OccasionGenius: Enhancing Customer Experience Through Data-Powered Event Discovery

OccasionGenius helps people find fun, fast. First, OccasionGenius aggregates hard-to-find information about all upcoming events in every area, and second, adds a sophisticated level of “Event Intelligence” with patent-pending processes. Third, OccasionGenius understands users via a “Personalized Interest Genome” made up of implicit and explicit data points, and finally, forth, OccasionGenius connects people to the events that they would want to know about before those events happen.

OccasionGenius provides its unique dataset to large companies that target the “experiential consumer”. This includes hotels, which can now send an email to clients letting them know what events are happening during their stay — plus two days before and two days after, with a button to extend their stay. Airlines, online travel agencies, and other hospitality data companies can use OccasionGenius’ data for rate management, predicting occupancy and demand based on events. Financial services companies can use it to understand cardholder interests and create buying profiles. In addition, dating apps can use OccassionGenius’ data to make better matches and suggest better dates. All of these are made possible via OccasionGenius’ unique technology and dataset.


Mission to Aid Event Discovery

People today are prioritizing experiences over things; but when it comes to events, they typically discover them only after it’s too late. This is because there is no one place to go that lists all the events happening around them; and additionally, not only do they have to go to multiple sources — but each individual source feels overwhelming when they have to scan through the events that they don’t care about, looking for the ones that they do.

As a result, people end up missing out on, say, the Bacon and Brewery Festival, only to find out about it from pictures of their friends on social media at the event. They are left thinking, “I would’ve gone to that if I had known about it!”

While OccasionGenius is now uniquely positioned to change the way that people discover events, the company started out as a private event marketplace. Over time, OccasionGenius positioned itself to be more relevant, more of the time, to more people by capturing public event data instead of private event opportunities.


The Guiding Leader

Nate Marcus is OccasionGenius’ Founder and CEO. Nate began the company as a seasoned founder who previously formed a private events marketplace (under the same name) connecting event organizers to activities and venues available for group events. He sold the private events business which became EventZingo (www.eventzingo.com).


Distinctive Offerings to the Big Data Industry

When large companies discover OccassionGenius’ product, they say the same thing: that they have just been waiting for a clean set of data that aggregates localized information for them to move forward with their key initiatives. OccasionGenius’ clients have made it clear that until now, they have been waiting for a solution and big data has had yet to fill in this hole. The company is growing quickly precisely because of the uniqueness and sophistication of its dataset.


Collaborative Approach Driving Innovation

OccasionGenius has partnered with large ticketing providers such as Ticketmaster, Ticketfly, Eventbrite, Brown Paper Tickets, ETix and many more. But in order to provide “event discovery technology” that is truly innovative, it is not enough to gather event data from “low hanging fruit”, such as these partners. What OccasionGenius does that has never been done before is to pull from every local calendar site.


Plotting Future Via Current Layout

Large companies see OccasionGenius’ database like a LEGO that allows them to build great products. At first, these products will differentiate a brand from the rest of the competitors in its industry. But over time, as the expectations of travelers and users of other services adjust, companies will have to keep up to meet them. OccasionGenius, therefore, sees itself as “tablestakes” in the multiple industries that it works in.


Achieved Industry Decorations

OccasionGenius initially made waves when it won first place (and the $10,000 prize) in Richmond, Virginia’s largest startup competition, and then went on to sweep several award competitions from START! Peninsula to Capital One Labs, picking up titles such as “Best Richmond Tech Companies in 2019.”

In Q1 2019, OccasionGenius won first place in its city’s Tech Madness Bracket representing “the company readers would most want to invest in.” In 2019, OccasionGenius raised an additional funding worth $2.15 million, which capped off an aggregate $3.2 million Series Seed raise.


Pioneering Ahead of Challenges

Nate said in order to provide its innovative take on event discovery technology, OccasionGenius has had to pioneer solutions to several tech challenges – and all of them have had to be solved at the same time working in synergy. These included standardizing event data; translation and cultural challenges related to tagging international events; predicting the popularity of events via multiple data points; creating a lexicon of events; and de-duplicating events that the company pulls in from multiple sources.

Being the first to craft these solutions means that OccasionGenius has created a sizeable technological moat for anyone who attempts to follow into event discovery technology.


Shaping the Digital Future

Nate believes the big megatrends in almost all industries are: one-personalization; two-people are more digitally engaged than ever; and three-people are prioritizing experiences over things. In the words of a large financial services company that is looking into using the company’s services to differentiate their offerings, “experiences transcend transactions.” These three megatrends shape a future in which OccasionGenius’s data is increasingly essential.

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