Touring Execs Discuss Secondary Markets (and Russian Billionaires in St. Tropez) at Billboard Touring Conf
Touring Execs Discuss Secondary Markets (and Russian Billionaires in St. Tropez) at Billboard Touring Conf

Talking Billionaires: The Agency Group's Ken Fermaglich (with Brock Jones looking on), speaks to moderator, Jordan Glazier (Photo: Michael Seto)

Eventful President/CEO Jordan Glazier moderated the discussion of secondary and tertiary markets and their importance to the live music business, "95% of this business" according to Billboard's Ray Waddell who introduced the executive. Glazier sat down with Neste Event Marketing's Gil Cunningham, the Agency Group's Ken Fermaglich, Global Spectrum's Brock Jones, Sherpa Concerts' Jason Zink and Universal Attractions' Jeff Epstein to discuss the particulars of playing casinos, colleges, fairs and festivals.

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As an example of the sort of alternative work he's finding for his clients, The Agency Group's Ken Fermaglich spoke of St. Tropez and a Russian billionaire. "I had an interesting one this year in St. Tropez for a Russian billionaire. The event came together the day of the show because they happened to be in the area. Some of them can really be unique, like that kind of event."


All The Fixin's: Gil Cunningham, President, Neste Event Marketing; Jason Zink, President, Sherpa Concerts; Brock Jones, VP of Bookings, Global Spectrum; Ken Fermaglich, Agent, The Agency Group; Jeff Epstein, Agent, Universal Attractions; Jordan Glazier, CEO, Eventful. (Photo: Michael Seto)

The panel stressed the importance of knowing your secondary and tertiary markets through data analysis and run-of-the-mill marketing diligence. Said Brock Jones, VP of Bookings at Global Spectrum, "Check the market's enthusiasm. Going through Facebook, seeing how many fans there are in each place. Is for some reason Des Moines a better market than St. Louis?" Fermaglich stressed that, just because it's not a major, doesn't mean that marketing should fall by the wayside. "Marketing to secondaries is just as important, and a little cheaper. Advertising budgets go further. Maybe you have partners willing to do more in the market."

"Marketing to secondaries is just as important, and a little cheaper."
Ken Fermaglich, The Agency Group

Casinos were also a big topic of discussion, with their unique venues and amenities forming an attractive option -- for artists willing to make the jump. "Some casinos do a lot of talent. A lot of casinos could be smarter than what they're doing. Typically the demo is an older act, older audience. We look at it from a promoter's perspective," said Gil Cunningham, President of Neste Event Marketing. "I would agree," Fermaglich continued, saying that the "nook and cranny markets are definitely giving us more options from a booking standpoint. The ability for rock bands to go into casinos is everywhere right now. They'll sometimes even overpay the bands. You may find yourself with an offer that has hotel rooms, per diems, crew coverage...there are some benefits in that regard."

Regarding college bookings (and beyond), Cunningham offered a word of warning to those promoters. "This applies to all the venue in the tertiary markets - you want to make sure that you take care of the act to the best of your ability. If they're calling for 20 stagehands at 8:00 a.m. and there's 12, that's a problem. That makes an agent far less inclined to find an act for that venue."

Brock Jones had the last word on the day's topic stressing the importance of representing artists effectively and maximizing their income potential. "[Secondary and tertiary markets are] absolutely essential. If you burn out a major market and people have seen them and/or other cool acts are also coming...if you haven't taken your time to develop those secondary markets you're just shortening your career."

Bellies Full, Smiles Big: Gil Cunningham, President, Neste Event Marketing; Ken Fermaglich, Agent, The Agency Group; Jordan Glazier, CEO, Eventful; Brock Jones, VP of Bookings, Global Spectrum; Jason Zink, President, Sherpa Concerts; Jeff Epstein, Agent, Universal Attractions. (Photo: Michael Seto)