An estimated 500 ticket brokers and other ticketing professional descended on the Waldorf=Astoria for Ticket Summit this week, where the attendees networked with their...

An estimated 500 ticket brokers and other ticketing professional descended on the Waldorf=Astoria for Ticket Summit this week, where the attendees networked with their cohorts and learned what the future holds for the secondary ticket market.

The conference and trade show, the largest for the ticket resale industry, kicked off Wednesday night with a cocktail reception and on Thursday brought together a diverse group of ticketing experts who offered insights into all aspects of the secondary ticket market, such as the economics of the industry; what legislative issues lie ahead; and how to boost the relationship between concert promoters and the Broadway theater box offices and brokers, to name a few.

“Over the years, the power of ticket sellers as part of the marketing and promotion for acts has been overlooked,” said Jeff Allen, co-owner of promotions company Universal Attractions. “Ticket companies can play a greater part in the marketing and selling of tickets.”

Dominating much of the discussions during the various panel sessions was what will happen with the planned merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, a proposed deal that has been reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for a year, but that no one has an idea of when it will be resolved, though the belief is that DOJ will rule on it sometime in the next few weeks.

“It’ll be terribly unfair to consumers if the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger goes through,” said promoter Sean Healy, owner of WeBookBands.com, because he believes the two companies will have too much control over competitive information from independent promoters that rely on the companies for ticket sales. “I rely on Ticketmaster’s customer database and their outreach through email blasts,” but he fears the company could shut that off and have total control of the pricing structure for tickets.

To help combat that possibility, college professors Joris Drayer and Stephen Shapiro, and ticketing executive James Reese are working with Dan Pullium of TicketNews parent company TicketNetwork and the Better Ticketing Association on an ambitious industry survey of brokers to learn just where the secondary ticket business stands in 2010.

The project, which contains a questionnaire that can viewed at Better Ticketing Web site, aims to give a data-driven picture of the broker landscape, which can help bolster the industry’s image.

And, the survey can help brokers better understand their customers. “It’s easier to keep customers you have than to go out and try to find new ones,” Reese said.

(From left to right: Joris Drayer, James Reese, Stephen Shapiro and Dan Pullium during the “Economics of Ticketing” Keynote panel)

(From left to right: Dustin Brighton, Braden Cox and Marlies Hoedemaker during the “Legal Issues & Marketing Trends” panel)

(Stephen Shapiro during the “Economics of Ticketing” Keynote panel)

(The “Backstage with Promoters” panel)