INTIX Emphasizes Humanism

Annual conference to be held in New Orleans Jan. 24-26 with new CEO at helm

  • by Brad Weissberg
  • Published: January 4, 2017

INTIX logo and Maureen Andrsen, CEO and president.

Maureen Andersen’s main goal as the new president and CEO of INTIX is to “put the humanism back into what we are doing.”

The International Ticketing Association (INTIX) annual conference will be held at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Jan. 24-26. Newly appointed president and CEO Andersen gave Venues Today a sneak peak at what’s in store for the conference, what’s new at INTIX and some observations on the ticketing industry circa 2017.

“This year we are capitalizing on a flavor and a concept of being an entertainment capital and that we are centered around entertainment and customer service,” said Andersen. “We’re focusing on ways to engage with our customers, our patrons and our fans on a deeper level.”

We have all this data, she said, and now we need to utilize the data to engage with the customers we’re serving. “When I’m out in the field I’m hearing, ‘yes, we have all this data to create the experience,’ but to create the experience we actually have to engage with the fans,” she said. “Bringing it back full circle, it’s a “Wizard Of Oz” thing -- everything we need to know is in our own backyard.”

Andersen said although we now have better tools and ways of engaging, we have to take a step back and use the tools wisely.

One of the ways to engage is talking about the recently passed BOTS (Better Online Ticketing Sales) legislation. The INTIX conference will feature a discussion of the hot topic led by Rami Effaid, CEO, Distil Network.

“It’s a traitorous field balancing the fairness equation and use of technology,” said Andersen. “We’re all asking how far the technology should go before we rob the fan of the human experience. We live in a commercial world. Everyone wants a piece of the pie and fair enterprise, but how are we serving the people who ultimately want to go to the show? Ultimately, we’re going to have bots eating bots.”

Another component Andersen is looking forward to is a keynote by Bill Hogg who will talk about “passions and profits and how do you become a high performing organization and create extraordinary results?”

A returning favorite will be the pro and college sports breakout sponsored by tickets.com and Major League Baseball. “We did this before and everyone loves it, so it’s back,” she said.

Andersen is also keen on the Leadership Panel. “This panel is one of my favorites because it cuts across all genres and speaks to everyone,” she said.

The closing keynote address will be delivered by Hema Budaraju from Facebook.

Leadership, education, outreach and continuing the dialogue about whether to do certification are high on Andersen’s list of objectives as the new leader of INTIX.

Andersen realizes that INTIX is at a watershed moment in its history as an organization. “We know we need to grow and re-envision,” said Andersen. “We need more funding and I’ve been lucky to identify partners that will help us.”

One of Andersen’s new partners is Fred Maglione, TopTix, North America. TopTix is sponsoring the live auction. Auction items will include Broadway smash “Hamilton” tickets; “Hello Dolly” tickets; vacations including a stay in Aruba; tickets to a festival in New Orleans and a Grand Ole Opry package. “This will go a long way in growing our contributed income,” said Andersen.

Another partner this year is Jack Lucas, TicketsWest, who will be sponsoring ‘surprise boxes’ which will be goodies hidden in boxes that attendees can purchase for $50-$100. Purchasers are guaranteed that the value of the box will exceed what they spent. There will be 75-plus boxes available.

Ticketing company Tessitura is sponsoring the “Inspiration Stage” which will be “bite-sized learning opportunities.” Each session has a different topic, is 15 minutes long, and followed by a five-minute Q&A. It’s arranged by the INTIX education committee and will tackle topics ranging from parking to mandatory check-in to customer service to accessibility. Other topics will include mobile ticketing, marketing and reducing stress. The Inspiration Stage will be on all three days.

Andersen is still enjoying her first “hundred days” at the helm and hasn’t made any wholesale changes to INTIX yet, but she’s certainly eyeing a few. “We’ve already made some infrastructure changes and updated some of the software and tools INTIX uses,” she revealed. “No one sees this stuff, but it makes us more efficient.”

Mostly, Andersen hopes to clarify the voice of INTIX. “The board of directors has a very clean mission,” she said. “My goal is discover who we want to be.”

Andersen wants to put the “international back in international” and she believes the core brand is strong. “But we need to make sure we are the voice of the industry. We can do that by using best practices and leadership. This is a ‘we’ game and we need to work together to strengthen the organization.”

Interviewed for this story: Maureen Andersen, (720) 425-6472

 

  • by Brad Weissberg
  • Published: January 4, 2017