Leadership / 01.31.24
INTIX 2024: Highlights From Day 2
Attendees were energized on Wednesday morning as they arrived early to start day two of the 45th Annual INTIX Conference & Exhibition. Coffee at the morning networking session sponsored by FEVO was most welcome, especially for those who had been out late the previous night at shows and exploring all that Las Vegas has to offer.
After coffee and conversations, day two kicked off with an INTIX Town Hall titled “Glamour, Grit, and Greatness: Women Leaders in Vegas Entertainment.” This session with strong women leading by example featured insights from Amy Graca, Caesars Entertainment, Amanda Moore, SVP of Booking for Live Nation Las Vegas Residencies, and Kelsey Bannister, VP of Ticketing for Las Vegas Grand Prix. Moderator Angela Miles-Powell, Regional Vice President of Venues and Promoters for Ticketmaster, skillfully guided the conversation.
The panelists were inspiring and open as they told stories about their careers and personal lives. Among the topics covered, speakers agreed there is no natural life-work balance with a live event and entertainment career. Instead, it is about identifying priorities.
“Balance doesn't exist,” Graca said. “I say that because I don't focus as much on balance as I do priorities. I will tell anyone who asks me [that] my priorities are my children and my health. My husband is certainly in there. I'm just being honest. He knows where he is because my children are young. I'm OK with that, and he's OK with that. But if I was honest with you and said, ‘Oh, I balance all of these things,’ I don’t. There is no balance. It’s priorities for me. What needs to happen each, and every day, is I set the priority and away we go with the day. Balance is impossible, and right or wrong, that's where I am in my life.”
The speakers also touched on overcoming challenges, how leadership has changed, empowerment, encouraging DEI in teams, and the importance of mentors and finding people who challenge you.
As these Las Vegas entertainment powerhouses wrapped up their talk, attendees were all shook up when the King himself (our own Shawn Robertson) entered the room to guide everyone to the Exhibition Hall.
From the Exhibition Hall
INTIX can’t help falling in love with VBO Tickets for sponsoring the Exhibit Hall Morning Mixer (see what we did there, Elvis fans?!). The King posed for photos as our vendor partners rocked the house.
The King and INTIX Board Chair Josh Ziegenbusch
Jamie Brouse, Elvis and Jennifer Staats Moore
Besides hanging out with Elvis, there are many reasons why attendees and vendors come to INTIX.
“We come to INTIX for exposure and relevance,” Ryan Sember, SVP of Partnerships for Logitix, explained. “Some don’t know who we are. Some have heard our name but might not know how we can be relevant for their business.”
He continued, “Logitix can help venues, rightsholders, even professional resellers sell more tickets and produce more revenue by getting inventory in front of more eyes, the right pricing and understanding your market and who your buyers are,” Sember said. “Regardless of your market landscape or bandwidth as an organization, we have solutions that can assist, and we customize our approach for each one of our partners.”
Sember added, “The number of people I’ve run into in all different kinds of verticals has been fantastic. A lot of us have common goals but come from different angles, so a lot of good ideas have already been generated. We are also here to learn, and at a conference like INTIX, the people we meet and the sessions we are involved in can help dictate our next steps as an organization because we always want to evolve.”
Another organization that is evolving and growing is vivenu, which launched its API-first solution five years ago. Over 20 million tickets were sold last year using vivenu’s modern technology. The company also saw success in on-sales, selling 50,000 tickets within three minutes.
“We launched in the U.S. two years ago. This [past] year, we saw stellar growth [and] onboarded probably 150 organizers in the U.S. alone,” Simon Hennes, a co-founder of vivenu, said. During that same timeframe, vivenu also won lots of international business and had numerous successful product and feature releases.
Hennes believes ticketing is changing in many regards. “One is obviously data ownership, which becomes crucial. Data is king,” he said. “Second, every organization out there is unique in so many different facets and therefore flexibility will become key. Not everybody is equal, so we have to find ways to make online ticketing as flexible as personalized box office ticketing. That's my belief of what ticketing needs to become and what we try to be on a day-to-day basis.”
Hennes said, “INTIX is really about ticketing and there are lots of passionate people … We want to learn from customers and prospects alike, so having those continuous conversations helps us coordinate with our customers.”
Dani Rose, Managing Director of Art-Reach, and her colleague Adrienne Beckham, Associate Director of Leadership Initiatives, took the lead in educating ticketing professionals on strategic accessibility planning. Art-Reach is a nonprofit organization that serves greater Philadelphia, connecting systemically excluded individuals with the region's wide range of cultural arts opportunities. The organization envisions a world where people with disabilities and low-income communities have equitable access to the arts.
Rose and Beckham’s session began with a brief discussion on recommended language when discussing disability and accessibility work.
“I have heard [people] refer to a person with an apparent physical disability as an ‘ADA person,’ or the accessible seats are called ‘ADA seats,’” Rose said. “The word accessible and the phrase people with disabilities can be a mouthful. I say it about a hundred times in this presentation, so I know, but it is preferred. Even ‘access’ or ‘access seating’ would be fine … Using ADA as a [shortcut] just doesn’t sit well with me. A person using a wheelchair may be an individual who is protected under the ADA from discrimination, but they are a person, not a law, and the very law referenced gives this person the right to be treated equally.”
Rose added, “Language is powerful. Take some time to evaluate the words you use, but also don’t be afraid. ‘Person with a disability’ is always an OK thing to say.”
Rose and Beckham provided a brief overview of some of the obligations that live event and entertainment organizations have to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This led to a conversation about going beyond the ADA and putting humanity at the center of an organization’s access work. Further, Rose and Beckham shared tactical examples and guidance on assessing, upgrading and planning for access.
