How building a website helped Bonanza build a brand

How building a website helped Bonanza build a brand

We spoke to Timi Oluwasanmi, Founder of Bonanza - the ultimate fun, party and music experience in Nottingham - about building a website and a brand.

Tell us a bit about your brand and how it got started
At Nottingham Trent University I would hear the same complaint in my fourth year as I'd heard in my first year. There wasn’t enough entertainment for people who are interested in black culture, especially quality entertainment.

I did my research and realised that I could run for a Student Union position, get elected and make a change. I was President of the SU, did a Masters degree then I co-founded Bonanza. The goal is to create an ecosystem of music, entertainment, events and media brands that support the discovery and creation of talent.

Events were the easiest thing to do first because they are a good money maker and it’s easy to do other things if you do events well. The Students' Union, who I have a good relationship with, let us host events at their venue which is one of the best venues in the city.

Our first event was summer 2019. Now, after Covid, we’ve come back even better than before with a new website (thanks to you guys) and branding.

What was the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity during Covid?
The biggest challenge was the same for everyone, not being able to run events.

Covid proved that some plans we had, like live streaming events, were valuable. Now we want to livestream from live events so that people who are not able to attend, like under 18’s, can see what it is all about. If those people then come to your events to experience them IRL when they are 18, your audience grows.

We were able to come back after Covid with a clearer idea of what our brand is about. You can sell tickets through word of mouth, social media or flyering easily, but building a brand is a challenge. We wanted to build something that we can etch into your memory. You see our logo, you know what we are about.

What made you realise that you needed a custom built website?
We had a stop, start, stop, start experience to starting Bonanza (because, Covid). We thought it would be great if we relaunched with our own website. By building a website now, we can add to it as we grow the different parts of our business.

The best and worst feedback we had was that the show was so good people didn’t go to the bar! We want to give people a snippet of what our events are like when they come to our website. It’s energy, it’s a performance, it’s a show.

New university students come to the city every year so it’s a great market to tap into. If you have a reputation in that market, you can maintain it. The website sets the tone for where we want to be over the next few years. It’s been a key addition to our business.

How did you find the experience of building a website with FIXR?
I hadn’t built a website myself before so it was an interesting experience. The process was relatively easy and quite straightforward. I work with co-founders and partners and one of them has been involved in designing websites before so we worked on design ideas together before passing it over to you guys to build. We were able to take time to get it exactly where we wanted it to be pre-launch.

What difference have you seen in performance since having a website?
We sold 500 tickets in less than 24 hours recently. That’s the fastest we’ve ever got to 500 ticket sales and the website definitely helped with that. We released priority tickets to people who signed up an hour before tickets went on general sale. This built up follower demand and guaranteed immediate ticket sales.

What’s next for Bonanza?
This academic year we’re doing three events. Next academic year, we’re doing six!

For our first event in 2019, Nottingham Trent Students' Union did our ticketing. When approached by you, I talked to them about managing our own ticketing. They were aware of and respected FIXR which made our case for switching stronger. I know from experience that Student Unions are selective about the companies that they trust and work with.

Also, I liked that you guys did your research and wanted to work with us. We’re a start-up and I feel like we have the same energy, mentality and willingness to get things done. I want to work with people who share that.

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