Keynote speaker Ray Waddell of Billboard told the audience at the kickoff ceremony Wednesday night, July 15, for the fourth annual Ticket Summit that five years ago the music and touring industry publication Billboard would never attend a convention geared to ticket brokers.

But times have changed.

“Scalpers became brokers, brokers became ticket resellers, and along the way your industry became a market and has become legitimate,” Waddell said.

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“The secondary ticket world isn’t populated by shadowy figures anymore,” he added.

Over the next two days, Ticket Summit, the largest and most prestigious trade show and conference geared toward the secondary ticket market, will again draw more than 500 attendees to the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, where the group will learn all about the current state of the ticketing landscape.

“It’s exciting,” first-time attendee Marlies Hoedemaker, chief marketing officer and chief legal officer for based in The Netherlands, said of the event. “There’s so much going on within the industry, and this conference offers a lot.”

Waddell told the attendees that the next five years or so will see tremendous change within the secondary industry, and therefore it’s vital that brokers come together to let consumers know of their value and importance in the market.

“It’s not yet visible to me that there’s a unified front in the secondary ticket market,” he said. “Coming together would help your cause. There needs to be more policing among yourselves on the front end of it, because then there will be less of a need to police it on the back end.”

He urged brokers to offer some sanity to the pricing of tickets on the resale side, even though he is well aware that the ticket being offered for $3,500 might not actually sell for that price. And, he added that paperless ticketing has been a PR win for Miley Cyrus and her handlers because fans seem to be slowly embracing it, even though ticket sales for the tour got off to a disappointing start.

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Waddell also said it would behoove brokers to continue to work with promoters and the primary ticket market because the day is approaching when there is no real primary and secondary market but only one ticket market where everything ebbs and flows.

“Too many premium tickets are ending up on the secondary market for it to happen without some cooperation with primary ticket companies and promoters,” he said, because the added revenue is too great. “The primary market was late to the game, but it will raise its stakes in the secondary market and move heaven and earth to do so.”

After the welcome address, attendees gathered for the annual networking cocktail party (see photos below).

Don Vaccaro, TicketNetwork (left); Chris Tsakalakis, StubHub (right)

(left to right) Cortney Storsved, TicketKing MN; Daniel Pullium, TicketNetwork; Krystal Conrad, TicketKing WI; Anne King, Ticket King WI

Harris Rosner, VIP Tickets (left); Don Vaccaro, TicketNetwork (right)

(left to right) Treena Keating, Fansnap; Jeff Scheman, TicketNetwork; Tammy Yao, Fansnap

Julian Green, StubHub (left); John Whelan, StubHub (right)

Matt Moran, TicketNetwork

Food is a very important component of Ticket Summit.