INTIX Access plans to publish a comprehensive feature story on this topic in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on our content hub and weekly newsletter for that article.
Adrienne Beckham and Dani Rose.
INTIX recognized its 2024 Awards honorees at the annual lunch sponsored by Allianz Partners on Wednesday, celebrating professionals who have displayed exceptional ticketing expertise, regardless of their position, location or organization.
This year’s recipients are:
Spirit Award — Jason Varnish
True Tickets Young Ticketing Professional — Dani Rose
Outstanding Ticket Office — Ticket Omaha
Outstanding Ticketing Professional — Lori Murphy
IMPACT Award — Jack Lucas
Jenifer LaMorte, INTIX Board Chair and Awards Committee Chair, with Jack Lucas
Patricia G. Spira Lifetime Achievement Award — Russ Stanley
Learn more about the INTIX Award recipients in our feature story.
Sweets and Surprises
After the Awards lunch, attendees moved again to the Exhibition Hall, this time for dessert sponsored by Jampack. There were also chair massages thanks to Protect Group.
Following a strong presence in today’s “Glamour, Grit, and Greatness: Women Leaders in Vegas Entertainment” Town Hall, Ticketmaster was busy sharing insights and having meaningful conversations with clients, partners and attendees in the Exhibition Hall. The organization also showcased its latest advancements in data analytics, access control and digital ticketing.
“Ticketmaster is committed to fostering industry partnerships, collaborations and a vibrant ecosystem conducive to innovation and growth within the live events industry,” said Amy Leavitt, Marketing Director at Ticketmaster.
She said, “The most valuable aspect of Ticketmaster's participation at INTIX lies in the opportunity to engage directly with clients, industry peers, stakeholders and prospective clients. The conference facilitates meaningful networking opportunities, potential collaborations and the identification of emerging trends or market demands, all of which contribute to Ticketmaster's ongoing refinement of our industry-leading products and services.”
Indeed, Ticketmaster reaffirms its commitment to remaining at the forefront of industry trends and addressing the evolving needs of clients and partners through its participation in the annual conference.
“Ticketmaster attends INTIX to actively participate in the premier forum dedicated to ticketing and live entertainment professionals,” said Leavitt. “INTIX serves as a vital hub for knowledge sharing and fostering connections within the broader ticketing community.”
And just outside the Exhibition Hall, what was that line-up that rivaled a first-day ticket outlet on-sale back in the day? While there was no first pull or any hard tickets to be had at the front of the line, there were INTIX Surprise Boxes!
While there was no first pull or any hard tickets to be had at the front of the line, there were INTIX Surprise Boxes!
Thanks to Cedar Packaging, each surprise was revealed as purchasers opened a beautiful, reusable pocket folder. The gift inside was guaranteed to have a retail value of at least what the purchaser had paid, and many were much higher, too. The INTIX Surprise Boxes are part of the FUNdraising philanthropy program at INTIX to support the Professional Development and Education Fund (PD&E) and in partnership with Roger Jones, VegasTickets.com and Ken Solky, LasVegasTickets.com.
Attendees were eager to visit with vendors in the Exhibition Hall, including Cover Genius, a global insurtech for embedded protection licensed in all 50 U.S. states and authorized in over 60 countries.
“Everybody is aware of the pandemic and its effect on the industry. The industry has come back strong, but we are finding that to this day, people still have some trepidation about buying tickets,” George Wood, Director of Partnerships, Live Entertainment Ticketing, Americas, Cover Genius, said. “When buying tickets for a major event six to 12 months out, you want peace of mind. So, we are finding that there is something called a protection effect that actually leads to the purchase of more tickets based on the confidence that you have, that you have some options if you are unable to attend.”
Wood says Cover Genius’ award-winning platform XCover can help build this level of confidence.
“We protect the customers of the world's largest digital companies with seamless end-to-end experiences,” he said. “We embed the insurance or protection offer seamlessly right into the purchase flow … The key is offering customers something they can really use when they could use it.”
As for his time at INTIX, Wood is enjoying every moment. “I spent 20 years with Ticketmaster and venue management companies, so it is like coming home and seeing a lot of friends who I consider family,” he said.
Women in Ticketing
After the Exhibition Hall closed, an ever-growing number of professionals from the Women in Ticketing community gathered for a group photo in what has become an annual INTIX conference tradition.
“Women in Ticketing was created to celebrate the strengths of women networking and mentoring within an environment of camaraderie and support,” Jennifer Staats Moore told conference attendees as she invited all women ticketing pros present in Las Vegas to join in for the annual photo meetup. Staats Moore founded the group together with Maureen Andersen, Karen Sullivan and Debra Kay Duncan several years ago. It has since grown to well over 1,000 members.
Here is a sneak peek photo. Look at all those smiles! The official photos will be released in the Women in Ticketing Facebook group.
INTIX Happy Hour
After the Women in Ticketing photo was taken, it was time for the INTIX Happy Hour sponsored by ID&C. The day would not have been complete without this gathering of industry friends and colleagues over drinks. Big thanks to ID&C for your partnership.
INTIX Late Night Social
After enjoying a night at a show, on the Strip or otherwise, conference attendees returned to Caesars Palace to mix and mingle at the INTIX Late Night Social. Thank you to our friends at AudienceView for sponsoring the evening’s festivities.
There is more to come! On Thursday, don’t miss the roundtable general session, Ticket to Allyship, more incredible INTIX workshops and time with vendor experts in the Exhibition Hall, and our closing keynote on imagining the future of event experiences with futurist Garry Golden.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Feb. 12, 2024 to add additional information from Ticketmaster.
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Tags: Leadership , INTIX 2024