Building on the success of the annual Ticket Summit in Las Vegas, organizers of the three-year-old event Wednesday announced plans to launch a new conference for the secondary ticket market in 2009. There will now be two Ticket Summit conferences next year, the first from January 6-8 at the historic Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, and the second from July 15-17 at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, where the event originated.
The need for a second conference covering the burgeoning secondary ticket market was clearly evident Wednesday night at the jam-packed kick off event for this year’s conference, as several hundred ticket brokers and industry executives were welcomed by the event’s Executive Director Molly Martinez, and got to listen to a rousing comedy routine from legendary comedian George Wallace. Following Wallace’s performance, attendees mingled at a cocktail party reception sponsored by Mondial Assistance.
Before opening its doors, this year’s Ticket Summit had booked nearly 700 paid attendees, but organizers expect attendance to approach or exceed 800 during the three-day event. The meat of the conference begins today with the first of 14 panel discussions, several training sessions on the broker software created by parent company TicketNetwork, and the event’s keynote address from Avery Gardiner, counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Crystal Astrachan, publisher of TicketNews and Executive Director of the New York conference in January, said the new event will not only attract members of the East Coast secondary ticket community, but will also allow members of the European ticket market to attend. “This is the first ever secondary ticket industry conference in New York, and we are very excited to be able to host it.”
Don Vaccaro, CEO of TicketNetwork, agreed. “We’ve had phenomenal attendance at this show every year, and we expect it to be even bigger in New York City.” Attending the event will cost $299, but people can sign up for both the New York and Las Vegas events combined for $399.
Each year, Ticket Summit attracts new entrants into the secondary ticket market, and this year was no exception. David Baldwin, vice president of the world-renowned sports marketing and management agency Octagon, told TicketNews that his company is launching an initiative into the growing market.
“We’re new to the ticketing business but have a long history in sponsorship and sports management. We’re intrigued to learn more about the industry, make contacts, develop relationships and broaden the scope of our capabilities,” he said.
Eli Barntsen, head of business development for Fanprice.com, agreed. Fanprice, which launched earlier this year, is a marketplace where consumers can set the price they’re willing to pay for an event.
“It all boils down to networking,” Barntsen said of the event. “This is the place to be because it offers such a wide variety of companies in the industry.”