Humans are naturally social and we end up celebrating something or holding a meeting for a certain agenda. In the older system, people would either invite you to these events via word of mouth or via RSVP cards which you had to send back to confirm your attendance.
In modern times, we have digital versions of these form of event planning and invitations. Word of mouth is still prevalent, but the RSVP method has evolved into a whole industry that has dedicated event companies and in Kenya, we use them quite a lot..
There are a number of dedicated websites in Kenya and here are some of them.
Eventbrite is an American event management and ticketing website and it is one of the more popular websites when Kenyans want to create an event and issue tickets.
For people looking for events, they can search for events according to the event category, location and dates. If it has already determined your location, it will populate a list of events around you and even show you whether they are free or not.
For event organizers, there are different packages for one to create an event and the features provided are priced accordingly. They also have apps for both creators and attendees which makes the whole experience quite good.
You can understand why this is quite appealing to people. It is a known brand with proper assets (ecosystem with apps) and that is why it will still remain popular.
This is also a popular website that allows you to purchase tickets of events that are happening around you. Unlike Eventbrite, it doesn’t show you events around you based on location, but you can see the event location from the rather pleasing looking cards on the website. The tickets are grouped according to popular categories, which makes it easier for you to get what you want. There is also a platform for organizers to sell
A great thing about it is the simple interface where you purchase tickets that you want, add them to your cart and you can go ahead and purchase them by paying via VISA, MasterCard or M-PESA.
Ticketsasa is the other rather popular platform for people to look for, buy or post event tickets. It also has a similar business plan to Mookh which is a mixed ticketing service, but in this case, we are invested in the ticketing potion of the service.
Just like Mookh, you can’t see the events around you like how Eventbrite does it, but you can see a general view of the events available according to country.
Ticketsasa has a wider payment pool than Mookh. In addition to VISA, MasterCard and MPESA, you can also pay for your tickets via Airtel Money and PesaPal, which is great.
Miticket is another company in this seemingly competitive event ticketing industry and it looks just like the others.
You are able to see upcoming events at first glance on the webpage and they are shown in a card format. The dates for the events are displayed on the top right of each card.
According to the website, they have shown over 320 events, had close to 61,000 customers and over 1.8 million tickets have been sold on the platform.
When it comes to the purchasing experience, I was concerned by the fact that Chrome labels the website as ‘not secure’ due to the lack of https. However, fortunately, they don’t offer an option to pay via VISA or MasterCard for your tickets, only MPESA but in an interesting way. When you enter your phone number, you’ll need to keep your phone unlocked so that you can enter your MPESA pin to get your tickets.
Kenya Buzz is currently owned by the Nation Media Group and is diversified form of ticketing platform. They focus on allowing people to purchase tickets for movies online as well as discovering events.
The cinema scene in Nairobi has been here for a long time and the system has always been the idea of paying for the movie either before entering the hall or a few days before the screening of the movie.
With online ticketing platforms like Kenya Buzz, they allow you to buy tickets easily online and it shows which theater it will be screened. A cool thing is that you can choose seats and you can pay with more partners than Ticketsasa (VISA, MasterCard, JamboPay, M-PESA, Airtel Money, mVisa, Kenswitch and Masterpass).
However when it comes to regular events, Kenya Buzz only shows you the event and you can’t purchase the tickets, like how you would do with the cinema side of things.
This is a different kind of event website when you compare with the others. It is a blog where they list a couple of events that are happening specifically in Nairobi.
The purpose of the blog seems to hinge on informing you about events surrounding culture and the arts in Nairobi, simple! You can even submit an event to the blog and they charge a ‘donation fee’ to publish your event on their blog.
Hangout is a blog/online magazine that seems to aim to highlight various lifestyle events that are happening in the moment. You can check for concerts, movies or even general lifestyle events on the website under the named categories.
You can’t buy tickets to the events or concerts shown on the website, but you will be informed of where they will be held and the date.
This blog is just like Nairobi Now and serves the purpose to show you events you may want to participate in.
My ticket is another dedicated events website that looks quite similar to Mticket. It is way more colourful than Mticket for starters and shows tickets of interest at the bottom of the website.
You can check for upcoming events as well as check the entire event calendar using the tabs provided above. They also have a ‘near events’ sectioon which literally doesn’t show events near me ( I’m in Nairobi and it was showing events in Meru and Nanyuki) and it seems not to ask for your location, so I’d take that section with a grain of salt.
Just like Mticket, they have a featured event on their website, which is prominently displayed at the top. When you add your ticket to the cart for checkout, you’ll have to provide your billing details and pay via MPESA, just like in Mticket.
Eventtamu is the other dedicated website for events and they say they’ll ‘guide you to the hottest events happening in Kenya and Uganda.’
They have several categories for you to choose from, from theatre to sports to concerts to exhibitions, just like what we see with other websites.
When you check out the event, you are given basic details about it, like where it will be held and the time. The website does not process payments and when you hit on the ‘buy online’ button, it redirects you to a website of the organizer’s choosing for you to get your tickets. The website doesn’t have https for it to be secure.
From their website, if you want to submit a listing, you’ll be subjected to two levels of pricing. The free version will only allow you to have one submission that would last for a year. The more premium one, the multi-listing special costs Kshs 100 and will allow you to have upto 10 listings that last for 360 days and will be featured on the homepage.
Facebook is the odd one in this list since it is not a dedicated events website, but a general social network. Facebook is known for piling features upon features that people would use on the daily and one of them is events.
Events is one of the major features of Facebook. The company even decided to have a dedicated app for Events years ago which showed how important it is to their ecosystem.
There is a dedicated events tab on Facebook which you use to check out upcoming events, check what’s on your calendar and even create your own events. Based on your location (like Eventbrite), you can check what events are around you.
I believe Facebook is one of the best ways to discover events, especially if you’re in Kenya. The social network is used by millions of people around the country and it is the best way to inform people of an event. However, for ticketing services, they’ll have to link up with the other services like Mookh, Eventbrite, Ticketsasa or Kenyabuzz and that is its biggest undoing currently.