Leadership / 12.20.22
2022 Recap: INTIX’s Women in Ticketing Series
This story is brought to you by the INTIX Women in Entertainment Technology Program.
This past year, the INTIX “Women in Ticketing” series continued to feature some of our most popular articles. Each month, we profiled a different top female decision-maker. The first to be interviewed in 2022 was Ticketpro President Guislaine Bulman. At that point, few ticketing professionals knew where the world was headed as the COVID-19 crisis remained in full swing. Bulman, though, was optimistic.
She conceded, though, that her positivity “might sound a bit nuts as it kind of looks like we haven’t progressed much in the past two years. But we have learned so much in those two years, not the least of which is how much people really want and need live entertainment. We’ve learned what to do and how to communicate regarding safety, and we’ll continue to apply those lessons and continue learning and adapting.”
She was followed by Jenifer LaMorte, Vice President of Business Development at Tessitura Network. That profile focused on how her leadership skills and abilities had been put to the test during the COVID-19 crisis. “What’s been challenging, and exciting, is how this time has allowed for change in an unprecedented way,” she stated. “It would be easy to hold tight to the status quo while things are uncertain, but it’s been much more interesting to challenge all of our assumptions and not be afraid to reinvent what is business as usual.”
Wise words from a wise woman. Equally smart was our March interviewee, Frankie Accardi-Peri, longtime ticketing guru for the Grateful Dead. In a look back at those days when ticketing was done via mail order and other means no longer even considered, she said wistfully, “Some things have definitely been lost in going digital, ticketing included. But, hey, we are the grandparents of fan club ticketing. We started that, and I am a proud part of that legacy for sure.”
But times change, and technology now powers live events. That made our next interviewee the perfect person to feature. Anna Wessely had just recently been named Digonex’s first chief technology officer when we spoke with her in April.
During her interview, she described her job as such: “I lead a team of technologists and developers who work on the integration of a variety of ticketing products for customers across a really wide swath of ticketing markets. We have some aquariums and museums, some performing arts organizations, and so forth. We essentially take their data from whatever system they’re in. We make pricing recommendations daily or a couple of times a week depending on the industry. And then we feed those price recommendations, once approved, back into those ticketing systems. I lead the technology arm that makes it all seamless for the customer.”
As much as women like Wessely are the future of the industry, it was great to next sit down with someone from INTIX’s illustrious past. Asked to give some advice to women new to the ticketing and live events space, past INTIX Board Chair Lynne King Smith concluded her interview by saying: “Shoot for whatever your North Star is and never stop learning. Also, don’t do anything you aren’t getting joy from or work for people who don’t respect what you bring to the table.”
We jumped “across the pond” for our June interview. Hatti Simpson is a career industry professional who is currently serving as Ticketing and Digital Manager at Woolwich Works, a new venue in southeast London. Like Wessely, her focus is largely on technology, as her job places her in charge of ticketing functionality, social media and (her words) “website things.”
“The digital marketing side of things is really fun too,” she said. “A lot of it was fairly new to me, but it's been great to learn on the job. Now, you can often spot me at shows running around to get the best angles for an Insta story! I'm lucky to work with and be able to learn from a group of really amazing people — we're a small team but we're tight-knit and have a great rhythm together!”
We then stayed overseas to feature Lyndsey Jackson, Deputy CEO of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe ranks as the world’s largest arts festival, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is the charitable organization that supports the infrastructure that underpins and develops this cultural landmark.
Jackson’s enthusiasm for the work was a joy to report. “I’m on my 10th Fringe in 2022 and each one — including the one that never was [due to the pandemic] — has provided new and different problems to solve and new things for me to learn. The me from 2013 [when she first came aboard as Head of Operations] would have no clue how to solve some of the things 2022 me does on a daily basis, and I love that my job lets me, and my staff, grow, learn and improve.”
Equally in love with her job was our next interviewee, Maria Fulay, Senior Director of Ticket Operations for the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California. Her passion for live music began when she was a teenager, working as an usher at the Hollywood Bowl. “Classical music took a while to grow on me,” she said during her interview. “But it was the idea of being in the moment. I ended up going back to the Hollywood Bowl in the summers while in college and even afterward. I had a good one-year run there as an usher, then in retail and eventually at the box office. Life as I knew it was over. I got sucked into ticketing and never left!”
Our next profile was of Danielle “Dani” Rose, with a passion for cultural rights advocacy. She currently serves as Director of Development at Art-Reach, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that provides immersive arts programming for people with disabilities. “We learn about how folks with disabilities are interacting with arts, what adaptations they might require, and so forth,” she stated. “We then teach what we have learned to the various cultural centers so they can provide that programming as part of their everyday operations.”
As the Women in Ticketing column moved into the fall, our focus rather appropriately turned to the college ticketing world. Wendy Brown, Michigan State University’s Associate AD of Ticket Operations, has been working on-campus jobs for her entire professional career. But she’s found a home in Spartans country having come to campus in 2004.
At Michigan State, Brown’s primary task is to coordinate and administer all aspects of ticket operations in accordance with university, NCAA and Big Ten Conference rules and regulations. She also develops and maintains timelines for the production, printing and fulfillment of all tickets. So, what’s the favorite part of her job? She was quick to answer during our interview: “Looking at the large to huge crowds of fans, knowing that our office had a hand in getting every guest into that event.”
Margo Malone knows that feeling all too well. The Senior Manager of Season Ticket Memberships and Special Projects for the San Francisco Giants told us: “I’m already excited about the prospects for 2023. The Giants will be playing two regular season games in Mexico City and will play in New York City against the Yankees for Opening Day! Judging by attendance numbers at the World Series games, live events are back 100% and the outlook is great for those in ticketing.”
Finally, Tracy Rae Noll also expressed optimism for what lies ahead in her December profile. Currently the Sales and Development Services Director for Penn State University’s Center for the Performing Arts, Noll is especially heartened by the number of young women who are entering the ticketing and live events space. “Those of us who have been in this business for many years have always joked that we would never let our kids follow in our footsteps,” she concluded. “But I obviously made my job look way too glamorous. I have two daughters — 26 and 22 years old — who have both decided to get into the ticketing business!”
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Tags: Leadership , Women in Ticketing