We’ve been promising our best speaker line-up for our 5th birthday edition of Ticketing Technology Forum. And we will deliver.

2016 is going to take some beating, but we’re confident we’ve still got some tricks up our sleeve… in the shape of the announcement of our first 12 confirmed speakers.

Our final speaker line-up will be a 40-strong stellar cast of the industry’s movers, shakers and all-round disruptors. Take a look at the first dozen out of the starting blocks for a flavour of what to expect from EMEA’s #1 ticketing meeting…

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Ken Lowson, Reformed King of Ticket Bots, USA

When you’ve invented Ticket Bots and purchased more than 1,500,000 tickets amassing more than $25 million in profits, you’ve learned a few things about the ticketing business!

Ken was the principle founder of the infamous Wiseguy Tickets. He cornered the majority of premium tickets for the hottest events and became the leading source for secondary markets. At his peak, Lowson was running an international network of 100,000 IP addresses using co-located servers.

Wiseguy had zero inventory risk, unlimited broker credit cards, and 1000+ individual primary seller accounts. Their Bot performance was measured in milliseconds ensuring the front of the online queues plus automated visual and audio CAPTCHA without using Optical Character Recognition. The Wiseguy operation became so powerful that for one US Football Rose Bowl game, it purchased 990 out of a 1000 seat allocation. Federally indicted in 2011, Ken pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Ken has returned to the ticket world to share his inside knowledge and benefit Live Event Creators by eliminating unwanted reselling and recapturing Fan spending power. As the “Catch Me If You Can” guy of tickets, he can stop Bots, reduce fraud and boost PR.

At the 2017 Forum, Ken Lowson will share his unique take on 21st Century ticketing, take open questions on stage and showcase some of the new services he’s offering to improve in-house ticket revenues and fan loyalty.

 

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Ismail Elshareef, SVP, Fan Experience and Open Platform, Ticketmaster, USA

Do you integrate – or want to integrate – with Ticketmaster? Well, here’s your man. Ismail is a technology leader currently serving as the SVP of Fan Experience and Open Platform at Ticketmaster. Here he’s leading the charge of opening up the company’s technical capabilities, including APIs, to help grow the business through partnership integrations and product innovation.

Prior to Ticketmaster, Ismail was the Executive Director of Open Platform at Edmunds.com. In that capacity, he built out the Front-End Engineering team before leading the company’s Innovation Pipeline development that’s based on Open APIs, public hackathons and accelerator programs. He helped grow the business through innovation, which most recently led to an acquisition, and enabling strategic partnerships. After a rapturous welcome at last year’s Forum, Ismail returns to run a workshop on Open Platform and an update on all the clever stuff that can be done with Ticketmaster’s APIs.

 

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Vincent Larchet, Chief Technology Officer, SecuTix, Switzerland

There’s a lot of discussion about blockchain* and its potential impact on global business transactions. But is there substance behind all the hype? Does blockchain provide the missing solutions to so many of the biggest challenges in ticketing? Lifting the lid on blockchain and its potential for ticketing, we are delighted to welcome to the #TTF17 line-up Vincent Larchet, CTO, SecuTix SA.

In Dublin, Vincent will explore the potential future impact of blockchain in the ticketing industry, with reference to user cases. He’ll also be sharing where SecuTix as a ticketing technology provider is integrating blockchain into its roadmap. Vincent Larchet is Chief Technology Officer at SecuTix, a SaaS Ticketing Engagement Platform that helps organisations boost ticket sales and enhance audiences’ experience before, during and after events. Heading the “Innovations and Architecture” department, Vincent is defining the company’s innovation directions and technology partnerships, focusing on creating a marketplace of third-party digital applications that build on the open nature of the SecuTix ticketing platform.

Vincent is also looking at several technology initiatives – one such stream being the Blockchain. Get the heads-up on blockchain from one of the industry’s key players – only at #TTF17!

 

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Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive, ARC Stockton Arts Centre, UK

Who needs prices? Are you sufficiently brave (or stupid) to ditch the entire pricing strategy and let your audience decide what a show’s worth? Annabel Turpin threw out the rule book when she decided to adopt Pay What You Decide (PWYD) for all the 2015 theatre, dance and spoken word programming at ARC in Stockton on Tees, one of the North East’s largest arts venues.

The results of what was an experiment in audience development have been astonishing: Audiences up by 34.5%; Income up by 52%; Average ticket yield up by 32%! The experiment is now part of the business plan and, inspired by ARC, PWYD has been trialled at other UK venues and is gaining fans in North America. But PWYD isn’t for everyone and there are potential pitfalls.

