Talking Tickets 17 January 2020…See You In NYC!

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Hey Everybody! 

Thanks for reading! 

First off, in the end, we had over 700 entrants into the giveaway for the pass to INTIX and the winner is: Dominik Schreyer

To quote Dominik, “Wow! That’s so cool—I never won anything!” 

Now you’ve won! Congratulations! 

Unfortunately, Dominik can’t make it because he has to speak ESSMA in Budapest on 22 January. He will be talking about empty seats and no shows at stadiums. 

But I’ll find a way to make it up to Dominik when I’m Paris in the spring. 

As for me, I’ll be in NYC all week meeting with folks in tickets, marketing, and money! If you are in the City next week and want to get together, let me know…I will be at INTIX, but I will have some downtime as well. 

At INTIX, you’ll find me at the Booking Protect Booth, 522, right next to the food and beverage. Simon has pulled together a game of “high and low” for the occasion. 

You’ll also be able to find me at Booth 230 with my friends, Einar and Martin, from Activity Stream

I’m leading two panels:

Tuesday, 21 January: “Discount? Or, Don’t Discount?” with Martin from Activity Stream. We also added my good friends, Angela Higgins from TPC Australia and Gabe Johnson from Roundabout, so it isn’t just a 90-minute rant from me about why discounts are stupid. 

Thursday, 22 January: “Service is the Best Form of Marketing” with Simon Mabbfrom Booking Protect, Guislaine Bulman from Ticketpro, and Frederic Auoadfrom Stay 22. Spoiler: service is essential to your ultimate success. 

To the tickets! 


1. Broadway brings in new and more diverse crowds! 

I love Broadway and I’ve been struggling to find really good theatre stories to share in the newsletter lately. So I was ecstatic to see the Broadway League release its latest demographic study this week! 

Great news! 14.8 million folks attended a Broadway production last season! 2.8 million were international and 3.8 were non-white, all highs! 


This tells us a couple of great things:

* Broadway is healthy! 

* We need to continue to focus on developing and promoting Broadway globally because, despite a certain amount of political uncertainty and unrest, NYC and Broadway still bring people into the United States. 

* The theatre can appeal to folks of any background and this is a prime reason that we need to find ways to expose more and more folks to theatre and the arts. 

2. The wildfires in Australia are likely to have a negative impact on the live entertainment business:

If you’ve never been to Australia, you are totally missing out! It is a magical place! 

That’s what makes the situation with the wildfires so heart-wrenching. 

Mark Ritson wrote about the tourism and marketing implications that the fires could have on Australia for this week. 

And, the live entertainment business is dealing with this as well as the Australian Open has had to put procedures in place due to health concerns, the AFL is renewing the Origin match to support relief efforts, and folks around the country are raising money and offering assistance. 

For all of us, it is easy to see the situation in Australia in isolation, but it highlights the growing need to have contingency plans in place for weather-related events as we continue to see changing weather patterns. 

3 steps any of us promoting or producing events can take immediately include:

1. Thinking about how we are going to deal with customer issues related to being unable to get to or attend an event in the case of catastrophic weather conditions. Refund protection and refund policies to start, but also cancellations and safety are all going to be important. 

2. Look at scheduling. Weather and climate conditions are likely to change the way that we schedule and plan our events and our lives. What does this mean to all of us?

3. How do we fit into the efforts to fight these tragedies, support these communities, and give back? I’m a believer that no matter what we do, we are part of the larger community and that if one person or organization is suffering, to an extent, we are all suffering. 

To that point, I’ve been encouraging folks that want to offer assistance to donate to the Red Cross of Australia! 

3. Soccer, or as I like to call it, football, continues to grow all over the world:

Y’all know I love Spurs, for better or worse. 

Due to this love of the Premier League, I spend a lot more time paying attention to the global football business than I might have in the past. 

And, there is a lot to notice. 

La Liga is seeing growth in attendance…which means we are going to need to pay attention to what they are doing because most of the stories we see in the States are about declining attendance

To boot, the French soccer leagues are also seeing growth. 

And, City is taking over the globe with teams all over the place! 

While the entire picture isn’t completely like a rocket straight up, I think we can learn a few things from the growth of soccer around the globe:

1. Soccer clubs around the globe have done a great job building communities and monetizing their global fan bases. Check out the One Hotspur Club. Or, Man City’s Cityzens

2. They emphasize attendance. I’ve mentioned the book, The Club, before and Richard Scudamore’s point that an empty stadium is a bad soundstage for a TV production. This is worth keeping in mind. 

There’s a lot more that we can learn from the growth and continued growth of futbol! 

4. Marketing effectiveness in tickets, arts, sports, and entertainment needs to be platform-agnostic and focused on what folks actually want and use: 

Drew McManus writes up a piece about a study that asked folks how they read his orchestra business blog, expecting that most people were going through and reading the web version. 


This idea has come up in a couple of places this week because I chatted with David Fowler for a podcast coming up in a week or so on sports marketing and I have a podcast conversation with Ryan Wallman about his new book, Delusions of Brandeur, where we talked about needing to do research at the start of the project to ensure you are using the right channel to communicate with your audience. 

This is important to remember because many of us get infatuated with one particular channel or idea. 

In reality, combining marketing modalities improves response. In reality, we aren’t our market and what we assume is conventional wisdom often isn’t. 

My challenge to all of us is to take a step back and ask the question: “What if this isn’t true?” And think through the implications. 

I’m betting it will change your thinking on the topic. 

5. Details of Live Nation’s renewed consent decree are made public: 

I’ve said in the past that it seems a little ridiculous to expect anyone to not try and leverage the entirety of their business assets to win business. 

That’s kind of the way I feel about the consent decree and Live Nation. 

If the government doesn’t want a company to control all aspects of the live entertainment experience, we have antitrust laws and regulations or they can put provisions in the agreement that they can punish if the deal is broken.

I am a little surprised that the deal wasn’t altered or strengthed more in light of the allegations and findings, but in the States we have been taking a pretty lax position on antitrust and competition law for several decades now. 

What does all this mean? 

I’m not sure. 

I don’t see anything in the decree that would stop future investigations or that points to there not being other investigations ongoing. 

But, when you look at the state of play with government regulation, it is fairly consistent with what has been happening across industries for the last 10-15 years. 

What I’m Up To: 

I’m going to be in NYC this week from the 20-23. If you are at INTIX, make sure we say, “hello”, or, if you aren’t let me know if you are around and we can grab a cup of coffee or a drink. 

On Monday afternoon, from 5PM-6PM, I’ll be at Faces and Names at 159 W. 54th Street having a delicious beverage or two. I’m sure I will have a few friends with me, so swing by. 

I’ve been updating my blog daily this year, having set myself the goal of writing up one thing a day to ensure that I keep the writing habit. Some ticket related, but a lot of strategy and marketing as well. Including a piece about customer experience based on a great white paper, Simon Mabb sent me on customer service

You’ll want to check out my podcast with Ryan Wallman. Ryan is one of the best advertisers in the world, he wrote a book last year, and he’s a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with. 

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