By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
One of those frequently used quotes is that “everything happens for a reason.”
In the case of John Platillero, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EventBooking, it really is a truism. A serious family situation that coincided with the arrival of a new President has set the stage for enhanced product offerings that are just now coming online.
We had not caught-up with the Knoxville entrepreneur for an extended conversation since we published a two-part series (Part 1 and Part 2) on the company in late 2013. Much has changed in terms of how it delivers value to its customers, and much of that change began at a time of critical personal challenges for the Platillero family.
Founded in 1999, EventBooking focused for the next 14 years on venue managers, building the number one web-based tool to help those in the industry manage their facilities. We noted in one of our 2013 articles that EventBooking was in the process of adding a tool to support booking agents for singers and musical groups.
During our recent interview, we learned of significant change and progress at the company located in the Hardin Valley area of West Knoxville.
The change starts with Platillero thinking about the future and having his sights on Steve Mackenzie, a New Zealand native with considerable experience in the events industry. Once a competitor, Mackenzie left one of those employers, and Platillero hired him as a consultant for a few years.
“Finally, I told Steve that I think we’re ready for you full-time,” EventBooking’s Founder says of the decision that was based on further growing the company. They consummated the deal in November 2015, and Mackenzie joined the company on May 1 of last year.
Just days before – April 27 to be exact, David Platillero was t-boned while riding his bike in Nashville when a distracted driver ran a red light. His prognosis was uncertain for days and, as you can imagine, the parents rushed to Nashville.
“I was out for six or seven weeks,” the elder Platillero said. “Steve’s first day on the job was meeting me in the waiting room of Vanderbilt’s intensive care unit. Starting at that time was so fortunate. It set the stage for fresh ideas and new energy.”
Mackenzie is not the only key addition. EventBooking also added James Trimble last August as Vice President of Product Strategy. He’s a veteran of the artist management business, one of EventBooking’s target sectors.
“He (Trimble) helps build a great product, and Steve sells a great product,” Platillero says of the duo.
Today, the way that EventBooking is organized is much different, and the results are strong.
“Four years ago, everyone did a little of this and a little of that,” Platillero says. “I’m pleased to see how far we’ve come.”
That also applies to his son who survived the serious injuries and will be relocating to Los Angeles soon to be a music producer.
NEXT: What’s new in the product mix at EventBooking?