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Eventbrite Doubles Down on Event Discovery, Lands Former eBay Executive as a New Board Member

A new adviser will help Eventbrite build out the discovery part of its service.

Lorrie Norrington, a well-regarded veteran tech executive who got her start at General Electric and then Intuit, is joining Eventbrite’s board as an independent adviser. She replaces longtime board member Alan Braverman.

Norrington has had a long run in Web 1.0 marketplaces. She served as CEO of price comparison site and ran eBay’s international division after it acquired in 2005. She eventually became the president of eBay marketplaces, before resigning for personal reasons, which was considered a blow to the company at the time.

Her arrival comes as event ticketing service Eventbrite is looking to expand in Latin America and Asia Pacific. “This is the beginning of a huge market opportunity for experiences that never existed before,” Norrington said in an interview with Re/code. Because Eventbrite creates ways for organizers to reach communities, it can enable new types of events. A spokesperson pointed to trends like color runs, zombie runs and Tough Mudders as examples.

“You would have never thought in 1990 when eBay was starting that you could literally have had the birth of millions of retailers,” Norrington said. “I think the same thing will happen with Eventbrite. You’ll have people who are going to be [event] organizing entrepreneurs.”

Eventbrite is in a particularly good position to push itself as an events discovery engine, the company said. “As early as six months ago you would go to our website and there was not a search bar.” But these days, there’s monthly calendars of events for different cities and ways to filter listings by topic, location and time.

Since it’s the de facto self-serve ticketing choice for organizers of small- and medium-size events, it already has a plethora of regular content across the world — last year alone it processed $1.5 billion in gross ticket sales for attendees in more than 180 countries.

It has the hard part — event collection — taken care of. It just wants to do a better job of surfacing it for people, and that’s where Norrington will come in. “You’re going to see a lot more focus on the front end of the marketplace,” she said.

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