In NYC last week for INTIX, I got a bunch of questions and there were certainly themes. So I wanted to take a few moments to flesh these questions out because I might not have been able to give a complete answer last week or I didn’t give a great answer because it was very busy.
Here are a few of the questions I received and my answers:
What are you working on now and how do you get so much done?
This question was something I got a lot of in Australia as well.
To answer the first part, I’m working on helping more people create and capture new opportunities this year and I will be delivering new workshops, workbooks, webinars, talks, and content with the express focus on helping people create and capture more opportunities than ever before.
I’ll also be doing more workshops and sales training as well. I did a really great one at the end of the year and the work that I did with the sales team seemed to really strike a chord with both me and the team.
The second part, how do I get so much stuff done.
Two simple answers: one, I’m super aggressive with my schedule. Meaning I try to block out the time for everything that needs to get done.
Keeping a schedule that is pretty tight and knowing where and when I am going to do things, along with processing things quickly is a key to my success.
What do I think is going to happen in tickets this year? Or, what trends are popping up?
I’ve been talking about the data points that a few people throughout the industry have shared with me about growing concern that as the year progresses, selling tickets will become more and more difficult for a number of reasons, but here are three:
- An election year will steal attention and cause uncertainty.
- Consumer spending is strained by the continued impact of lower consumer spending power in the United States.
- Confusion, pricing, and other factors that impact ease of purchase, knowledge of events, and other factors in helping people make the decision to attend.
If you think about this in terms of trends, the trend of reduced purchasing power has been on display for more than a decade. So I’m not out on a limb here.
Other trends, consumers’ tastes for entertainment continue to change and the way that live entertainment is marketing their products and services isn’t keeping up.
How can venues, teams, and performers better serve their audience?
I think putting the customer at the center of your thinking has always been good business. I think with advances in social media and comfort with sharing your experiences, good and bad, online becoming the regular course of business, putting the customer at the center of your business is just a necessity.
That’s going to play out in a number of ways like pricing, marketing, the in-venue experience, follow up afterward, and more.
I don’t have a pat answer for this, but I can say that a good starting off point that I’ve used around the world now is to think through your experience and ask questions about things that are happening to your customer.
The best questions I’ve been using is to ask are:
“How would I feel if this happened to me?”
“How would I feel if this happened to my family?”
I think that thinking through your experience using this lens will change your views.
Are there any tools, technologies, or other ideas that you are excited about seeing in action this year?
Last year I was on the technology committee at INTIX, so I got used to asking people this question and folks turned around and asked me the same thing.
I did a little bit on this in my INTIX review, but I’ll offer you up three suggestions with an explanation:
- I’m excited to see how the continued ability for venues and ticketing companies to integrate partners into the buying journey will help ease the purchase for consumers. As a long-time partner of Booking Protect, I’ve been screaming about the need to offer your guests a more personalized buying journey for years and we are seeing that come to fruition. At INTIX, I had Frederic Auoad from Stay22 on a panel and their service is one I’m curious to see impact how venues offer accommodations. I’ll also be excited to see how add-ons like parking, merchandise, and F&B are used to customize the pre-purchase or pre-event experience.
- One of the nice things about going to Australia last year was getting to spend 10 days with Einar from Activity Stream. All of this traveling led me to have an even better understanding of the power of data when used well to impact your entire marketing organization. Looking at tools like Activity Stream for AI, Vatic and Qcue for dynamic pricing, and Queue-it for the waiting room, I’m excited to see how the buying experience continues to evolve.
- More secondary market players are going to continue to enter the market and established players are going to continue to evolve and find ways to add value. I met Jeff from Ticketsmarter and saw the Tickets4Less folks at INTIX in NYC, I’d really never met any of them before. On top of that, I saw my old friends from Prolific1, Broker Genius, and other places and that made me excited because I’m hopeful this competition will end up being a good thing for the industry because the secondary market has done a pretty good job of innovating on digital marketing, pricing technology, and the buyer’s journey.
“How was Australia?”
Australia was amazing and there were 5 Australians at INTIX. I met them all.
I think I got so jammed up with the holidays after I returned from Australia that I never had the opportunity to recap my trip properly.
So I will do a podcast with Angela Higgins in a few weeks and we will talk about the Ticketing Professionals Conference Australia’s path forward.
As for me, I thought Australia was magical. Everyone should have the chance to see Sydney once, at least.
On top of that, I had the chance to give a keynote address at the opening of Angela and Jo’s conference, to do a workshop in Melbourne, and to give a keynote at the Australian Football League’s league day.
Professionally, that was an amazing week or so.
I also came out of the trip with some new friends like Angela’s partner, Richard. Trishan, Tom, Oli, and, I think, the entire sales and marketing team of my new favorite Australian Rules Football Side, Melbourne FC. And, Ryan Wallman, one of the best marketing and advertising people in the world.
And, I can’t forget the time I got to hang out with old friends like Simon Mabb, Andrew Thomas, and Derek Palmer.
Plus, traveling with Einar was a real highlight.
What did I learn?
I’ll give you three things that seem important now:
- Good people are good people. The people I met in Australia were world-class nice folks. I’d miss people and I apologize in advance but Sheila Moloney, Amy Maiden, and the folks from Today Tix helped me tremendously with the prep for my talks. Malcolm Auld helped me understand the marketing landscape. And, again, so many people were so generous with their time and attention.
- The Australian sports business community is really progressive. I was really taken by the things I learned at the AFL’s Fan Day. The openness to learn and the honesty about what they were dealing with to grow the game was refreshing considering what passes for similar sometimes in the States.
- Getting outside of your comfort zone is powerful. I was walking in downtown Sydney with Einar on the Saturday of our trip and I said to him, “This is amazing and the idea that everyone in the world doesn’t embrace travel when they have a chance is just really sad.”
I have so much to say about Australia and I can’t possibly do it justice.
And, since this is now getting long, I’ll leave this Q&A for now.
Any other questions or you like this format, send me an email to email@example.com