Although final attendance numbers were not yet available, this week’s Ticket Summit in Manhattan is believed to have exceeded the 2010 edition of the trade show and conference, despite the snow storm that made travel difficult.
Held January 12 through today, January 14, the event brought together hundreds of ticketing and live entertainment professionals inside the Waldorf=Astoria for the third year, and participants were universal in their praise of the two-and-a-half-day show.
“We are thrilled to have hosted yet another successful Ticket Summit conference and trade show,” Molly Martinez, Ph.D., executive director of the event, told TicketNews. “Ticket Summit weathered a blizzard and all, still receiving over 500 registrants, making for an extremely successful networking event.”
Among the highlights of the show was the “Ticket Marketplaces” keynote panel on Friday, moderated by Goldman Sachs vice president Ingrid Chung, where some of the ticketing industry’s leading executives discussed the current state of the business and what lies ahead. Participating in the panel were FanSnap CEO Mike Janes; Veritix President Jeff Kline; Spotlight Ticket Management Solutions co-founder Tony Knopp; StubHub fulfillment director Jonathan Lesser; TicketNetwork founder and CEO Don Vaccaro; Tickets.com President and CEO John Walker; and Seatwave sales director Chris Willis.
“Those of us in the primary ticketing space have learned quite a lot from all of you,” Kline said to the secondary ticket brokers in the crowd. “It’s about figuring out better ways to distribute tickets.”
Vaccaro said that while some aspects of sports and live entertainment have slumped during the rocky economy, many secondary ticket companies have thrived, including TicketNetwork, which saw its concert business rise 30 percent in the past year, a sentiment echoed by StubHub’s Lesser.
“Consumers are gravitating first to the secondary market before the primary because they have become accustomed to looking for deals,” Vaccaro said.
Janes said the secondary ticket market allows fans to buy whenever they want, instead of based on times dictated by artists and promoters. “Fans have busy lives, and as an industry, we have to fit into that, not the other way around.”
In addition to the marketplaces panel, the conference also featured panels on sports and entertainment; legal issues; marketing; and technology innovations, among others. Yet, it was the opportunity for members of the live entertainment and ticketing community to network with each other that drew some of the most praise.
Caitlin Steel, chief financial officer for Barry’s Tickets, one of the nation’s leading ticket brokers, told TicketNews that she found the show to be informative. “The networking was great, and the industry needs those opportunities.”
Jimmy Siegendorf, a member of the executive committee of the National Association of Ticket Brokers, had never attended a Ticket Summit before but is planning to attend more in the future. Ticket Summit will host its Las Vegas edition July 13-15 at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, the sixth consecutive year at the famous venue.
“I was very impressed with the venue and the setting in New York, the number of attendees, the panels and the vendors. The event was very well run. I’ll be back,” said Siegendorf, who, with his wife Lena, runs Premium Seats USA, a ticket brokerage in Hollywood, FL.
Randy Lenci, president and CEO of Star Struck Tickets, also located in Florida, has attended Ticket Summits in Las Vegas but had not been to the New York show until this year.
“Vegas is always great, but this one was great, too. I found it interesting during the broker-to-broker keynote just how big the New York broker community is. I didn’t know that,” Lenci said, adding that he was particularly interested in sitting in on the Merchant Processing and Payment Security Panel, which was a new session added this year. “Order processing and security has always been a black hole for me, so to speak, so I was very pleased to see that they added a panel on that this year.”
Jeremiah “Ice” Younossi, who runs the global touring division for G-Unit Records, was a panelist during the conference and said he enjoys interacting with professionals in the ticketing industry. “What I enjoy about this community, and this event in particular, is that the people are inspired and energized. They’re turning a profit in the music industry when promoters and many others are not.”
TicketNetwork is the parent company of TicketNews.