Leadership / 10.20.21
SecuTix’s Eric Rozenberg on How He’s Stayed Optimistic Throughout the Pandemic
As CEO of SecuTix Americas since January 2018, Eric Rozenberg opened the Americas Region, starting from scratch and building a capable team dedicated to customer support. That team has been tested to its limits in the pandemic era. But, so far, he and they have been up to the challenge.
“The most important and strategic key step we took is that we decided to keep everyone—in the U.S. and also worldwide,” he says. “Being able to support and serve our customers is essential, and training ‘on boarders’ or support people takes a long time. Accordingly, we kept everyone on the payroll. The second key step we took is that we started having a daily huddle to inform everyone of any new developments and to share the priorities we were working on. That has allowed us to keep our team committed and aligned.”
Commitment and alignment are core values for the company Rozenberg serves. SecuTix is a global provider of an advanced software-as-a-service (SaaS) ticketing engagement platform that helps organizations boost ticket sales and enhance audiences’ experience before, during and after events. Celebrating its 20th year in 2022, SecuTix manages the yearly sales of approximately 45 million tickets according to its website. Among its most notable customers are Opéra National de Paris, the Union of European Football Associations (or UEFA) and the Paléo Festival. SecuTix has also successfully integrated blockchain mobile delivery.
Speaking of the moves he and his colleagues have made since early March 2020, Rozenberg says, “We actually never re-geared but, instead, really kept at it. Our focus is our technology platform, not primary or secondary ticketing per se, as we are a white label ticketing engagement platform. So, we spent a lot of time helping our clients accelerate some of the projects they were working on, preparing for social distancing reopening, as well as transitioning to mobile faster than they were even dreaming of.”
For his part, Rozenberg keeps busy with multiple projects. He has also been president and CEO of Event Business Formula, the first online platform dedicated to helping event business owners manage and grow their business while maintaining a work-life balance. In addition, he hosts The Business of Meetings podcast during which he interviews various guests involved in the meetings and events industry. Originally from Belgium, he was the first European ever to chair the International Board of Meetings Professional International (MPI), the largest professional association in the meetings and events industry.
So, when it came time for his leadership skills to be tested at SecuTix, Rozenberg was able to rise to the occasion. He remembers just as COVID-19 was about to grip the world in the first quarter of 2020, he gathered his team in the office and asked them to get ready to work remotely.
“I know some were a little skeptical,” he says. “Two weeks later, I sent everyone to work from home. Looking back at those 20 months, and notwithstanding the great results we have achieved, I think the main test was keeping my team motivated and aligned. You can have the most advanced and comprehensive technology in your industry, and you can have the greatest clients. But if you don’t have a great team that understands what the company is trying to achieve and what their role is, it will be reflected in their attitude and service to the customers. I’m very proud of how my team has navigated this pandemic and how we are coming out of it even stronger.”
He also believes live events will emerge stronger in the long run. But he acknowledges that some changes will be permanent. Some already are. First and foremost, mobile ticketing is now the new standard. “In the past, some venues were very reticent about switching to mobile, fearing that their audience won’t be able or willing to adapt,” Rozenberg says, “this is not even a question anymore. That will also speed up the access control process. Secondly, I’m very optimistic that artists will continue to push for protecting their true fans and to allow them to buy a ticket at a fair price thanks to blockchain. What we are doing for Ed Sheeran’s tour in Europe is the perfect example of that. At the end, the fans, the venues and the organizers will be the winners, which is normal, as they are the ones really providing added value.”
Rozenberg also expressed hope that if and when the next virus hits, the world won’t have to close, as so many organizations and entities have learned how to operate in a safe way. He referenced an article Freeman and Epistemix published in late August on this very hope titled “Amid Uncertainty of the Delta Variant, Research Shows Attending In-Person Business Events Safer Than Daily Activities Like Going to the Grocery Store.”
“Some things will not change, though,” he says, “[specifically] the need for creating unique experiences for the audience, as well as making sure that they are entering a secure and safe venue. The reopening of the U.S. for travelers outside North America, the increase in season ticket sales as well as the huge booking for trade shows starting in January 2022 for the next three years are all positive indicators for the future and keep me optimistic. People are craving experiences and going out!”
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Tags: Leadership , COVID-19 , Coronavirus