When Victor Anyirah arrived at AfroTech 2018, he had no clue a conversation with friends about finding the next move after the conference, would lead to the start of a business.
Often, “I hear the phrase ‘finding the next move.’ At that time, I sat in the back of the car with my friends trying to figure out what exactly determined the ‘move,’” said Anyirah. “Was it the most popular event? Was it the event that had the most people? I realized the ‘move’ was the place our community congregates. Some platforms do allow you to find experiences based on your location, mood or musical taste. However, none helped you find experiences based on your community or the communities that matter to you. That was the birth of the Movement.fm.”
Launched in May 2019, Movement.fm is an event platform curating everything from brunches to art shows and nightlife events for Black millennials. Now, Anyirah along with his co-founder, Tyler Bell and Kara Reeves, the head of the curation, are making plans to expand beyond Los Angeles and The Bay Area.
On the heels of planning The Culture Is Ours, a 3-day program to celebrate Black culture at SXSW Conference & Festival, Anyirah shares how user trust and consistent feedback helped the company grow.
AfroTech: Describe your biggest challenges since launching Movement.fm.
Victor Anyirah: Ticketing was one of our biggest challenges. We’ve met many organizers who want to work with us but because of existing ticketing and event contracts with venues, they’re prohibited from doing so. The market is fragmented at the bigger stages. So we are focused on working with smaller entities and event venues.
Figuring out what events to focus on was another challenge. Today, Movement.fm is very different from the Movement.fm I thought about during AfroTech 2018.
Initially Movement.fm was focused on nightlife. The more we spoke to our users, the more they told us they wanted to see everything for the culture, not just parties. We also observed the actions of our users. From that feedback, we continued to adapt and iterate. Now, thanks to our curation engine, we can quickly expand and curate experiences for multiple categories of events.
AT: Movement.fm also helps organizers reach their target audience, and sell tickets. How is Movement.fm different from what other platforms offer?
VA: We’ve built our ticketing system to be as simple as possible. Our organizers are paid days after a ticket is bought rather than days after the event ends so they’re able to get their income faster. The platform also shows information about recent ticket sales for an event that uses social proof to get users to buy tickets sooner rather than later.
Our technology also makes us different. Typically, to help communities discover experiences, there are companies that use an email list to inform people of things to do. Unlike those email lists, Movement.fm curates new experiences daily and sometimes hourly thanks to our human-powered curation engine. Plus our users can find experiences months in advance. This means travelers and locals get more value. When combined with our other features like “Live View” which allows users to see what’s happening at an event via IG stories, Movement.fm offers a truly unique experience among the existing platforms.
AT: With similar platforms on the market, how have you built trust with your audience of organizers as well as consumers?
VA: Establishing user trust is the most important of our work at Movement.fm. The first key to establishing trust is our curators. When users go to our web page or open up the app, the first thing most users see are the faces of the curators who curate experiences for them. They can click on the profile and see the curator’s Instagram account. This helps our users realize the person helping them find experiences are actually part of the community themselves.
Editorial Note: This piece has been revised and edited since its initial publishing.