The 7th annual Billboard Touring Conference & Awards, presented by ShowClix and in association with Music Networx, is taking place in NYC on November 3rd and 4th. This two-day event features informative panels, controversial discussions, invaluable networking opportunities, and an awards reception targeted to promoters, agents, managers, venues, sponsors, and production professionals.

Joshua Dziabiak, Chief Executive Officer of ShowClix delivers the sponsor welcome address.

During the "ARTIST DEVELOPMENT: HOW ARE WE DOING?" panel, Sponsored by Amway Center, panelists and moderator, MSG's VP, Concerts Marketing / Network Integration, Liana Farnham, discussed the things that work and don't work for up and coming artists. From a venue perspective, Madison Square Garden thinks Foursquare is a great tool, said Farnham. MSG did a Foursquare promotion with Phoenix in which fans checked in on Foursquare to enter to win a gold record. In general, she said, Foursquare can be used to let people know about specials, let them know when you’re in a city. “Personally, I get nervous with Foursquare. But I get it from the artist and brand-building perspective.”

Matt Galle, an agent with Paradigm (center), thinks discounting has hurt the live business. “We trained the buyer to wait until the last minute for discounts.” Galle is pictured here with Gregg Latterman, Manager, A-Squared Management (left) and Kevin Martin, Artist (A Gracious Few) (right).

Charles Attal, partner at C3 Presents, worries that discounting hurts the people who buy early – the people who care most about the artist. “The superfan gets taken advantage of,” he said.

During the "TICKETING: MANAGING THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM" panel, Chris Tsakalakis, president of Stub Hub (center) revealed that ticket prices there came down 16% in 2009. In 2010, prices are “continuing to come down.” Through vigorous marketing and by bringing prices down, transaction volume has increased and offsets that decrease in price. Tsakalakis is pictured with fellow panelists Lynsie Camuso, President, ShowClix (left) and Jeff Kreinik, VP of Marketing, Front Gate Tickets

Panelists agreed on the need to improve how ticketing companies use social media to reach consumers – especially younger music fans. “We’ve got to find ways to use new social media tools because our audience lives there,” said David Butler, president of Paciolan.

Panelists Nic Adler, Owner/GM, The Roxy (left), Greg Rudin, Head of Merchant Services, Groupon, and Jordan Glazier, President and CEO, Eventful Inc, catch up before their "NEW MEDIA AND TOURING: FINDING THE FAN" panel.

Exploiting digital, social media and mobile technologies to sell tickets and broaden revenue streams in the touring industry was the hot topic during the panel, which hosted (from left) Adler; Andrew Dreskin, Founder, Ticketfly; Moderator, Mark Montgomery, Strategic Consultant and Entrepreneur in Residence at Claritas Capital; Glazier; Aaron Clark, VP, Music and Entertainment Sales, Mozes; Michael Schneider, CEO, Mobile Roadie; Hab Haddad, Director Business Development North America, Music Networx Inc.; and Rudin.

Conference attendees soak in the advice from these seasoned professionals.

The afternoon's keynote roundtable: "2010 WTF? THE AGENT PERSPECTIVE" hosted panelists who discussed just how bad the touring industry was this year. These agents, who are on the front lines daily, answered the tough questions posed by moderator and touring guru, Billboard's Ray Waddell, and looked ahead at whats in store for the 2011 season. Pictured here, before the panel are (from left) Chip Hooper, Agent, Paradigm; David "Boche" Viecelli, President, The Billions Corporation; Marsha Vlasic, SVP, Concerts, International Creative Management; Adam Kornfeld, Agent, Artists Group International; Waddell; and Greg Oswald, Co-Head, Country Music, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

Record labels continue to try and tap into touring revenues, but how do they earn it? Panelists on "MULTI-RIGHTS DEALS: SO TELL ME AGAIN WHY YOU GET A PIECE OF MY TOURING?" discussed the pros and cons of multi-rights deals and how some of them are breaking bands. From Left: Harlan Frey, VP Touring Marketing/Artist Development, Roadrunner Records; Cory Brennan, President, 5Bam; Matt Young, Sr. Vice President of Merchandising, Warner Music Group/WEA; moderator, Elliot Groffman, Partner, Carroll, Guido & Groffman LLP; Ken Fermaglich, VP, The Agency Group; Eric Sherman, President, 10th Street Entertainment and Bill McGathy, Founder/Manager, In De Goot Management.

The afternoon came to an end with intimate roundtable discussions that examined the unique touring challenges and opportunities for specific genres. Attendees were given the opportunity to pick the genre of their choice and sit down with a top member of that community. Pictured here, at the Heritage Rock roundtable are attendees and moderator, Charlie Brusco, President, Alliance Artists

Reporting By Glenn Peoples


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