We received some sad news that Groupon will be shutting down SideTour on June 1st, 2015. Here is the official announcement that was sent to all event hosts on April 14th, 2015:
Important: Changes to Your Host Account Starting June 1st
As many of you know, in the fall of 2013, SideTour joined forces with Groupon to provide our hosts with a much larger audience for your unique experiences, and to offer the Groupon audience access to those experiences. Over the last year and a half, we’ve learned a lot about this business, and as a result of our learnings, we’re integrating our operations and resources more tightly with Groupon. This shift brings with it important changes to how we do business.
On June 1, 2015, we’ll be consolidating our operations under groupon.com. After this date:
* You will no longer be able to sell inventory through the sidetour.com website.
* We will continue to sell inventory for dates occurring before June 1, but will not be adding any dates after this point. Starting April 21, you will no longer be able to add new dates.
* The sidetour.com website will redirect to the Groupon website starting on June 1, and will no longer be accessible to hosts or consumers.
We’d like to thank you for being a part of the SideTour community, and we hope you have enjoyed sharing your skills and talent with SideTour customers. If you think your event may be a good fit for Groupon or have any further questions about what these changes mean, please refer to the resources attached that we’ve created for your convenience.
– The SideTour Team
Museum Hack has used SideTour as a partner channel for our ticket sales for almost 2 years. We’ve sold over $15,000 in private museum tours on their platform, but more importantly we’ve gotten tons of positive reviews and had some really great customer experiences.
I’m thankful for all the new business that SideTour brought to us and sad to see them go. But I understand that for a big business like Groupon, it probably was costing them a lot of money to run and was necessary to consolidate.
More information below from SideTour about the shutdown for their event providers.
Starting June 1, 2015, the SideTour website will redirect users to groupon.com. After this point, you’ll no longer have access to your host account, and users will no longer be able to purchase inventory via sidetour.com.
Can I transfer the event I’ve been running on SideTour to Groupon?
If you’re interested in moving your events to Groupon, there will have to be changes to the structure of your experience to make it work in Groupon’s marketplace, including the implementation of discounting and a potential change in revenue share. If this model is interesting for you and your business, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about what being a Groupon merchant entails.
What if I already have dates live on SideTour that go beyond June 1?
If your experience has already reached its minimum, we’ll pay you on June 1 for that date. If your date has not reached its minimum, but you have some sales, please reach out to us if you would still like to hold the event under the current sales. If we don’t hear from you by May 1, we will be canceling these dates and refunding customers. If you have no sales for dates beyond June 1, we’ll be canceling those dates in the coming weeks.
What if I have live events that take place before June 1?
All payments will be processed as normal (the Tuesday following your event).
What if I want to add new dates before June 1?
You will be able to add new dates until April 20.
Will I continue to have access to my SideTour Host Dashboard?
After June 1, hosts will no longer have access to their Host Dashboard. If you use this for your own personal records, please make note of any information you may need in advance of June 1. Information on the Host Dashboard will be unobtainable after this date.
If I’m not interested in becoming a Groupon merchant, how can I continue to host my events?
We’d definitely encourage you to continue hosting your unique events. Sites like wordpress.com, tumblr.com, and wix.com make it easy to set up a website to help promote your experience. Ticketing platforms like eventbrite.com and brownpapertickets.com are great sites to use in order to sell tickets and find new customers.
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