Leadership / 07.16.19
Ebony Hattix: A Superhero in Ticketing
This story is brought to you by the INTIX Women in Entertainment Technology Program, proudly sponsored by Lynne King Smith and TicketForce.
“I love people! Building relationships and creating positive experiences is my favorite part of this job. Sometimes, the most interesting people are not always on stage. Learning about people and being able to create a show or an event that will somehow enhance the power of someone’s fond memory is honestly epic.”
So says industry professional Ebony Hattix. And the epic job she is referring to? Hattix is the Box Office Manager for FedExForum in Memphis, the home arena of the Memphis Grizzlies NBA basketball team. In that position, she manages the day-to-day ticketing operations of any events hosted at FedExForum. “Our box office team works as liaisons between all departments of the organizations, promoters and Ticketmaster,” she says, “to host events from manifest creation to event settlement. We handle reporting, sales order processing, daily ticket financials, general questions, [and] manage part-time employees. Anything ticketing is our responsibility!”
When asked what her primary duties and responsibilities are, Hattix — a big Marvel and DC Comics movie fan — quickly replied, “Oh, you know the usual superhero stuff. Fight crime and try not to tear up the city. Oh wait. That’s the Avengers! Kidding … well, maybe not.”
Then, she thoughtfully answered, “We are the first face that our guests see and are the problem solvers for all ticketing issues. Therefore, we try to offer the best customer service around, and it is practically the same as being a superhero. I have said, ‘I am the writer of an expected experience, with hopes of making it better.’”
Hattix’s experiences prior to her current position are many and varied. This graduate of the University of Mississippi spent a year in the Disney College Program in Orlando before working in a number of different industries early on — everything from hotels to interior design to public housing.
This early mix of industries included a part-time stint at the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss., where she eventually worked her way up to the Assistant Director of Ticketing position. A love of customer service and the opportunity to work at a bigger venue in a bigger market led her to Memphis.
So far, she has thrived in this pressure-cooker environment. “Time is always the challenge in the ticketing world,” she says. “You have to multitask to a point that you are constantly racing against the clock. Short turnaround times and deadlines keep you working on time management skills.”
She has especially been excited by all of the opportunities this business has afforded women, herself included. “Doors of opportunity are there for everyone,” she says. “And if you find one closed, knock it down! The world of ticketing is ever changing, so find how you can make it better and go do it. Opportunity is everywhere in this area of the industry. If you are interested in ticketing, find a good mentor and just jump right in.”
She’s especially heartened by the opportunities afforded younger women and isn’t shy about offering advice to those who will listen. “Never compare yourself to anyone else in terms of success, beauty, life, etc.,” she says. “You don’t know someone else’s journey. Surround yourself with people different from you. It is how we learn, and never stop learning. Those around you should challenge you to be better — a better person, a better employee, a better whatever. Push yourself further than you thought you could go, but do it for you and not others.”
She added, “And be thankful. I am thankful for all of the people who’ve helped and are still helping me along the way; those who are still in my corner. You know, like Alfred. I could never be Batman without them.”
A woman of faith, she also offered this closing bit of counsel. “With God, all things are possible. Everything stems from those few words for me,” she says. Then, she thought for a moment and exclaimed, “Oh, and … TAKE A VACATION!”
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Tags: Venues , Leadership