As CEO and Co-Founder of Broadw.ai and with two decades of experience in creating, operating and marketing live events, Micah is an innovator in the live entertainment space. Indeed, with Broadw.ai, he has recreated the ultimate audience experience, moving the customer conversation to the web from the box office window by offering superior technology solutions. Here’s Micah’s thoughts on how his AI platform allows marketers to have a direct to consumer conversation regarding their product. A product which is already being utilised by iconic shows like Wicked and Phantom of the Opera!
Please could you give a brief summary of your career journey so far…
My background is primarily commercial theatre where I’ve worked in a variety of roles starting in the mid-nineties – from an administrative assistant to management. It turns out that Broadway is very much like the startup world: fast paced, volatile, collaborative and highly entrepreneurial. Managing and leading teams through crisis, and hopefully success, quickly becomes a learned skill!
How did the idea for Broadw.ai originate and what is the key to your success?
I met the team at Satisfi Labs (conversational AI platform for retailers and live events) regarding working on an automated engagement platform. They showed us a customer service tool for in venue and we immediately saw the opportunity to adapt this platform to recreate the experience of purchasing tickets at the box office digitally.
What’s the most important aspect of your role as CEO?
Listening. We are still very young. For clients, or potential clients, we need to understand their priorities, clearly state what we can provide, and then over deliver. Internally, especially with our tech partners at Satisfi Labs, listen and ruthlessly assess what to prioritise and deliver to market.
Please can you tell our readers more about Broadw.ai: your structure, how you operate as a company, plus how your business model differs to other AI companies…
Our goal is to provide you with a completely transparent conversational sales funnel that you can place nearly anywhere digitally. We are not a third party brand, we don’t get between you and your data, and the relationship with your primary ticketing partner remains unchanged. Our business model is SaaS and our partners determine where and how they would like to utilise our technology.
When did your love of the stage start?
I saw a semi-professional production of Guys and Dolls at Stage West in Springfield Massachusetts, USA, when I was 12. From that day on I was hooked!
Let’s talk more about the tech involved: please could you tell us about Broadw.ai’s platform as a full experiential concierge / assistant…
Our goal is to provide the simplest, quickest way to purchase tickets. As consumers grow more familiar with the technology (for live events and especially retail) they will come to expect that a digital concierge or smart assistant will be available to them wherever they are online.
How did you establish Broadw.ai’s trusted partnership with Ticketmaster and Telecharge?
This took time and was based in my long standing relationships in the industry. We understood what their immediate business concerns would be and spent a significant period of time talking and putting together an approach that both partners would be comfortable with.
Please could you tell us more about the USP of your platform (allowing marketers and advertisers to have a direct to consumer conversation regarding their product)…
We provide a completely transparent sales funnel for your digital site(s). Sites which you have devoted and continue to devote a great deal of time and resources to drive traffic and engagement. For many of our live event partners, this represents the first time that they can sell directly to their fans. They control the messaging, the experience, the pricing and they get the added benefit of the learnings behind the data their fans create.
What evolution and trends in the Broadway scene do you expect to see in Q2 of 2019?
All things mobile, in particular ticketing, will continue to grow. I think we’ll also see some kind of restrictive or non-transferable ticket be tested in the marketplace. If successful, this ticket type could lead to a new class of lower priced tickets for die hard fans of the event.
Broadw.ai’s technology allows theatregoers to purchase tickets directly from a Broadway show’s website itself, avoiding fraud tickets and service fees. How did you ensure this was possible, plus how did you solve any glitches with the technology?
We spent a significant amount of time with each integration partner (Ticketmaster and Telecharge). Once our approach was approved by both partners, we spent time with each company building an API integration that could scale. That being said, as with all technological projects, you are never truly done. We continue to improve each integration on an incremental basis, based on UX data.
Please could you give us a list of the iconic Broadway shows that utilise Broadw.ai services currently…
Anastasia, Be More Chill, Come From Away, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked. Coming soon – The Cher Show, King Kong and Moulin Rouge.
What was your dream job as a child?
I was born an entrepreneur. At age nine I was selling vegetables at the local farmers’ market. I had an apron branded ‘Micah’s Growing Business.’
Finally, what is your life motto?
Remember where you came from, while your eyes are on the horizon.