Annabel will be sharing her experiences in taking the risk and explaining how we can all benefit from being brave and experimental when it comes to pricing. Annabel was previously Director of Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead and Events Manager at Warwick Arts Centre. She is co-chair of Future Arts Centres, a national network championing arts centres, and manages a number of other venue partnerships.

 

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Liam Negus-Fancey, Co-founder, StreetTeam, UK

Liam Negus-Fancey co-founded StreetTeam (formerly The Physical Network) in 2012 after running the largest under-age events company in the UK – Lets Go Crazy – which sold 65,000 tickets in two years. During that time he noticed a trend in the way people were buying tickets (peer-to-peer) and set out to build a platform that reflected this form of social advocacy.

Today, StreetTeam is the world’s leading peer-to-peer sales software for live entertainment and has recently just closed $10m in funding. It has offices in Los Angeles, Australia, New Zealand, Australia, London and Poland – and has sold more than 300,000 tickets in 14 countries. StreetTeam enables its customers to turn their most influential fans into ambassadors who promote their events and sell tickets to their friends in return for rewards. Its growing list of clients includes more than 250 festivals, such as Bonnaroo, Bestival, Forecastle, Reading, Leeds and Electric Zoo.

Liam has a deep knowledge of the festival and events industry, and specific expertise in peer-to-peer sales and marketing. Learn how rewarding your best customers as P-2-P ambassadors can help transform your ticket sales.

 

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Jasper Hope, Chief Executive, Dubai Opera

In January 2015, Jasper joined Emaar Properties as Chief Executive of the under-construction Dubai Opera, the centerpiece of The Opera District development in Downtown Dubai. The 1900-seat facility opened to worldwide acclaim in 2016.

Dubai Opera passionately embraces its role as the creative heart of the city, producing and hosting the finest, most authentic, and engaging performing arts experiences from Dubai and the world. He serves as Dubai Opera’s lead officer and international advocate; focused on setting its artistic direction and driving global stakeholder relationships. He is also mandated with ensuring the commercial success of Dubai Opera and developing its profile internationally.

Formerly, Jasper was Chief Operating Officer of London’s Royal Albert Hall having previously served as Senior Director of Live Events. In Dublin, Jasper will recount the opening experiences of Dubai Opera, with critical learnings in how to programme, market and fill a new venue in a ‘new market’.

 

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James Charrington, CEO, Dewynters, UK

James draws on 25 years of expertise in arts marketing – both as an independent consultant and through leadership positions in the UK and continental Europe, including 7 years as International Commercial Director for Stage Entertainment.

He started his career with a 12-year stint at theatre marketing agency Dewynters, returning to the agency after a 15 year gap in April 2016 as CEO. It’s an agency that has both changed with the business and changed the business itself. Remember that Dewynters was the agency that created the first entertainment show brands like Les Miserables and Cats in the 80s.

Ultimately, everything Dewynters does for its clients is about growing the audience, selling more tickets, driving more revenue and improving marketing effectiveness. Most recently, Dewynters opened its operation in Hamburg, Germany as it looks to provide a “seamless service” for producers working across Europe and the US.

As one of our keynote speakers for 2017, James will be exploring how these key drivers are reshaping the agency business (as it moves to provide a seamless service across international markets) and how the digital and real worlds are blending.

 

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Tim Chambers, Managing Director, TJChambers Consultancy, UK

An international ticketing specialist and senior executive with over 20 years’ experience within the live entertainment industries, Tim’s career expertise includes direct knowledge of Start-Up’s, UK and pan-European M&A including geographical roll-ups, operational consolidation, definition of cost-savings and synergies, and leading corporate growth initiatives.

He is currently advising a number of European and US- based sports, media and entertainment businesses, at various stages of corporate development, which are seeking to transform their business operations.

The ticketing sector’s networker par excellence, for our 2017 edition Tim will be hosting our new Incubator session, showcasing (and grilling) startups on their innovations, business plans and impart change to the business.

 

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Dr. Marcus Garbe, Managing Partner, Transaction Consulting, Switzerland

Alongside the technology, we are adding more business insights to the 2017 speaker line-up. Sharing his take on the ticketing industry eco-system (and highlighting where future M&As, startups and potential failures may be), Marcus Garbe brings 20+ years’ industry expertise in the Live Entertainment & Ticketing sectors.

