Changes at Active Network Put Emphasis on Sales, Social Networks

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the kind of really low-cost tools that we have now.”

As the new executive chairman sees it, the Active Network is creating a whole new industry around activities and events reservations. “We’re automating an industry and defining an industry at the same time”—and that is a fundamentally different sale than encouraging a corporate customer to give up their enterprise software system and instead pay a monthly charge to let somebody else provide basically the same service over the Web.

One encouraging trend that makes the job easier is that traffic from mobile users on Active Network websites has gone from 6 percent to almost 20 percent in roughly a year. While that represents a challenge in terms of developing software for mobile users, Alberga says it also represents a clearer added value proposition for event organizers. “We’re better off with more traffic in mobile,” Alberga says, “Mobile is good for us.”

In recent years, the Active Network also has been moving to create online communities for the people who are registering for swim meets and other events. So the company has been working to improve the social networking aspects of its business, and enabling its online communities to move their social networking offline, into the real world.

People who meet online by talking about an upcoming marathon or beach volleyball tournament can meet offline at those events. A recent survey of Active Network users also revealed that the second-biggest reason users give for signing up for an event is that they have friends or relatives who are participating in the same event.

As a result, users who are using the Active Network to register for an event are offered an opportunity to notify their friends through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

“We’re taking advantage of every opportunity to have entrants leverage through social media,” Alberga says. “They’re essentially letting their friends and family know that they have registered for an event. By bringing this into the registration process,” he says, “we’re driving really benefits to consumers.”

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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