Eventbrite’s New Card Reader Lets Small Events Sell Tickets at the Door

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If you’re throwing a small event in an independent venue, using Ticketmaster doesn’t make a lot of sense. It takes a long time to set up and the costs are hard to swallow, especially if you’re talking about something like a fundraiser or community concert.

That’s the market where startups like Eventbrite and Brown Paper Tickets have really made their mark. The problem is that while buying tickets online is easy, the process of buying them at the door is the same as it’s always been: cash only.

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Thus the introduction of Eventbrite’s new “At The Door” card reader — a thin, plastic reader that attaches to the iPad. That in itself isn’t the impressive part; plenty of companies, from Square to PayPal, have similar technologies.

What makes this particular reader interesting is how it integrates with Eventbrite’s software. You simply pony up $10 for the device and then connect it to your iPad, which, when equipped with a free custom app, links everything to your Eventbrite account. That way you can keep track of how many tickets you’ve sold and how much money you’ve made in one place and give customers the convenience of using a credit card — a big plus when trying to make your event look professional.

The last time I threw an event — a fundraising concert for a community organization — I felt like I was in high school, taking cash and marking down sales with a black marker. I also would have had huge problems if the event got any bigger than estimated or planned for.

At The Door changes all of that. Yes, Eventbrite has been used at big events, but its real strength is in helping out the little guys who can’t afford huge fees or giant, well-established venues. It also helps traveling events keep all of their records in one place.

While the days of handing over a $5 bill to see your friend’s band aren’t over, at least now organizers have another option.

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