Leadership / 11.19.19
Lisa Thomas-Cutts Cuts to the Chase When It Comes to Women in Ticketing
This story is brought to you by the INTIX Women in Entertainment Technology Program.
Lisa Thomas-Cutts is a big proponent of women in the ticketing industry. That’s no surprise considering the hard work she has put in over the years to achieve the position of Box Office Manager at the Columbus Civic Center and the Columbus Ice Rink in Georgia. She has worked at the facility since 2004.
“For women in ticketing today,” she says, “the sky is the limit! When I first started, most box office managers, ticketing directors and supervisors were definitely male. I noticed this when I attended ticketing conferences. I’m happy to say that, over the years, this has changed tremendously. I think, in general, you see more women in charge in all areas of the venue business.”
It certainly helps to get educated first. Thomas-Cutts has a master’s degree in management and is a graduate of the Venue Management School. Her primary duties and responsibilities include the daily operation and functions of the ticket office. “This includes the building and scaling of all the ticketed events,” she says. ”I manage, prepare and reconcile all of the financial transactions. I supervise, hire and train all office personnel. And I work with the promoters of the shows, from the signing of the contract until settlement on the night of the show.”
What does she believe to be her greatest personal attribute? Thomas-Cutts was quick to answer. “I consider myself a people person,” she says, “so one of my favorite parts of the job is meeting new people. If you work at a venue, one of the most unique things to keep in mind is that every day is different. You never know who may walk through your door. You get to interact with so many people from all walks of life.”
She continues, “I would have to say the favorite part of my job is on the night of the event. I walk in the arena and look around the floor and up in the stands at the people. The patrons are socializing, dancing, singing, laughing, enjoying our food and beverages. Most importantly, they’re smiling and taking a break from whatever life problems they may have to enjoy an event in my arena. This gives me a sense of satisfaction, knowing that I was a part of the team that helped make their night special.”
Of course, each day working at a venue like the Columbus Civic Center and the Columbus Ice Rink can have its own set of special challenges. For Thomas-Cutts, time management has been the hardest thing she’s had to wrestle with. “You can get pulled in all directions,” she says. “On any given day, I can go from a staff meeting and come back to my office. I start to work on some important financial reports that I need to reconcile. The phone rings, and it’s my Ticketmaster rep, Jamie, returning my call to discuss a question that I have. During the discussion, my assistant comes in and tells me there is a local promoter who really needs to talk to me about their event. I’m told the promoter only needs a few minutes. It ends up taking an hour. And normally that’s not the end of the interruptions!”
Fortunately, she was given some good on-the-job advice early on. “The first General Manager who hired me told me, ‘Once you get in this business and you love it, it gets in your blood.’ This proved so true! I think at this point it would probably be difficult for me to work a regular 9-to-5 job,” she says.
And now she is the one in a position of influence to give advice to other aspiring women in the field. What does she tell those who come to her for help and counsel? “I advise any young women starting in this business to come in with an open mind,” she says. “I would tell them to be willing to learn and absorb as much knowledge as possible and to try and stay current with the industry trends. You should also have integrity and be honest and ethical with your clients.”
She concludes, “Also realize that you work in the box office, which is the hub of any building. It’s where can you build the most important relationships out of all the divisions. This is mainly because you’re in constant communication with the promoters. You handle their revenue, which is why they’re coming to your facility: to make money. And we all know in the grand scheme of things, ‘You’re not doing nothing if you’re not getting butts in seats!’”
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Tags: Leadership , Women in Ticketing