Leadership / 01.22.20
INTIX 2020: Highlights From Day 2
Pictured above: Arvind Ethan David and Kyle Wright during the opening keynote Q&A
On Day 2 of INTIX’s 41st Annual Conference & Exhibition, ticketing professionals woke up in that city that doesn’t sleep and found a day and evening full of activities, workshops, meet-and-greets and more. Bread was broken, hands were shook, awards were bestowed. Here are the highlights from the second day.
Attendees Fall Head Over Feet for Arvind Ethan David’s Opening Keynote
One of Broadway’s newest lead producers, Arvind Ethan David, delivered the opening keynote address in front of hundreds of attendees gathered in the New York Hilton Midtown’s Sutton Complex room. Transforming Alanis Morissette’s mega-selling 1995 album, “Jagged Little Pill,” into Broadway’s latest hit musical was David’s brainchild. But before he took the stage, INTIX President and CEO Maureen Andersen walked to the podium and welcomed all, stating, “It’s amazing to see so many old friends and colleagues, to see new folks who are joining us, and to see people who are just discovering INTIX after 40 years. I have to assume they weren’t born when we started!”
Andersen gave way to INTIX 2020 Conference Co-Chair Kyle Wright of the Shubert Organization, who introduced rising Broadway star Jane Bruce. She sang a stunning version of “Uninvited” from the new musical she is co-starring in. David then took the stage and began his speech by telling the room, “I took the title of my talk from the title of that song. I’m going to talk about being ‘uninvited.’ Because it occurred to me that what is a ticket but an invitation that you have to pay money for? … No one invited me to be a Broadway producer. It wasn’t the path. It wasn’t the plan. It wasn’t the map. But I had this idea that wouldn’t quit me, so I had to march ‘uninvited’ toward it.”
Broadway star Jane Bruce
He went on to explore in both his speech and in a subsequent Q&A with Wright the importance of appealing to increasingly diverse audiences not just in theatre, but in all arts, sports and live events. He used graphs, charts and other data to illustrate how shows like “Jagged Little Pill,” “Hamilton” and “The Color Purple” are bringing new patrons to Broadway who have been underserved in the past.
Down to the INTIX Venue Villages
Following the opening keynote, attendees dispersed to various rooms and ballrooms on the hotel’s second floor to sit in on a series of INTIX Venue Villages — workshops and seminars that covered a wide range of topics. Sessions included such enticing titles as “Achieving Customer Relationship Mastery in 2020” and “Build Your Patron Journey: Lead Audiences Through the Path of Engagement.”
One of the most lively was “How to Profit From the Experience Economy.” Panelists discussed how such venues as the Grand Ole Opry and the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts are offering more than just shows and concerts. They’re offering packaged experiences and special events, even on days when the venue is dark, to increase revenue. They’ve also enhanced the concert experience and put together VIP packages.
Christina Pryor, Manager of Ticketing System Administration for Opry Entertainment, says, “When people go out for an event, they will typically plan their whole night and go to dinner or out for drinks beforehand. So, we sat down and said, ‘What if we create something where they could spend with us what they were spending somewhere else? That would be great for us. So, we now offer exclusive, limited-quantity products that sell fast and come with high-value perks like unlimited drinks or artist meet-and-greets. We’ve positioned these as upgrades that add additional exclusivity to the product.”
The Welcome Lunch Going Once … Twice…
In the middle of the day, there was the welcome lunch and Qcue Live Auction in which attendees got to bid a trio of mystery boxes and several vacation getaways to such spots as San Francisco and Cancun. Master auctioneer Zack Krone was a laugh-riot, driving the bids up all in the name of good fun and funding to benefit future INTIX activities and programs.
Master auctioneer Zack Krone
Conference Co-Chair Danny Frank, a senior vice president at Citibank, was among the speakers at the luncheon, and he gave a special welcome to those new to the conference this year. Frank, who has been going to the annual INTIX Conference since the 1993 show in New Orleans, said, “To the newbies, I want to give a shout out to all of you. Thank you for coming! We had record numbers at our First Timers’ Meet and Greet Coffee this morning.”
After the auction, INTIX Chair Derek Palmer stepped on stage to present the INTIX IMPACT Award, an honor given each year to a person or organization that has provided ongoing support and made a lasting impact on INTIX. This year’s recipient was the outgoing President of Weldon Williams & Lick Inc., Jim Walcott.
INTIX IMPACT award recipient Jim Walcott
In accepting the award, Walcott said, “The honor of being up here today is mind-blowing. Looking at all of you … is just amazing. How did I get here? What in the world am I doing up here? Faith, family, friends and a job. I’ve got everything a man can ask for. And how did I end up with an IMPACT Award? Well, you try to stay relevant … and you don’t die!”
He went on to thank his colleagues at WW&L and then had the entire room rise from their chairs and give themselves a standing ovation. The awards portion then concluded with Ebony Hattix, Jacque Holowaty, Tyler Hubbard, Said Sattout, David Simpson and Steve Weydig being recognized as the 2020 winners of the Ticketing Star Awards, honoring excellence in the ticketing industry. After being nominated by peers, the six industry professionals were chosen by a vote of VenuesNow subscribers and editorial staff and members of INTIX.
2020 Ticketing Star awards recipients
The Grand Opening of the Very Grand Exhibit Hall
Day 2 climaxed with the massive exhibit hall’s grand opening and a special reception complete with open bars and food stations serving carved turkey, pasta, salads and more. Spirits were high among the many exhibitors, with most more than willing to talk about what attending the conference each year means to them and their organizations. Chris Smith, sales manager for i6 Ticketing, says, “We’ve been coming for a number of years now, and it’s a great chance for us to interact with our customer base in one grand location.” CrowdHandler Managing Director James Baggaley agrees, adding, “It’s just a great opportunity to reconnect with contacts I made at previous INTIX conferences and meet new people. I just find everyone so open and willing to talk about their experiences in the industry.”
The Exhibit Hall at INTIX 2020
The second day came to an end with the Patron Technology Power Hour party, which took place in the INTIX Lounge. Many INTIX members were in attendance and enjoyed conversation over cocktails while grooving to some great music. The Patron Technology team was out in full force, and “Jagged Little Pill” producer Arvind Ethan David even returned to add some celebrity to the event. There was also a spin-to-win station and a digital photo booth. Just an all-around great vibe!
On to Day 3 and the Town Hall General Session, more workshops, an INTIX Live Celebration of the Music of Billy Joel and more.
Check out the highlights from INTIX 2020 Day 1.
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