In previous years, there has never been a question of how to ticket our events. We simply go to Eventbrite, and off we go. Now however, we have a choice, and this year, BarCamp Manchester decided to issue their tickets a little differently.
In order to help support a local business, BarCamp Manchester turned to Fatsoma to manage their ticket releases.
Fatsoma are based in the Hive in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, and have seen their business grow rapidly over the last few years, and so it was great for us to be able to support a local digital company by using them to distribute our tickets.
On the 11th July we had our first (accidental) ticket launch.
A few months ago, we set up ticketing on Fatsoma and ran some tests to make sure all the information we needed was coming through ok. After finishing, rather than deleting the test batch of tickets, we just moved the release date forward a few months.
And then forgot about it.
The tickets actually released on the 10th July, but with no announcement, no promotion, and without even advertising the link to the ticket page, someone managed to notice and bag themselves the first ticket for BarCamp Manchester 6 within 24 hours! Which we think is pretty impressive…..
So in honour of their sneakiness, we left the other 49 tickets live, did a quick announcement, and in less than 40 minutes the whole lot had gone! We swiftly released another 20, and again, all 70 tickets had been snapped up in under an hour.
This was great news for BarCamp Manchester, and really does show us how in demand our tickets are, and we were really excited for the next ticket release.
But there was just one problem…..
In order to obtain your ticket from Fatsoma, you have to sign up and create an account with them. This might not be a big deal for many of you, but for some, one of the questions was not well received.
Asking someone their gender, and providing the tick boxes of male/female is something that for a lot of us we would never consider being an issue. But for those people who have a non-binary gender identification, being forced to make this choice can be quite upsetting.
Earlier this year, at the Manchester Girl Geek’s BraCamp, there was a brilliant talk by Kitation (based on this blog post) on how you should ask for someone’s gender, and we were shown how in today’s society, it is now far more complicated than identifying as either male or female.
By the end of the session, we learnt that the correct way to ask for someone’s gender is to provide the additional option of “non-binary” and “prefer not to answer”, but the question still remained, as to why we are asking in the first place?
Does your data really need to know what gender someone is? At BarCamp Manchester, we pride ourselves on the diversity of our attendees, and this is good information to pass to our potential sponsors, to show them just how diverse our audience is. In this instance, we do need to ask for people’s gender, but we can justify why we are asking. Do you need to know someone’s gender when they purchase a ticket for an event?
We spoke to Fatsoma about this issue, and they agreed that the gender question wasn’t needed. Since then they have put aside other projects and made this change a primary focus for their development team.
Today, we are happy to announce that when signing up for Fatsoma, you will no longer be asked to provide your gender, and to celebrate, we’ll be releasing another batch of tickets later this week!
Fatsoma told us,
It is of Fatsoma’s belief to provide people with a platform to live one’s life the way they wish to live it. From a data collection perspective, we never imagined how upsetting a question could be, however, we listen, we learn, and we make the right changes. Thank you to all who have made an effort to make us remember to respect the individual and encourage our community. We are proud to have made the change and have removed the gender selector from the signup process. Roll on BarCamp Manchester 6!
We also spoke to Fatsoma’s Communications Officer, Caitlin Frutko, who said;
From a personal standpoint, I think Fatsoma is awesome because the founders truly believe in the company philosophy of “Your Life. Your Way.” From day one, they have wanted to provide people i.e. organisers, ticket reps, and event goers, with an online platform that would not only sell tickets, but encourage people to get out, discover, and to have an experience – to be authentic to ones’ self.
We think that this is an awesome outlook for a company to have, and we’re really happy that Fatsoma took the time to listen and make a change for the better.
To celebrate we’ll be releasing another batch of tickets very soon, so join our mailing list to be the first to know!
Are you ready to sign up for BarCamp Manchester? Then head on over to Fatsoma, the next batch of tickets will be available soon!