Launched post-pandemic in May 2021, partners Miia and Uzair Khan co-founded Eventual because of their shared desire to create systemic global change in the events industry. Now embarking on its 3rd year in business, we caught up with Miia to learn more about Eventual’s mission to empower consumers to influence the global events landscape.
Hi Miia, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. Firstly, could you please tell us more about yourself, your background, and how you came to start Eventual?
My background is in marketing and PR. I built a successful career in working with some of the most renowned worldwide brands as director and partner at a leading strategic consultancy in the Nordics. I enjoyed it but I gradually came to realise that I wanted to leave a personal and positive impact on the world somehow. When I met my partner Uzair Khan in 2015 in an electric music club (Club Kaiku in Helsinki) we realised we think alike. He comes from a technology background and I come from a PR and marketing background, but we are both driven to create positive change. We’re both fascinated by music and events and realised the opportunity to make the events industry more democratic.”
“We’re both fascinated by music and events and realised the opportunity to make the events industry more democratic.”
Can you clarify exactly what Eventual aims to do?
“Essentially, Eventual is a new tech startup that provides a platform - namely our website - for events and culture. It’s been set up for absolutely everyone to use: promoters, venues, artists, people who want to attend events, and event organisers too. As far as we are aware this is a new way of working in the events industry. We want to allow the consumers to dictate the demand for certain types of events in different areas of the world.”
And can you give us more detail on how Eventual works?
“How does it work? Well, for example, one of the tools our website offers is a crowdfunding function. Because we offer events to be organised via crowdfunding it essentially takes the risk out of it for people and this means that the market is now much more accessible to people who may not have had access previously, and by committing to buying a ticket the consumer confirms the demand for the event, thus allowing the organiser to know exactly how many people will be attending the event. Another facility we offer is our ticketing platform, however, it’s important for us that people don’t consider us solely as a ticketing agency.”
“Because we offer events to be organised via crowdfunding it essentially takes the risk out of it for people and this means that the market is now much more accessible.”
This sounds brilliant! Is this just for music-related events, or is it open to other kinds of events too?
“It’s a global platform so we don’t want to set any limits or borders for people, and we are not necessarily only interested in music events. It can be any kind of event from Tik Tok meet and greet and it can be whatever you might imagine an interesting gathering is for people.
Are you able to give us some examples of these events?
One example is a club called Sober Furious which has been organised via the Eventual platform. It's a club concept for sober people. The first Sober Furious event took place in March 2022. We asked people ‘are you in?’ and almost 1000 people backed this campaign. As a result, it has become popular enough that it’s spread through Finland and is happening in different cities (Helsinki, Turku, and Tampere) and currently takes place 4 times a year.
We’ve also had filmmakers, such as Liiton Valtakunta and Noita Kallio, who have crowdfunded their premieres from our platform, enabling them to get their films on the big cinema screens at Korjaamo Kino and Amos Rex."
You say Eventual is aiming to ‘turn the model of the events industry upside down’. Is this because Helsinki and Finland are considered remote destinations? Or, is it a result of touring costs having doubled globally since the pandemic?
“It’s a cluster of problems that Eventual is on a mission to solve. I believe that this is actually great timing. The industry was so badly affected during the pandemic that it allowed this moment for reflection and change, and for a new way to move forward.”
“With Eventual, the consumer becomes the decision maker because we are creating in-demand events (led by them) in their desired locations around the world. We are trying to reduce the need for people to travel unnecessarily and thus reducing carbon footprint, and we are also creating opportunities for people to reduce the potential travel costs by creating events closer to home. If there is demand for a certain artist in a certain location then Eventual seeks to make it plausible and stop people having to travel to other countries and cities unnecessarily.”
“Also, Eventual shares clear sales insights with hosts and artists and eradicates the risk factor for them, making hosting an event a more democratic prospect."
“The industry was so badly affected during the pandemic that it allowed this moment for reflection and change, and for a new way to move forward.”
Can you tell us more about who makes up the Eventual team?
“The founders have different strenghts. Uzair is good at simplifying things and making them understandable. Toni Rantanen, also known as Lil' Tony (DJ), is a founder of Flow Festival which is a leading European music and arts festival and one of the first carbon neutral festivals in the world. It's a forerunner in many ways. He brings 30-plus years of experience in the industry and he helped validate our concept. Our 4th partner compliments the whole with an analytics background. Additionally, we have other people on our team too, including a strong presence of UX designers, developers, content creators, community managers, and administration.
Can you tell us how Eventual has been funded and what funding you have received during the development stages of Eventual?
“All four founders have invested personal funds into the company. We’re super lucky to also have RRF funding from Business Finland. Now, we have our first round of funding open to investors too. The reason for only opening up to investors now is that we wanted to wait until we could show that we are creating revenue, and we now are, so we have opened our first round of funding now. If people are interested in investing they can either contact us or NODE by Slush.”
Are you making a profit?
“Since launching our numbers have gone up month by month which is a really good signal. We currently have 22,000 registered users and 80,000 monthly page views. I hope we will create profit by next year. If we can bring the investors on then that means we can grow.”
Who would your ideal investor be?
“I think for us an ideal investor would be someone who is mission-driven and wants to help us change this industry. We want to create a business, but the purpose is a mission to be more inclusive and create something that is fair and brings people together. A mission-driven investor who wants to make a change - that would be optimal!”
“For us a mission-driven investor who wants to make a change - that would be optimal!”
The Eventual mission appears to herald democratisation and diversity. What does diversity mean to Eventual?
“Great question. For us, diversity means everything. It’s something that we can’t define, but we are a platform where the consumers themselves define what diversity is all about. Our Eventual team is also very diverse. We come from different backgrounds and cultures, such as Pakistan, Portugal, UK, and Finland, and we are all of different age groups and genders. We are female-founded and proud of that!”
How do you find that people find out about Eventual? Is it word of mouth, or do you have a specific marketing campaign and a target reach?
“The people who experience our platform are the best advocates for it, so yes, to a large extent we hope that they spread the word. In later stages, possibly when we are more known, I think marketing activities will be important. However, at this stage, it’s most important for us to work closely with local communities and people, and ask them how we can move forward.”
“The people who experience our platform are the best advocates for it”
Have you met or teamed with any like-minded brands or individual allies who champion the Eventual brand?
“This has been the best part of the job. Creating something new and then meeting people who see the same problems. Just the other day I was talking to a consultant at Live DMA (the non-governmental European association that supports live music) and they said to me ‘this is spot on and what needs to be done’. It gives me a good feeling that someone who has been in the industry for a long time is giving the green light on what we are doing. Also, young promoters who are excited about this opportunity and want to create something new! These have been some of the best meetings.”
Lastly, is there anything challenging that Eventual is currently facing?
“The hardest part is changing the industry after it’s been working in that outdated way for such a long time. I'd be lying if I said it’s easy, however, every startup nowadays is facing struggles because of the situation - globally - that we are in. For example the war in Ukraine, and also the economy not being in such a great situation. But I still want to believe that when you create something that stems from an inner calling, then you will find the right people and realise that it is the right time.”
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