After publicly sparring with hotel giant Steve Wynn over his ticketing policy for the Garth Brooks residency at Wynn’s namesake resort and casino, the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) has settled on Aria for the latest edition of its World Ticket Conference in Las Vegas.
The trade association’s annual show is scheduled for July 16-18 at the new resort and casino, which is part of the new CityCenter development complex in the middle of Las Vegas.
“CityCenter is the newest, hottest thing right now in Las Vegas,” Ken Solky, president of the NATB and owner of LasVegasTickets.com, told TicketNews, “so for us, it was a no-brainer to book the conference there after the incident with the Wynn.”
Last fall, when Country music icon Garth Brooks announced plans for his residency concerts at the Wynn, owner Steve Wynn angrily denounced brokers and the secondary ticket market, and set up strict rules surrounding ticket purchases that prohibited resale. The move prompted the NATB to pull its conference from the venue, where it had been held for the previous five years, because the organization felt insulted by Wynn’s restrictions.
The NATB has made a push to attract more members in recent months, and Solky said he hopes it will translate into more attendees at the conference. Ticket Summit, the annual conference and trade show put on by TicketNetwork, is scheduled for July 14-16 at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.
Despite his hopes, Solky is realistic about his show’s prospects. “We haven’t set a goal attendee-wise, but we know that trade show attendance is down across the board,” he said. “The NATB has been meeting in Vegas for 13 years, the last eight of which have been full-blown conferences. Our attendance has ranged from about 300 to 600, depending on the year, so 20 percent more or less from those numbers would make us happy.”
Descriptions of the conference’s panel sessions will be finalized within the next week or so, Solky said, and he hopes to know who the keynote speaker will be within the next several weeks.
Two of the sessions he highlighted are one on the aggregator sites, such as StubHub, RazorGator and TicketNetwork, and one that will update some of the recent state and federal ticketing legislation being discussed.
“All of the major aggregator sites will be invited to participate,” Solky said. “People are interested in their business models and how they work.”
TicketNetwork is the parent company of TicketNews.