Ungerboeck on powering the post-pandemic return of live events

Ungerboeck is an event and venue management platform that provides over 50,000 event space owners and operators in 50 countries with a 360-degree view of their business. Based in St. Louis, Ungerboeck powers everything from local fairs to higher education campuses, conventions, sports stadiums, and performing arts venues. Notable users include New York City’s Lincoln Center, the Toronto Centre for the Arts, and the New Zealand International Convention Centre.

We spoke with head of payments Michael Misasi about the return of live events and how Stripe helps power Ungerboeck’s platform.

Products used

North America

The industry is still working through a backlog of events, and venues are seeing high demand for smaller, intimate gatherings – or, as we call them, incremental events. Attendance also continues to improve, which is very encouraging. However, staffing shortages remain an issue, which is increasing the strain on many operators. We see this as our opportunity to help customers operate more efficiently. One way is by improving finance and accounting operations through self-service tools alongside Ungerboeck Payments, a combination that can save teams a lot of time collecting invoices and reconciling payments.

Who are the event and venue operators you support?

Every planner, venue, and organiser wants to ensure the event is memorable. There are differences in the purpose behind each event, the type of community that’s coming together, and how the venue and event organiser measures success.

Some are mission-driven, like performing arts centres and festivals looking to support a cause. Trade shows and exhibitions measure success by sponsorships and attendees. Local fairs bring families and local shops in the community together. Sporting events, where the community is coming together to support a team that can be an extension of the city, are another great example.

How do you approach new markets to ensure you’re serving the customers’ needs?

Ungerboeck learns the nuances of each venue and event at a very granular level so that our software can solve complex problems in an optimal way for a specific customer.

Payments are a great example. Some customers have a massive consumer segment with high-velocity transactions – so speed and simplicity of checkout is critical. Others support businesses at events and tend to have lower-velocity payments that may require more information and extra terms and conditions before completing the payment.

Because our platform serves both ends of the marketplace, Ungerboeck can apply its deep industry knowledge to create payment solutions specific to each customer’s needs.

What role do payments play for your platform’s users?

Payments ensure an event is memorable, frictionless, and financially successful. Attendees and operators want a clear invoice, the ability to pay with their preferred payment method, and to spend as little time and energy as possible submitting the payment. These expectations are true whether you’re booking a venue, reserving a booth, or purchasing tickets. If the process becomes confusing or time consuming, the quality of your event experience, and consequently your brand, is diminished. The right payments strategy helps you meet the needs of payers, maximise revenue and timely cash flow, and streamline financial operations.

How do you manage payments beyond the consumer experience? 

One aspect of payments that is a little less exciting to consumers but important for businesses is bookkeeping and reconciliation. Companies have cancellations, refunds, upcharges, and many other small things leading up to, during, and after the event. The complications of payment activity and money flow make it challenging for understaffed teams to track what is owed to them and what they owe to partners.

Fortunately, Stripe is helping us solve this problem, ensuring all aspects of the accounts receivable are considered. Stripe brings visibility to every single transaction that happens within our product.

Can you explain how Stripe integrates with Ungerboeck and where you’re seeing the most value from Stripe?

Stripe is helping Ungerboeck in the critical areas of compliance, fraud detection, and security. Ungerboeck serves customers in many different countries, each of which has its own regulations and processes for enabling a business to accept electronic payments. Stripe stays updated on these ever-changing requirements so that we’re compliant and setting up our customers for success from their very first payment.

Stripe also handles the security of payment details, which gives us peace of mind and reduces the burden on Ungerboeck of maintaining PCI compliance. Lastly, Stripe has tools that empower us to monitor fraud and apply custom security rules designed for our customers. We’re happy to have Stripe as a partner that helps us be prepared for whatever is next.

How do you see the partnership with Stripe evolving as we move forward?

Ungerboeck and Stripe are taking what’s existed for a while – events and payments – and finding areas to innovate. We’re helping venues address the broader challenge of money flow and reconciliation. We’re facilitating cash-flow management across multiple parties. Our collaboration is processing payments faster while simplifying inventory management and accounting. That gives vendors more confidence in us for their events.

Ungerboeck and Stripe are global, meaning we don't need 20 different providers throughout the globe to handle payments. We can just work with Stripe in Australia as we would in the UK or the US, giving us the flexibility to dive deeper with you down the road. That’s powerful. We’re excited about bringing Ungerboeck Payments to additional countries with Stripe.

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