We were really excited recently to announce that we’re now working with over 200 arts organisations in the UK. In the US and Canada too, we’ve just started working with our eleventh customer. We can’t quite believe how far we’ve come, especially when we think back to the days when we had a handful of team members working from Matt’s tiny apartment.
At the same time, we know that the natural companion to rapid growth is change. Here at Spektrix that’s meant we’ve recently expanded the roles in the company and filled them with new faces, but we’ve also recently said goodbye to members of our team who have moved onto new things. We’ll also be moving to a bigger office in London again very soon and our Engineering team are working on some significant changes to our software (more on this soon!) So, we wanted to give you an insight into what we’ve learned over 8 years of growing Spektrix, our plans for the future and most importantly, what this means for the organisations we work with.
We’re extremely lucky to work with arts organisations who have shown so much trust in us by putting an important part of their business into our hands. So as we grow, particularly in the North American market, we’re putting regular, transparent communication with our customers much higher up on our priority list. With that in mind, we’ve written this blog post to update you on where we are as a company right now, what we’re planning for the future and most importantly, what this means for our customers in the UK and North America.
If we’ve missed anything, pick up the phone or send us an email and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions!
Where are we now?
First things first, here’s a rundown of where we are in terms of company growth now:
- Spektrix is now 8 years old.
- We’re still privately owned and haven’t taken any external investment.
- We’re working with 210+ arts organisations around the world.
- We now have 50+ employees globally.
- We’ve sold 8.9 million tickets through the system globally.
- Our North American office has been in operation for 15 months.
We’re also measuring growth in terms of what we’ve managed to achieve for our customers in that time. In the year that we’ve been in the North American market, we’ve helped the Juilliard School simplify their ticketing and get to know their patrons for the first time and supported the Luminato Festival in Toronto with great upselling and segmentation tools, as well as new ways of managing a truly city wide festival with cloud technology. We’re really proud of how far we’ve come both in the UK and North America, but we want to do more. Here’s what’s in our immediate plans and why we’re doing it.
We want to paint the world green
We’re committed to the arts industry for the long haul and passionately believe that our technology combined with our service is changing the game for the arts sector by helping our customers to develop their audiences and run their operations as smoothly as possible. Eventually, we want to be able to do this for every arts venue and organisation around the world and do our bit to help the arts be strong everywhere. For us, doing this in North America was the natural next step for us for three big reasons.
- We can grow organically. We were getting a lot of interest from North American organisations like the Round House who first approached us before we had made any concrete plans to enter the market.
- It’s a natural fit. The US and Canadian markets are a natural fit for us considering the language and similarity of approaches to ticketing and marketing.
- There’s something to learn. Finally, where there are differences in ticketing and marketing, it should be an opportunity to share best practices and learning. For example, we’re starting to learn a lot about fundraising from the US and Canada and are passing the benefits of this back to our UK customers- and vice versa.
So while we do want to paint the world green, we’re not in any hurry to do it.
We’re sharpening focus on our product development philosophy
You might have read about our product development philosophy already. We’re finding that as we grow, it’s increasingly important to stick to those principles. For example, our roadmap is informed in part by listening to the needs of our customers. We’ve found from working with North American organisations that the biggest functionality difference is in the way that tickets are packaged in season subscriptions so we developed a feature to handle fixed series and subscriptions.
At the same time, we carefully balance this against usability. Every feature needs to work with the concepts in the system and be planned out in a way that doesn’t compromise usability.
Growth has also pushed us to stay fluid and responsive in reaction to change. So we’re continuing to work on an incremental improvement model with short release cycles which allow us to respond to the changing needs of our customers. As always, we’re continuing to listen to our customers about what works and what doesn’t, and if you’re a user, you can always submit feature requests here.
Our service delivery model is staying the same
We think the biggest reason why our customers are positive about our support services, is because we hire people who have worked in the arts, understand our customers and love their jobs at Spektrix. So as we grow, we want to keep making sure we’re doing that. Here’s how we’re doing it:
- We take company culture really seriously. We work hard to keep making Spektrix a fun and stimulating place to work for people in the arts. This is important for our team and for our customers too - helping our team to develop and progress their careers at Spektrix means our people can keep building on their experience and on their relationships to our customers and the sector. It also means team members that our customers know and trust.
- We make it easier for our Support team to get to know our customers. Our Support team is split into multiple teams and each team looks after a number of arts organisations so that they can develop an intimate knowledge of their business and work as an extension to their team. This helps our Support team to understand the Support needs of our customers.
- We’re keeping it local. More than ever, we’re committed to having local support on the ground. We know that we need knowledge of the local market and a first hand experience of your organisation to be able to help you to do better.
- We’re seeing it as an opportunity for even better service and support. Growth comes with new opportunities for doing better as well as its challenges. For example, in the long term, being in multiple timezones around the world would mean we could eventually extend our support hours.
What are our plans for the future?
Hopefully that gives you a good idea of where we are now and where our commitments lie. We’re also thinking about the longer term though and while we don’t have a crystal ball to predict what’s next in store for Spektrix, there are a few things we know for sure which we want to share.
- We have no intention to sell. We value our independence and think outside investors could make it difficult to maintain our commitment to the arts industry.
- We’ll take on larger organisations slowly. In the UK, we want to keep doing what we’re doing now, gradually taking on larger organisations but never biting off more than we can chew.
- We’ll prove our worth. We’re taking things slowly and are working hard to prove why our unique breed of support, our passion for the industry and our advanced technology makes us different.
Finally, we want to share our company values and invite you to call us out on them if you think we’re not living up to them (seriously, tell us!) They are:
- Put people first.
- Be honest and open.
- Go above and beyond.
- Never stop learning.
- Look for smart solutions.
Thanks for reading to the end. We hope that’s given you an idea of where we stand now and where we’re heading in the future, and are looking forward to sharing more company updates like this one in future. If you’ve got any questions, thoughts or observations, we want to hear them so get in touch.