Leadership / 01.24.20
INTIX 2020: Highlights from Day 4
For one last time, INTIX members gave their regards to Broadway, but, ultimately, we all had to say a fond farewell to the big city with the close of INTIX’s 41st Annual Conference & Exhibition. Here is a recap of Day 4’s highlights:
Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Last Day
The fourth and final day of INTIX 2020 began with the Annual Business Meeting Breakfast in which attendees enjoyed bagels, croissants, muffins, cinnamon rolls, coffee, juice … and lots of bacon! A plethora of association leadership news came out of the breakfast. Among the announcements: Anthony Esposito, Vice President of Ticket Operations for the Atlanta Braves, is INTIX’s new Board Chair; Etix General Manager Lynne King Smith has been elected as Chair Elect; and Kay Burnham, Vice President of Guest Services at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, is exiting her term as Past Chair to be replaced by Derek Palmer, COO of Qcue. Retiring board members Amy Kline (Director of Client Education and Support for ShowClix), Jenifer LaMorte (Director of Enterprise Consulting for Tessitura Network) and Andrew Thomas (Director, Ticketing Professionals Conference) were also recognized.
Joe Forlini with bacon, an #INTIX2020 favorite!
In his last moments as INTIX Chair, Derek Palmer was visibly delighted to once again have a gavel in his hand. He was very gracious in handing the reins to Esposito, remarking, “Anthony Esposito is a remarkable leader for one of the best organizations in baseball. As a Mets fan, it’s very difficult for me to say that. He is also someone who I’m really looking forward to [seeing] where, with your help, he can take this association.”
Esposito then thanked Palmer for his 12 months of volunteer service and leadership. He remembered attending his first INTIX conference in California 16 years earlier when legendary basketball coach John Wooten was the keynote speaker. Touting the fact that this year’s conference welcomed a record 1,367 attendees from 17 countries, he encouraged those INTIX attendees with a red sticker on their name badges — the “newbies” — not to be shy about volunteering in the years to come. “Please get involved!” Esposito urged. “We literally have only two salaried employees, as we’ve mentioned many times this week. We want to grow INTIX, and we want this to be known as the can’t-miss conference to attend.”
It was also announced that INTIX made more than $20,000 during the auctions for the association’s Professional Development and Education Fund.
The Final Sessions of the Week
Some of the best workshops and seminars were saved for the last day of INTIX 2020. Running in various rooms and ballrooms of the New York Hilton Midtown, they featured such enticing titles as: “Can You Sell Out in Two Minutes? No! Here’s Why”; “Walk in My Shoes: Understand the Personas of Your Guests”; and “Your Ticket Office Team Is More Valuable Than Your CEO.”
The “Personalize Me: Marketing Automation in Service of the Customer” session drew a particularly packed room. Among the three presenters was Michael Musick, E-commerce Manager for Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Michael Musick (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Jenifer LaMorte (Tessitura Network) and Stephen Cunningham (National Ballet of Canada)
As Musick shared success stories from his organization, he stated, “We use data from our customer relationship management system to personalize all of our messaging. The system knows if someone is a season subscriber; a single-ticket buyer; whether they have dining reservations at one of our restaurants; and if they are a donor and, if so, on what level.”
Nick Begley, Senior Marketing Manager for AudienceView, moderated a panel of four during “Cradle to Grave: Find the Kids, Get the Money.” An authority on generational marketing, he commented, “Millennials are now having kids, and boomers are now taking their grandchildren to events. Ultimately, it’s about understanding the mindset of the generations.”
Begley went on to describe cradle-to-grave marketing as the practice of specifically marketing to children in the hope that they will become loyal customers of your company, product or brand for life. He stated, “The most valuable thing we can do is ask the question, ‘Why?’ Instead of judging and saying, for example, ‘TikTok is crazy. I don’t get it,’ ask, ‘Why is that enjoyable to you? Why are you using that channel?’”
Over on the Inspiration Stage, during the “INTIX Mentor Program – Learn About Requesting an INTIX Mentor” session, Ebony Hattix, Box Office Manager for the Memphis Grizzlies, said that access to mentors has been extremely helpful to her personally. In addition to helping Hattix learn more about the organization and the conference, it has helped to expand her own network.
“Not only was it my personal mentors, but it was also the people they were networking with that I could reach out to,” she said. “It’s been great evolving and also building those friendships myself, not only with box office and ticketing questions, but with personal [growth] questions as well.”
Don’t Forget to Tune In
Even though INTIX 2020 is over, the excitement will continue next week on national television when Michelle Paul, INTIX member and Managing Director for PatronManager, will appear on the legendary game show “Jeopardy” as a contestant. Her episode will air Thursday, Jan. 30. She was obligated not to reveal the outcome of her particular episode, but she was able to share that, following her successful testing and auditioning process, she had to wait 13 months to get the call to actually appear on the program.
Paul practiced buzzing in with her answers (always in the form of a question) by using a modified “clicky” pen while watching episodes of “Jeopardy,” standing and playing along with each episode. “From someone who was a former stage manager in a past life, just being on set and watching this well-oiled machine of a show that’s been running for the past 36 years was a beautiful experience,” she said. “[Host] Alex Trebek was wonderful to meet. I’ve been a fan of ‘Jeopardy’ my whole life. Even before his illness was announced, I knew he wasn’t going to be doing the show forever. So, that’s ultimately what pushed me and was the driving factor to try and get on the show. And it was so worth it!”
Closing It All Out
Lunch on Day 4 was served in the Exhibit Hall. The mid-day feast included pasta and build-your-own taco stations with all the trimmings. For many, it was a time of reflection, of the successes and special memories of the week that was.
“INTIX 2020 has been really terrific in New York,” said Anja Arvo, Pre-Sales Manager at Red61. “My favorite thing about the conference was seeing old friends and colleagues that I’ve known for several years who have changed into different roles or have moved on to different systems. This has also been my first year in terms of being actively involved with the INTIX Mentor Committee, so I’ve had a lot of duties here at the conference. We have grown the program a lot, met a lot of new people coming in and launched a great new program that’s going to go forward that has been developing over the last four years.”
Equally enthusiastic about his time at INTIX 2020 was John Cordaro, regional salesperson for Southland Printing. He stated, “We’ve enjoyed being here. This is our second year. We always get lots of good leads and actual people who have ticket samples that they want us to quote on right then and there.”
Finally, NBC sports broadcaster Jimmy Roberts brought it all home with a closing keynote address that was personable, humorous and, ultimately, inspiring. Roberts, who has won 13 Emmys in his long career, said, “I knew I was in the right place when I got here because there’s a table right in front where people from the Mets and the Braves are sitting together and talking with smiles on their faces! It warms my heart.”
He went on to pay tribute to all of us in the industry, mentioning one of our biggest challenges. “I thought I had the world’s most annoying job when it came to people asking me for stuff. I guess not!”
On to Anaheim and INTIX 2021.
Check out the highlights from INTIX 2020 Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.
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Tags: Leadership , INTIX 2020