Fifteen veteran artists. That's what the U.S. Latin touring circuit relies on, according to a panel of live events professionals on the first day of the Billboard Latin Music Conference on Monday.

Setting aside regional Mexican, "new talent represents a minimal portion" of the Latin touring industry, said Kate Ramos, senior VP of touring alliances at Live Nation. "There's absolutely new talent. But does that new talent translate to ticket sales? I would say no. We as an industry have to figure out why," said Ramos during the forum at Miami's Eden Roc Resort.

Today, instead of 15 new core acts, "there are ten thousand acts being distributed in thousands of different ways," said Jason Greene, VP of touring and strategic development and special projects at AEG Live. But even with the high cost of taking new acts from the digital world to the road, "we realize that's our future," said Greene.

William Morris Agency VP and head of Latin touring Michel Vega pointed to the relative unwillingness of Latin acts to collaborate on tours, but also the post-MTV tendency of groups to break nationally in mass media without the benefit of gradual touring growth.

Not surprisingly, the panelists roundly denounced labels' incursions into the concert promotion and booking space, saying it should be left to the experts. "A lot of what we do, believe it or not, is a gut call based on years of experience," said Vega. That experience means taking into account everything from radio inventory to payday to agricultural seasons when routing a tour.

"A lot of labels when they do 360, they are not getting very involved on the promotion side," said Greene. "When they're signing an artist, they say 'we want 10 percent of your ancillary revenue streams. We don't care who you work with'...it takes patience, time, capital, investment and a long-term perspective to build these brands, these artists. Labels don't have that skill set or that background."

Though Ramos said all-rights label deals didn't threaten her business, she didn't think labels would be able to assume the enormous financial risk for a relatively small return of about 15 percent.

On the upside, sponsors are increasingly interested in "b, c, and up-and-coming talent" for their accessibility, said Elena Sotomayor, VP of event marketing & sponsorship, CMN Events. But sponsors are no longer content to throw their name up on a poster or a ticket. "I have to tell them how I'm going to connect with the consumer at the grocery store or the car dealer," she said.

Now in its 20th year, the Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards runs April 20-23 at Eden Roc, a Renaissance Beach Resort & Spa in Miami.