Andrew Thomas is the Senior Consultant at the Ticketing Institute. Andrew enjoys laughing and making others laugh, fishing, and the Mojave Desert. Here, he reflects on his many interests, stories (he met David Beckham!) and the wonderful way INTIX changed his life.
* * * * *
Who do you admire most and why?
Tom Hanks. I don't think he's done a bad film, he's been around for a long time and he's done some really good stuff. He seems like a thoroughly nice chap.
What is the quality you like most in a person?
Honesty and, secondly, a sense of humor.
What is the quality you most like in a colleague?
What qualities are important to you in a leader?
The ability to be on a level playing field. To be in the trenches. When it's all going horribly wrong, they will be down there, shoulder-to-shoulder with their colleagues and not in any ivory tower.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife, who I met at INTIX, and laughter. I love to laugh and I love to make other people laugh. I think it trascends everything.
Which talent would you most like to have?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The work I've been part of to start the Ticketing Professionals Conference in the UK. That's what I'm most proud of.
Where would you most like to live?
The Mojave Desert. Within a 90-minute drive to different directions, you get a complete change of people, social class and political views. It's nice to instantly switch and be with different people in different environments. Oh, and the weather. And the gambling!
What do you value most in your friends?
Honesty and humor.
What’s the best live event you’ve ever seen and why?
The FA Cup Final at Millennium Stadium in 2006. I went to get in a private elevator for staffers only. When the lift doors opened, I went to step inside and a big security guard said, "No, this is a private lift." I looked behind and Dave Beckham was standing there. David Beckham said, "No, it's alright, you can come in." I got into the lift and stood next to him going up to my meeting. I told my wife the story, and the first thing she said was, "How did he smell?" I said, "Lovely."
What is your favorite venue and why?
Salisbury Arts Centre, which is a tiny arts centre in rural Wiltshire, UK. It is made out of a converted church and has approximately 125 seats. They were the first organization to put their faith in me. I grew to love not just the bricks and mortar, but the people as well, and I don't consider a venue to be just a physical structure.
What is your favorite musician of all time and why?
Michael Buble. When I met my wife at INTIX, she was living in Las Vegas and I was living in the UK, so we had a commuting relationship. I always got very sad when I was flying back and I would listen to Michael Buble songs.
What is your favorite place to visit or place you'd love to visit and why?
Tokyo. We had a stopover there on a trip to New Zealand. When you're in Europe or a Spanish-speaking country you can make out some words. With a different language and typography, you've got no idea. We spent a crazy 48 hours in Tokyo and the minute they invent a teleport machine we'll be back every weekend.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
Don't turn down or be afraid of new opportunities. I've had friends and mentors who have given me chances to do brilliant things. For various reasons, I have always found a reason to say no. Wrong time of life, don't want to move there, all my friends are here, etc. I regret that because I think I could have achieved more if I had taken those risks.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Fish. I’m a fisherman. I live by the sea and I go fishing off the beach where I live. Not as often as I’d like, but more often than my wife would like. My wife also loves to fish, but I like going on my own because it’s my thinking time. It’s nice to be on your own with no technology. I’ve come to some great decisions while I’ve sat doing nothing and waiting for a fish to bite.
If you were granted three wishes today, what would they be?
I wish I'd met my wife 20 years earlier, that I could take back things I've said to people I shouldn't have said, and I wish I'd said some things to people I didn't say.
What brings you the most joy or greatest meaning in life?
Why are you a member of INTIX?
It is a second home. I say it's a home because it's a place where I want to be. It is a place where I feel safe and it's a place where I feel like I am with my family who understands what I am talking about in terms of technical language about ticketing. They can help me with my problems and I can help them with theirs.
What do you get from INTIX?
Renewed vigor. It helps me with my own business and I get a great deal of pleasure bringing my knowledge from the previous year to INTIX to share with others.
What does INTIX give you that is different from everything else you are doing?
It gives me different options, different points of view, different thinking and different ways of working.
What do you love most about your job?
Variety, visiting fantastic people and visiting fantastic venues.
What do you love most about our industry?
People are always curious and we are some of the luckiest people in the world to get to do the things we do. We get to meet some of our childhood heroes or some of our favorite artists and we get paid for it.
What is your most memorable career moment?
I worked in a rugby stadium and we never filled it out, never came close. Then we had this run of results and actually sold out the first game in about 15 years. I had to go and get big signs that said, "Sold Out" to cover the box office windows.
What is your most memorable INTIX moment?
Meeting my wife.
Is there anything I haven’t asked you about that you would like to share, which defines you as a professional or a person?
I am not as grumpy as my face may tell people sometimes. And, I welcome the chance to share ideas with people who are junior or senior to me in their career path, because that's what makes INTIX great.