A bit of background on Skiddle.com

Skiddle.com is the UK’s largest and busiest what’s on guides and one of the leading primary ticket outlets in the country.

Co-founders: Ben Sebborn and Rich Dyer

Skiddle was launched in May 2001 by Ben Sebborn and Rich Dyer. It was initially launched as a What’s on Guide for Preston in Lancashire, although later this would be expanded to incorporate Manchester and other North West locations and later still, the rest of the UK.

Ben and Rich met after Ben answered a post placed by Rich on a technology forum for local web developers, where Ben was setting up a student development group.

The initial concept for Skiddle evolved from an earlier project that Rich ran called StudentWeekly. At that time, Rich was studying at Cumbria Institute of the Arts whilst Ben was studying Computer Sciences at UCLAN.

Ben and Rich share a birthday which they don’t seem to find odd.

Ethos and the early days

Studying computer sciences, Ben recognised early on that in order to make Skiddle viable there needed to be an element of automation in adding events to the website or it the system would quickly become unmanageable. This need had been borne out by some of the difficulties Rich faced with StudentWeekly, which was updated manually on a weekly basis.

When launched in 2001, Skiddle.com was the first website to enable event promoters to upload an event to a listings website without the requirement for human intervention, using 2.0 technologies before the term came into general parlance in 2002.

In the beginning the site was monetised through advertising opportunities, with ads appearing around the event listings and editorial content. The website remained a side project for Ben and Rich for the first few years whilst they developed the network of event promoters using the site.

Starting with a tech lead approach and not immediately having to monetize has lead to a lean, market leading tech led business dedicated to helping people have fun. The foundation of the business as a what’s on guide remains important and is a fundamental pillar of the company’s offering.

Primary ticket outlet

In 2006 the business model was moved from a purely advertising revenue based model to focus on ticket sales.

As the business had already got a substantial client base of event promoters using Skiddle to list their events, the business was able to hit the ground running. As such as sell tickets for a vast range of event promoters from the small village fairs and intimate gigs through to the largest festivals.

Unlike secondary ticket outlets (where tickets are resold for inflated prices based on demand), as a primary ticket outlet Skiddle deals directly with event promoters / venues, selling tickets at the tickets face value and generating revenues from a booking fee.

Advertising still remains a significant revenue stream for the business with opportunities to advertise including onsite banner advertising, paid for featured events and email marketing (newsletters and eflyers).

Market leading solutions

From 2001 Skiddle has been creating and implementing tech lead solutions for the events sector. Skiddle was the first website to create a Facebook Ticket Shop App and later worked with the Facebook development team to create the first fully Facebook timeline integrated ticket shop app.

Event promoters use The Promotion Centre to update and manage their events and ticket sales. This has been developed over the past decade and is considered by many to be the most advanced system for managing event promotion online.

Skiddle’s entry management solution RapidScan is a barcode lead product and service which enhances venue security and onsite flow management. RapidScan is one of the highest specced solutions available on the market, having been designed to cope with the demands of multiple entry venues such as festivals.

In 2013 Skiddle became on the of the first primary ticket outlets to create a fully mobile responsive website. This provides mobile users with a better user experience and dramatically improving the mobile conversion rates, this was especially important in the events sector where mobile usage trends are traditionally high.

In order to assist the 4.5 million festival goers using Skiddle to search through the 700 festivals listed, our dev team created a highly personalised, advanced search function allowing users to easily select from thousands of variables, in order to find the festival that best fits their tastes. To date no other outlet has anything similar and is a major advantage for consumers.

Skiddle has also created a white label solution which means our technology is used to power listings and bookings on other websites, without the user feeling like they’ve left the site they’re on. These white labels are used by event promoters to sell tickets for their own events and members of our affiliate network who sell tickets on our behalf (including organisations such as Debenhams Box Office and Mixmag).

Weekends Matter

Skiddle further developed the consumer offering to incorporate other booking opportunities, such as hotels and restaurants, with the rationale that people often go to a restaurant before going out and/or stay at a hotel after a night out (especially when travelling to big events).

The strapline Weekends Matter was developed to provide the brand with the ability to diversify in the future whilst stressing that Skiddle is not just about going out clubbing. The basis of Skiddle’s consumer offering is facilitating a person to easily find a booking that suits them, meaning they really can get the most out of their leisure time.

Why customers and event promoters choose Skiddle

Skiddle is unique because we’re a what’s on guide that sells tickets. This is both a benefit to the event promoter (who may not want to list every event with tickets) and to the consumer as they get a better understanding of what’s on in their area.

Additionally promoters choose Skiddle due to the range of promotional tools and support Skiddle provide, which includes advertising, editorial coverage, online and offline marketing, event listings, ticket sales, entry management solutions, printed tickets and telephone based customer service.

Skiddle’s enviable reach and traffic volumes are also a clear advantage. Skiddle.com is now one of the top 300 most visited websites in the UK, making the website the second most visited primary ticket outlet in the country and in 2013 achieving 10 million unique visitors to the website. Please see the table below:


UK Traffic Rank































* Figures according to Alexa.com and were correct on 6th January 2014. Figures show website popularity based upon visitors and pageviews.

The future of Skiddle

Skiddle is still growing and consolidating our position within the UK however there are key foreign markets we’ve moved into in the last few years, these include Croatia and Ibiza. Skiddle has been developed to easily scale the offering to other locations and it’s possible to see Skiddle growing further outside the UK in the future.

Crucially, we’ll continue to deliver market leading solutions to the event sector whilst continuing to make sure Weekends Matter.