He has completed numerous M&A transactions in this field – and advised on many more, including most recently as exclusive advisor to Jetticket Software’s sale to CTS-Eventim Group. Previous assignments have included work for ifo-institute, Roland Berger & Partner, argonauten / Grey Global, REPLY, Ticketcorner and various, diverse Start-ups.

 

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Ana Morillo Arroyo, Global Strategic Pricing Director, NH Hotel Group, Spain

With over 8 years’ consulting experience in top line growth for companies across numerous industries such as automotive, retail & distribution, Ana is currently responsible for Global Pricing Strategy at NH Hotel Group, a hotel chain operating more than 375 hotels in 30 countries across the world.

Her main responsibilities include the definition of the necessary strategic frameworks and vision for the revenue management department in coordination with marketing and sales to ensure top line growth maximisation is achieved with a customer centric approach. Ana has a Bachelors in Business Administration and is a frequent speaker at international conferences and business school programmes on an international level. Ana was very well-received at last year’s Forum.

For 2017, she’ll be going deeper into travel and tourism pricing strategies and processes – and how these can be applied to sports and entertainment. Once again she’ll be making the case for “pricing to be board level imperative.”

 

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John J. Elliott, President and CEO, Elliott Marketing Group, USA

We wanted to build on our exploration of ‘ticketing data insights’ for arts and entertainment, and have been on the hunt for the best analysts in the business. Our research paths led us to Pennslyvania-based John Elliott. He co-founded Elliott Marketing Group (EMG) in 1999 with the mission of helping customers develop and execute more effective direct response campaigns by focusing on their target, offer, tests, and response and relationship management processes.

Today, through the aggregation of data sources, he advises numerous arts organisations how to be more effective. His work with Pittsburgh Cultural Trust on the SmArt collaborative database in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District landed the ‘Oscar’ of the database world. Prior to founding EMG, John was Senior Vice President of Database Marketing for DMW Worldwide, a direct response advertising agency specialising in the insurance, healthcare, financial services, energy, communications, and non-profit sectors.

While at DMW Worldwide, John was responsible for creating the database marketing and data mining division, making it one of the agency’s most profitable businesses in 1998. We welcome his insights into getting the most out of the data you have (and addressing the data you will need).

 

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Eddie Robb, CEO, Make It Social, UK

Got those group bookings sorted? Integrated social invite with your marketing and booking touchpoints? Eddie Robb is the man to show you how! Eddie is the CEO of Make It Social, where the mission is simple – “to make the world a truly social place”. The idea is also simple: by making a platform that ensures simple and organic social group bookings, more people will do more with more friends.

The company’s innovative technology – a set of APIs with multiple SDK’s which can be integrated within a matter of hours to allow for group booking technology – has been adopted by sports and entertainment businesses to drive incremental revenues. Eddie originally set up a youth travel brand called As You Like It Holidays. During his time with As You Like It he discovered the pains of organising groups of youths and designed and developed a tool to make life easier for his team and to allow larger groups to form. This technology has evolved into Make it Social.

As a non-technical founder, Eddie’s focus is on ensuring the product is driven towards its ultimate goal and to deliver on sales and marketing. He’ll be sharing the social success with case studies from Surrey County Cricket Club, Harlequins RFC and ATG.

Save yourself a seat for the Forum, to see these (and 40+ other) world-class speakers in Dublin 5-6 April 2017. If you book now you’ll even bag yourself 2 free hotel nights!

What are people saying?

The best networking place I've been to. I was able to get very high level leads and meet relevant partners. You did a great great job to gather such high level and exhaustive people!

Chloé Julien Founder & CEO, BandSquare, France

CIOs, CTO,s Chief Execs... all those people turn up at this event. it’s a fantastic opportunity to engage with them

Rick Jurkiewicz Head of Ticketing, The Rugby Football League, UK

This is the focal point of the ticketing industry in Europe, where the decision-makers meet and exchange ideas

Niels Henrik Sodemann Managing Partner/CEO, Queue-it, Denmark

At the Forum we made concrete progress with regards to selecting a new ticketing provider. I would be happy to recommend the Forum to other venues in the future.

Martin O'Donoghue Business Development Manager, Cork Opera House, Ireland

If you’re curious about the future, if you want to see how things are developing, if you wanna get to know your peers... you need to be at the Forum.

James Charrington CEO, Dewynters, UK

For me the most important thing was to meet with all the different companies in ticketing and I’ve managed that, and I left with many business cards!

Grégory Six Major Projects and Development Manager, AS Monaco, Monaco