Leadership / 11.29.23
Regional Groups: Your Ticket to Local Connections
INTIX is a global family of ticketing professionals. Our members are always willing to share their time and expertise with others, whether it is through one-on-one interactions, via the INTIX Mentor Program, on our weekly Wednesday Wisdom calls or at the annual conference, which celebrates its 45th year in January 2024 in Las Vegas.
Joining a regional ticketing group is another way to engage and network with professionals in your area. Though these groups are not formally affiliated with INTIX, many are championed by some of our most engaged members, adding even more energy to our worldwide community.
As we begin a new series to shine a spotlight on the regional groups, we connected with Christina Allen, Senior Manager, Box Office for the Ottawa Senators and Canadian Tire Centre and INTIX Board Director, and Ariane Ladouceur, Box Office Manager for the National Arts Centre. They shared with us how OTT-TIX was originally founded and where they see this regional group in Canada’s capital heading in 2024.
In 2015, Allen and Ladouceur serendipitously crossed paths at INTIX in Denver, forging a connection that would ultimately transcend the annual conference. A year later, they reunited in Anaheim and rekindled their rapport. Their time together also inspired the establishment of OTT-TIX in late 2016, underscoring the power of INTIX to create lasting professional connections and collaborations.
But why are regionals so important if relationships can be made through a global membership group like INTIX? We asked these enthusiastic OTT-TIX founders to share their thoughts.
“As part of a regional, these are ticketing professionals who have shared challenges specific to your market. There are only so many venues in Ottawa, and to work together and know you have that local support system is huge! In Ottawa, our regional challenges range from being a government town and also ensuring we are fully bilingual,” Ladouceur said. “No matter what ticketing system you are using, we have all faced similar challenges with trying to ensure we are bilingual.”
Before the pandemic, members of OTT-TIX would meet three or four times a year for an informal get-together that they call “News, Brews and Views.” As OTT-TIX looks ahead to hosting its next “News, Brews and Views” in early 2024, they painted a picture of past events.
“The ‘news’ portion was sharing INTIX news and updates,” Allen said. “[For] the ‘views’ portion, we would send out a request for topics prior [and] folks could also email us to request a topic. Those conversations ranged from part-time recognition programs or how we’re managing special accommodation requests. After our first year, we circulated a survey to see what was benefiting the group and what they would like to see more of. Folks were very interested in venue tours, and in 2018 we toured the National Arts Centre, Algonquin Commons Theatre, Centrepointe Theatre and Bluesfest. These events were our most popular! After each venue tour, we would then go for dinner and drinks for networking.”
Allen and Ladouceur count those venue tours among their most memorable OTT-TIX moments. “All the tours were great. We could never pick our favorite,” they exclaimed. “From sharing job postings, we have also had a few people grow their careers, which is always exciting!”
Ladouceur added, “Surveying [our] membership was also a great tool. It let us know where we were on track and what we could do to create more value.”
Like many other organizations in North America and around the world, Allen and Ladouceur admit that COVID-19 impacted the membership of OTT-TIX. Pre-pandemic, the group hovered around 20 members from across Ottawa, with the majority working at various venues. Today, job postings are still shared amongst the group. Additionally, OTT-TIX conveys as much INTIX-related information as possible to ticketing pros in Ottawa-Gatineau, ensuring members know about Access while sharing both conference and grant information, too.
The Ottawa-Gatineau regional group prides itself on this continued knowledge-sharing and collaboration. Even though the regional is quieter post-COVID, there is still a sense of community, say Allen and Ladouceur. These leaders continue to reach out and support local ticketing professionals whenever opportunities are presented.
What have they learned through the OTT-TIX regional group that could help other regionals and regional members?
“I think the most important advice is [that] it doesn’t matter if four people show up to an event or 20 people show up. There is value and keep with it. It takes time to grow and sustain a regional,” Allen said. “Creating a local network will provide opportunities and support for someone who may feel like they do not have someone to turn to with their ticketing challenges.”
And what about their advice for INTIX members who have not yet joined a regional group?
“Join one!” they said passionately.
Allen and Ladouceur are looking to 2024 with incredible enthusiasm. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to recede into the rear-view mirror, they see a hopeful chapter ahead. Shortly, they will begin reaching out to current members about next year. They will also be contacting new ticketing professionals in their area and inviting them to join OTT-TIX.
“We would love to have you join our group!” Allen said.
Ticketing professionals in the Ottawa-Gatineau area can reach out to OTT-Tix via email@example.com. Members in other areas are encouraged to visit the INTIX website to connect with the regional group nearest them.
Editor’s Note: Don’t miss “The Regionals Vegas Vacation” at INTIX 2024. In this session, attendees will learn everything about regional groups. Hear the recent success story of revitalizing the Washington, D.C./Maryland/Virginia group directly from those who took a gamble to restart from scratch. And meet with members and leaders of regional groups for a discussion and information session regarding the benefits of regionals. You don’t have to be a regional group member to attend — everyone is welcome! Not registered for INTIX 2024 yet? What are you waiting for? Click here to register today.
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Tags: Leadership , Regional Groups