The ticket industry conference and trade show Ticket Summit Las Vegas ended on Friday, July 16, in what was widely considered the most successful edition of the five-year-old event.
“The conference was absolutely amazing,” said Patrick Poulin, CEO of Ticket Genie, located in Orlando, FL. “It was very much worth the trip, with all the networking and relationship-building we were able to do. Heck, it was worth the trip in the first five minutes when we sat down at a table and made some connections.”
While exact attendance figures were not yet available, Dan Pullium, one of the conference organizers with parent company TicketNetwork, said attendance was well over 600 and “wildly exceeded” expectations.
“I think every segment of the entire ticket industry had something to offer – whether primary or secondary ticket companies, box office managers, sports teams and leagues, industry service providers, partners, affiliates and others – and something to learn from this Ticket Summit,” Pullium said.
John Diorio, CEO and co-founder of Ticket Sizzle, agreed with Poulin. Ticket Sizzle sponsored a vendors’ reception on the first full day of the conference. “It was a great show for us, because we made some fantastic connections. Word-of-mouth got people to our booth, which was great exposure for us.”
During the Friday session, attendees continued to mingle and network with old and new business acquaintances and listened to speaker panels on becoming and thriving as a ticket broker; new innovations in the industry; dealing with “dead” tickets; pro sports package deals; and insight on the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger.
In addition, TicketNetwork made a presentation of a new initiative it’s launching called the Last-Minute Ticket Broker (LMTB) program. Under the plan, TicketNetwork broker clients can ship tickets to specific brokers in cities like Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Orlando, and those LMTB brokers will attempt to sell those tickets at or near the venues in those cities.
“This program increases the likelihood of selling ‘dead’ tickets,” said TicketNetwork’s Shane Dixon, who is running the program.
Currently, there are 10 LMTB brokers, but Dixon said they plan on adding more. The broker shipping the tickets and the LMTB broker agree on a revenue percentage split before the tickets are sent.
“We think local brokers should be the face of the business at the local level,” said Matt Moran, operations manager for TicketNetwork.
At the keynote panel on the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger, Jeff Kline, president of Veritix, Doug Lyons, a vice president at Tickets.com, and Don Vaccaro, CEO and founder of TicketNetwork, discussed the impact of the industry’s biggest merger and agreed that while there remains cause for concern, brokers may benefit significantly from the deal.
“I see ticket brokers as another distribution channel, and I think you’ll find that more content providers will see it that way in the future,” Lyon said.
Despite the merger, which was touted as making the combined Live Nation Entertainment more efficient, the company is experiencing a rough 2010 due to show and tour cancellations and slow ticket sales, which led to the company’s stock, which trades under the symbol LYV, to drop significantly over the past couple of days.
“Not all concert business is bad, I’m just saying that Live Nation’s concert business is bad,” Vaccaro said. “When you look at a lot of the ‘B’ and ‘C’ level performers, they’re still doing terrific business.”
Kline and Lyons, who both said they respect Live Nation and Ticketmaster, chided the companies for a lack of technological innovation, particularly around their paperless ticketing product, which Kline said lacks the sophistication and transferability of the Veritix model.
“From a technological standpoint, I’m confident enough to say that ours is superior to theirs,” he said.
The issue of paperless tickets recently came to a head in New York, when Gov. David Paterson signed a new ticket resale bill into law, which requires paperless tickets be transferable for consumers, or alternative traditional tickets be offered.
“Brokers don’t care about paperless tickets themselves, they care about transferability,” Vaccaro said. “This legislation is a model that other states will look at and begin to adopt.”
TicketNetwork is the parent company of TicketNews.