this interview. How important is trust to Seat Unique and the way they run their business?

Trust is hugely important to us as fans and our partners are at the heart of everything we do. The challenges in our market are well documented and the key here is trust. In a recent consumer survey conducted by the marketing team, trust and access to official experiences were two of the key themes that came out, which highlights just how important this is to fans, and probably says a bit about previous experiences they’ve had prior to purchasing with Seat Unique.

It’s our mission to bring the very best experiences to fans in a safe environment, and that’s why we’re building trust in two key ways:

  1. Ensuring fans know they are buying official tickets direct from the club, venue or rightsholder.
  2. Investing in the customer experience on the marketplace; from the moment they land on the website, through purchase, pre-event and post.

Hospitality has been seen as a somewhat exclusive way to enjoy live events in the past. How do you think that Seat Unique can change this to ensure more fans have the opportunity to access premium live event experiences?

This is something that we’re really passionate about. You’ll see that we refer a lot to experiences and that is deliberate. We want to ensure that fans of any sport, music or cultural event have the opportunity to access experiences that they will love, and take away memories that last a lifetime.

What we’re doing is removing the barriers to that. We make it easy to find those experiences across Europe and, going back to that word trust, ensure fans feel confident that they’re getting a genuine ticket to a premium experience. We know that a lot of our customers are buying as gifts for their friends and family too, so ensuring that everything is official and guaranteed is an absolute must.

It’s a real point of pride for us when we get positive feedback from fans about the impact an experience has had on them and their loved ones, and it’s our mission to open this up to more and more fans in the future.

Interview originally published on The Ticketing Business.