Photo by Melissa Gayle

Eventbrite | Case Study

How Wanderlust Brings Mindful Adventure to Festival-Goers in 20 Countries

Mindfulness and self-care are top of mind for many event attendees. So it’s no surprise that devotees of yoga and other healthful lifestyles are flocking to festivals that combine yoga and mindfulness practice with music, community, sustainable food, and fitness.

Wanderlust, a leading wellness brand, has been at the forefront of that movement. Organizing more than 50 events each year across the U.S. and 19 other countries, Wanderlust attracts thousands of attendees around the globe. But to do so effectively requires a calm and focused mindset — which was not always possible with their previous event management technology.

“Our tagline is ‘Find your true north.’ We help people to live a healthy and inspired life,” says Sean Hoess, Wanderlust’s CEO and co-founder. “The core principles for us are yoga and meditation practice, fitness, and new ideas — and then we combine all that with live music and a festival atmosphere.”

But despite Wanderlust’s focus on relaxation and rejuvenation, the process of registering for the festivals used to be a major source of stress for its fans and staff.

Wanderlust by the numbers:


increase in ticket sales from 2013 to 2018*


More than 600,000 tickets sold globally*


events in 2018


countries in 2018


full-time staff

* Wanderlust internal data

The challenge: A difficult ticketing process for users — and the Wanderlust team

Wanderlust wanted to present fans with a registration experience that was as stress-free as the festival itself. But their previous ticketing technology was a constant source of frustration to their customers — and their staff.

Wanderlust presented two challenges to a ticketing provider: how to manage multiple ticket types, each with different access rights to hundreds of different classes, and how to integrate with 3rd party scheduling solution to allow attendees to enroll in classes. When an attendee buys a ticket to a Wanderlust event, they don't just buy admission to the festival. After they register, they can then choose from multiple classes within the event to build their personal festival schedule. Poorly designed technology in Wanderlust’s early years led to overbooked classes, overlapping schedules, and frustrated attendees.

Photo by Guy Fattal

“When you buy your ticket, suddenly you have access to 300 classes across four days, some of which involve an additional ticket, some of which don't,” Hoess says. They needed a solution that would restrict attendees from double-booking, track class capacity, and provide a simple interface to the customer.

Things got even more complicated when people bought tickets for their friends, because the tickets remained associated with the original buyer’s schedule, often leaving one customer with two schedules and the other with none.

Wanderlust knew they needed a change. “We needed a process that would allow a buyer to purchase a ticket, go straight into scheduling desired events and classes, and have a great experience,” Hoess says.

Photo by Amanda Senior

The solution: A seamless purchase experience with Eventbrite

When Wanderlust approached Eventbrite, Hoess made it clear that a simple platform to manage registration and scheduling was absolutely critical.

“The advantage of Eventbrite is it's an open API platform. You can connect other software products to it quite easily,” says Hoess. “Very quickly our third party scheduling provider, a company called Sched, was able to build a great bridge between the two products.”

Eventbrite’s streamlined and integrated checkout means that customers will be able to start their journey, easily select their festival ticket, and effortlessly schedule their event.

“Eventbrite worked with a third-party company that provides the scheduling functions and built a great bridge between the two products. Using that, we launched a new and better experience for our customers.”

– Sean Hoess, CEO and co-founder of Wanderlust

“Then they will be able to select lodging and add-on experiences, such as rafting, a farm to table dinner, or aerial yoga. Information on all the tickets they purchase is passed from Eventbrite to Sched via API, allowing the attendee to immediately schedule their included classes and add-ons right after purchasing, Hoess continues.

“They can also transfer any extra tickets to their friends using Eventbrite’s existing tools, ensuring that each attendee ends up with one personalized schedule of activities. The lack of friction had a very positive effect on our business and on customer satisfaction.”

This checkout process collects the customer information Wanderlust needs, including custom survey questions, and creates a detailed record of each activity scheduled with the ticket. “With this in place, we know exactly what our customers need for any event,” Hoess says.

Photo by Melissa Gayle

“In 2019, Wanderlust will utilize Eventbrite’s built-in QR codes, which also are integrated with Sched, to allow real-time scanning of attendee credentials to ensure that attendees are enrolled and have access to the class they’re entering. This opens up a wide variety of creative credential types, as the QR codes can be affixed to almost anything.

In addition, Wanderlust is in the process of using Eventbrite’s flexible platform to build its own internal checkout system. “I’m really excited by that,” Hoess says. “We will be able to create a customized purchase flow, still powered by Eventbrite, but that sits on our own website. It’s a huge improvement for us.”

Photo by Guy Fattal

Reducing service requests saves time for a lean staff

Despite hosting more than 50 events a year, Wanderlust operates its customer service with a lean staff. Before, “we’d get swamped with queries from people not understanding something in the registration or checkout,” Hoess says. “Giving them help was time-consuming and expensive.”

But that’s changed since switching to Eventbrite.

Now, fewer staffers can handle a larger workload thanks to the sharp reduction in customer service requests. “That’s a testament to the tools that we’ve developed with Eventbrite,” Hoess says.

“We were able to launch festivals in Australia and New Zealand relatively quickly using the exact same set of tools and software, and the same website that we already had. That's been another huge benefit for us.”

– Sean Hoess, CEO and co-founder of Wanderlust

Photo by Melissa Gayle

Identifying opportunities for future growth

Wanderlust needs to know as much as possible about its customers in order to serve them better.

In addition to simplifying and improving the experience for its customers, Hoess says Eventbrite’s API has helped Wanderlust identify new opportunities for growth.

Shortly after switching to Eventbrite, Wanderlust built a database that collects data across all events in real-time.

“Every day it pulls in all the customer data, geo data, and demographic data from the Eventbrite platform, and then we analyze it ourselves,” says Hoess. “The insights provided by that data give clues to customer patterns, repeat visits, and how new events in different areas are likely to attract new and repeat customers.”

Photo by Ali Kaukas

A partnership with shared values

Community isn’t just a marketing slogan for Hoess — it’s an important part of his personal belief system. “When you host a group of people who share interests and values and bring them together, something powerful happens. Human connection enables strength, inspiration and creativity,” he says.

Even beyond the technology, Hoess appreciates Eventbrite’s democratic roots and the team spirit of its consultants. “Eventbrite is free for a lot of people to use, and if you want to create an event it’s very easy. I think that has greatly expanded access to events, maybe in the same way that we’ve greatly expanded access to yoga and meditation practice.

Photo by Melissa Gayle

“When you hang out with the Eventbrite team, there is a very strong community bond, a sense of friendship and teamwork,” Hoess says.

That partnership will become even more important as Wanderlust adds two-day festivals in seven U.S. cities and plans new events in Germany and Asia.

”The 2019 event lineup will feature new immersions with master teachers, two-day urban festivals, along with the flagship festival and 108 events. We are growing rapidly,” says Hoess. “Having Eventbrite on our team gives me added confidence that we will succeed.”

Photo by Diana Gerstacker

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