Any industry conference is going to be a bit “inside” by its very nature. Registration is going to be full of people within a very specific marketplace, and a lot of them are going to know each other. Ticket Summit, which was held last month in Las Vegas, is no different.
But that doesn’t mean all of the topics presented for those who make the trip out west were only relevant specifically industry itself.
“Each year, we make a concerted effort to bring industry outsiders to Ticket Summit, particularly speakers outside the industry. We want to provide attendees with invaluable and new perspectives on issues facing their business,” said Amanda Farrish, Director of Corporate Events, TicketNetwork & Ticket Summit.
Headlining events like the keynotes were naturally industry-specific. Experts from the music business took brokers “behind the curtain” in one, while primary and secondary concerns were the subject of a . But breakout sessions, including several of the new Workshops for Entrepreneurs series, covered industry-related issues from both inside and outside the secondary marketplace.
Even for companies and individuals that make the trek to Las Vegas every year, the mixture of industry-specific content and outside perspectives make for new learning opportunities (and make the conference valuable no matter how many times you’ve been).
“I’ve probably sat in on every session throughout the years,” said 1Ticket.com’s Jason Knieriem at the opening cocktail reception. “[Coming to Ticket Summit] is great for understanding what your options are in the industry. It’s great to have that one-on-one interaction. You get to see your friends, have some drinks, have some nice food, but you also get chances to build your relationships and put things on a good footing for the next time you talk after you leave.”
Topic-wise, sessions ranged from industry-adjacent (Legal Concerns for Ticket Brokers, Insurance Matters for Small Business Owners, Understanding Financial Statements and Improving Profitability) to general business, but applicable and tailored to the needs of ticket brokers and others operating in the marketplace.
Mergers and Acquisitions for Ticket Brokers was a standing room only crowd in the Workshop Room, as brokers sought to pick the brain of the presenter on the ways and means of business consolidation. Another big crowd sat in for Notre Dame business professor Michael Montalbano’s Strategies to Grow and Position Your Business, which he built a basic understanding of business theory as it relates to the marketplace his audience was looking to work in.
“Really, people tune out theory, so to be effective, you have to be able to give people something to relate to,” he said. “This week was really my first in-depth exposure to the industry, but in many ways, the principles of business are the same for all business – it’s just a matter of subtleties and nuance.
“One of my biggest passions is getting people to understand that it’s important to be intentional with your business rather than just reacting. If people aren’t doing that, you can’t stay in business forever, and that’s a lot of what I’m trying to show them with this.”
Fellow outsider and newcomer Ashley Ward, CEO and Social Media Director of Madhouse Matters, had a similar feeling bridging the gap between her world and the broker world.
“There are certainly strategies [for SEO, which her presentation focused on] that work across the board regardless of industry, and best practices to keep in mind,” she said. “But there are a lot of specific ways to address that related to these people’s businesses, so I really dug in and learned what there was to the industry and how my presentation could help support that.”
Despite their outsider roles, none of the non-endemic presenters seemed rattled by making the connections to the ticketing world – often spending lengthy periods following their presentations working with individuals out in the hallway on specific concerns they had related to their own businesses. They may not have been old hat the way some of the insiders were to the conference attendees, but their subject matter expertise proved valuable, as did their outsider perspective.
“That was the best part,” Ward says. “They know what they’re doing, and I know what I’m doing. Together, we can help each other in a lot more ways than they might realize going into a presentation.
“That’s not intimidating – if anything, it’s more exciting. We all have the same goals in mind, and that’s where we can find common ground and address issues using the tools that we bring from our specific worlds.”
Ticket Summit 2018 will once again take place in Las Vegas in July. Early registration is now open, and costs just $399. Learn more about the ticketing and live entertainment industry showcase at TicketSummit.org.