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How to Build an Event Guide App for Finding Local Shows and Concerts?

The event industry is as hot as ever. The boldest predictions mention over $1 trillion in spending to be generated by millennial consumers only.

While that’s certainly a very bold number, investing in an event discovery or guide app can be a lucrative opportunity. Let’s look into some more stats, shall we?

The State of Event Discovery Industry

The event industry already has some established players including Eventbrite – an event search application with global coverage; Meetup – an active social community, where anyone can create a free “get together” event and Facebook Events of course.

Some stats from the top players:

    • Eventbrite – 1.7 million events created.
    • Meetup – 6.6 million events created.
    • Brown Paper Tickets – over 200,000 events.
    • Facebook events – over 16 million events created per month and 450 million monthly active users.
  • Live Nation – over 22,000 events listed.

Okay, so it’s safe to say that the supply is there. Now, how about the demand?

Say Hi To Experience Economy


Millennials now constitute the largest consumer group in the US and are estimated to spend $600 billion annually.

And a large fraction of those dollars is spent on experiences over things. A recent research conducted by the Harris Group discovered the next curious data:

    • 78% of surveyed millennials said that they would choose to spend money on desirable experience over desirable stuff.
    • 55% even said that they now spend more on events and live experience than ever before.
    • 82% of millennials have attended/participated in all sorts of events last year.
    • And 72% plan to increase their spendings on events even more.
  • Since 1987, the share of consumer spending on live events and experiences in the US has increased by 70%.

The music industry is experiencing a particular up rise. According to Nielsen research, 52% of cumulative spendings went to live concerts in 2015. So, if you plan to create an app for searching concerts nearby, now may be the right time.

While millennials are driving the experience economy, other generations don’t stay far behind either.

For instance, the median age of a Broadway theater fan is 45 years old. And the total revenue generated by these show in NYC only is over $1.17 billion per year with additional $933 million generated by touring shows.

Bottom line: Scrutinize your target audience and market before discussing the project concept with developers. The event industry is broad and diversified, hence you may want to pursue only a certain niche or a certain audience segment/location.

Ideas for a Mobile Event App That Stands a Chance


The event discovery industry may seem like a low hanging fruit. After all, how many times have you personally missed a cool event nearby or couldn’t find local events in a new city you are visiting?

However, the competition is obviously there.

First of all, there are the local online publishers like Time Out, for instance, curating lists of events and cool things to do nearby. Next, there’s Facebook Events – a place where the majority of small event organizers create listings and distribute tickets.

But here’s the thing about Facebook Events – they are not available as a standalone app and the majority of users fail to discover those under the more button on their profile page. Unless you get invited, see an ad or receive a suggestion from Facebook about that event – high chances are that you gonna miss it.

And then again, your custom app will have to compete with larger, more established event discovery and ticketing apps in the market. Here are some ideas to make your product more edgy and unique:

Go Niche

While the ultimate goal of any startup is global domination, when you have limited resources (app development budgets included), going niche and expanding, later on, might be a better option. You may want to offer concert tickets only and partner with reputable vendors in your area. Here are some successful event discovery apps that decided to go niche:

    • Active – sports-related events for health buffs.
    • Lanyrd – a conference discovery app.
  • Jukely – offers an unlimited monthly pass for concerts and even hosts member-only concerts with some big names.


And here are some more app ideas that were not implemented just yet:

    • A VIP event discovery app that will curate the luxury experience in the area.
    • A concierge event app, which will connect you with local socialites, who’ll organize a unique day of unforgettable fun for you.
  • Global festival discovery app that will feature a calendar of the world’s coolest events and notify when tickets get on sale (e.g. for the Burning Man).

Blend in The Social Experience

One of the reasons why millennials are so obsessed with events is FOMO (Fear of missing out).

According to the same research by Harris Group, 68% of millennials regularly experience that dreadful feeling. Craving for recognition is another massive decision driver in this case. And to satisfy both feelings, millennials love sharing their experiences online:


Integrated social media sharing, curated photo feeds/opinion exchanges on certain events, Q&A or review section can drive the engagement stats within your app.

In fact, the most active social shares or tastemakers will be the power, who drives your app success. To encourage those, you can create a set of special reward badges, leaderboard, special functionality/discounts or other privileges.

Consider Integrating a Discount Aggregator

So millennials spend a lot on experiences. However, they tend to save even more. According to a research conducted by TodayTix, millennials have saved over $8,5 million last year on events by using discounts.

In fact, the main reason why millennials follow and interact with brands on social media is to score coupon codes or get notified about flash sales/promos.A recent flash ticket lottery conducted by TodayTix on social media has generated over 1.1 million entries. Surprisingly, men are more prone to grabbing the last minute sales.

How can you play this card?

    • Consider having a special “last moment” price tab with aggregated discounted deals.
    • You may want to create a special section, which will feature a variety of discount codes for promoted events.
  • Ask whether any of your business partners would be interested in offering you special prices.

Our Experience With Event App Development

Alty team has previously worked on GoRoam app – a multi-platform (native iOS and Android) event guide app that is aimed at answering the eternal question of where I should go out tonight.


This app features a map view of the events nearby pinned on the map with expanded rich listings for each. The product also features routing functionality and suggests distance and directions to the location.

Apart from the events like concerts, festivals and sports shows, the app also includes food & drinks suggestions, various entertainment options nearby like karaoke, bowling, ice skating rinks and so on.

Product owners have also teamed up with local ticket sellers and event organizers for in-app ticket distribution.

Where To Get The Data For Your Event Discovery App?

To build an event app on iOS or Android, you need to pack it with all the event data. Granted there are plenty of APIs you can use for that:

    • Facebook Events API – your app will need to ask the user’s permission to use their data, which will access user’s events, likes, and check-ins. Currently, you can only receive data about friend’s activity, however.

Additionally, you can also create smart data scrapers to gather insights directly from the venues/bands websites and partner with local event organizers to create company profiles and manual listings.

The Cost To Build an Event App

As always, we are wrapping things up with a project cost estimate. The cost to make a mobile event app on Android or iOS will be around $35,000 to $45,000 (including backend development and a simple web admin panel), but, as well, will depend on the kind of functionality you want to implement.

Care to learn more about the app development pricing? We’ve got a great guide describing the difference between fixed pricing and paying hourly rates to app developers.

Already have a product concept in mind? We’d love to share our insights and expertise. You can contact our team using the box below.

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