Weighing in: My Ticketing Predictions for 2016

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I’m not sure that anyone could have accurately predicted all the action in ticketing in 2015. Just to jog your memory:

AXS buys Veritix. Shubert buys Choice. Ticketmaster buys FrontGate. Vendini buys CrowdTorch. Pandora buys Ticketfly. Etix founder returns to CEO position and Joe Kustelski is out. Brian Arnone is out at TicketFly and in at ShowClix. Fred Mangione is in at TopTix.

I’m pretty sure I missed some but even so – the theme seems to be shifting sands.

Meanwhile, what did we do as an industry to serve the fans and venues? What new technologies came to the market to really make things better?

Sigh. Nada. Nix. So we go marching on to 2016, where this is what I think will happen – or in some cases, wish. Continue reading

Are Pandora and Ticketfly Really Changing Ticketing Forever?

Yesterday, everyone in the ticketing world gasped a little – though not from surprise – that the venture-grabbing little brother to Ticketmaster, Ticketfly, was snatched up in a staggering $450 million acquisition by music streaming giant, Pandora.

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It was no surprise that Ticketfly was priming to flip from the start; in fact, the run of endless capital seemed to go on for so long, some scratched our heads, wondering “When? And who?” Continue reading

Millennials on the Rise: How this new era of historic theatre managers is changing the game

Last week, I attended the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT) annual conference in Nashville. Several hundred of us meet annually with an aggressive agenda: tour historic theatres in the cities we meet in; connect with other people who, like us, love the often crumbling theatres we work in; equip ourselves with new ideas and knowledge; and connect with industry providers who offer Continue reading

Beginnings…

With one of our Arizona clients, Kara Osburn, at the amazing Tempe Center for the Arts

Sometimes it’s good to look back and remember how things began. I often get asked the question, “How did you get started in ticketing?” And some days, I certainly ask myself the same.

There are times I feel almost like it’s not fair that we stumbled upon the business plan and opportunity. But isn’t that how it happens most of the time? Very seldom are we hit with an idea in the shower, out of the blue, that becomes a real entity. Rather, it’s  seeing the opportunities that are there because of what you’re already doing. Continue reading

Hey, Grumpy Pants!

Got a call this morning from a theatre manager who had just lost her front end/box office manager – and has a heavy show schedule in October. She’s going to have to scramble, do a lot of the work herself, and try to find someone who has experience, availability and the right personality to be a part of her team. No easy task.

I told her tongue in cheek, “Staffing will be the death of us!” I’m fortunate to have a majority of our staff that’s been with us for more than a few years. That gives a sense of stability to everyone – but right now, we’re shifting responsibilities for a few, had to let a new hire go a few weeks ago, and are always retooling and refining. And until the dust settles, we all feel it.

Last week, I followed some sessions from  Inc Magazine  (@incmagazine ) and #INC500 and the recurring theme was getting the staff right. It’s the thing that keeps us awake at night, can ruin a small business, or – when you get it right – makes a company hum along and seem easy to run. Continue reading

The real thing

I spent some hours last week filling in for several traveling Client Services employees and for the most part, enjoyed talking to clients, assisting with their needs, and getting the job done. And then there was *Frank.

Frank was a ticket buyer – and called because he hadn’t received his tickets in the mail. Our agent explained that in this case, there was an order for the ticket stock that was seriously delayed due to the east coast storms and flooding, and that his tickets would be mailed the following week.

For most buyers, this was reasonable. But Frank – for whatever things are going on in his life – decided to escalate the call to a supervisor. It was, as he said, “ridiculous and unacceptable.”  It was almost closing and the supervisor was in my office, so I told him I would take the call. It had been a number of years since I’d handled a customer complaint, and I thought it would be good for me to stay in touch with the daily dealings of my staff. Continue reading

It’s the Right Time

My uncle, Freeman Mast, was the most successful business person in my family – outside of my entrepreneur grandma who raised chickens and dogs along with the kids, a grandpa running Rudy’s Refrigeration , and a host of farmers. Uncle Freeman grew up in a town of 1000, got a business degree after serving in Vietnam, and landed a job with Marathon Oil. Before his career was done, he was in the top handful of executives for Marathon, creating a distribution system that earned him accolades and recognition beyond his industry.

When I was young, my mom proudly showed me a magazine clipping that had made it into the family circle letter. “Look at this article about your Uncle Freeman!” Fame was impressive to me at any level, and I read the article and still remember the single sentence that described his success:  “Getting the right product to the right place at the right time.”

Simple, right? If so, then, why all the attention and promotions for him when he got it right?

Continue reading