Dave Brooks is getting ready for his fourth appearance at Ticket Summit, and he couldn’t be happier. An assignment editor and senior writer with Venues Today magazine, Brooks has attended every Ticket Summit and has found each one interesting, educational, and enjoyable.
At Ticket Summit 2009 Las Vegas, running from July 15-17 at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Brooks is scheduled to speak on a panel concerning the future of Las Vegas venues and theaters, entitled “The Future of Vegas Venues and the Theatre Industry.” In his position with Venues Today, Brooks has had years of experience in analyzing venues and knows a fair amount about their performance in the current market.
In his upcoming panel he plans to talk about the status of new and veteran players in the Las Vegas venues scene. “I am going to talk about the growth of AEG (Anschutz Entertainment Group) in Las Vegas. They are a private management company, one of the biggest in the world, who manage and book venues, including the Staples Center and the O2 center. They’re in Las Vegas now, they created the Celine Dion show, and now they’ve taken that theatre and are putting legacy acts in there. They are doing new projects in the city, looking at building an arena…Plus I’ll try and talk about the other venues in town, what numbers we have for them, how these different companies are doing.”
Brooks also hopes to discuss nationwide changes in venue charges that are modeled after the Las Vegas nightclub system. “Nightclubs have something called bottle service. First, you have to have a reservation for the table, then you have to purchase a bottle of alcohol. The bottle costs two hundred dollars…but more importantly, it includes the real estate of the seat. That model is being used a lot now at some of these venues that have VIP lounges. For example, at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, you’ll buy a ticket for the concert, and on top of that you can buy a table in the VIP lounge that might not even have a view of the event. That’s what they are starting to do at these venues.”
Brooks first learned about the concept of Ticket Summit while meeting TicketNetwork’s founder and CEO Don Vaccaro at a conference a few years ago. Vaccaro described to Brooks his plans for the first Summit, and the writer was hooked. “It’s great because for me, I’ll talk with new people in the industry and also meet start up companies. Sometimes these companies are here one year and gone the next, and sometimes they surprise you. For example, take Qcue, a ticketing technology company. It started off with one guy, Barry Kahn. Now Barry is running a big company, signing a deal with the San Francisco Giants.”
Typically Brooks uses the opportunity to attend Ticket Summit as a working holiday, covering one or two panels for his magazine, and since his first visit three years ago he’s also been invited to participate in panels at each Summit.
Thinking about the man who first introduced him to Ticket Summit, Brooks says that he sees Vaccaro as not only an influential figure in the secondary market but also a positive force in it. He adds that much of his involvement in Ticket Summit over the years “has been out of my respect for Don, his vision and understanding.”