A few weeks ago the curtain came down on the fourth annual FlyCon—a yearly gathering of venue and promoter partners, agents, artist managers, and Tfly-ers here in our home city of San Francisco. This year’s FlyCon attracted nearly 400 attendees, appearances from industry heavyweights, and—because we do like to throw a good party—more beers than we could count. Read on for a full recap of an extremely educational, very productive, and just slightly raucous FlyCon 2015.
We kicked things off with welcome party at one of our favorite local clubs, Mezzanine, where guests mingled while employee DJs spun the beats. The next morning, CEO Andrew Dreskin (with a little help from Biggie and AC/DC) officially opened FlyCon 2015 with a keynote highlighting key wins and milestones from 2014 and presenting his vision for the future of Ticketfly. “We’ve always called ourselves a technology company, not a ticketing company,” Andrew told the crowd. He revealed that in 2015 we’ll be going beyond the ticket to help venues and promoters succeed long before they ever sell their first ticket, and long after fans walk through the door. This involves developing tools to help promoters book acts and price tickets, and delivering in-venue commerce solutions—pegged to fans’ mobile phones—to help increase revenue during events.
After Andrew, the crowd got updates from department heads across Product, Client Services, and Marketing. Fun fact: the client services team supported 500 events per day in 2014, while the customer support team fielded more than 100,000 phone calls from fans.
Chrystal Ball, Ticketfly Engineering Manager, helps out a client in the FlyLounge
In the afternoon things got wild, with product demos and sneak peeks from product managers working on new tools and services for promoters and consumers. That stuff is still filed “top secret” in the Ticketfly files, so you’ll have to stay tuned for more on those. But we can tell you this: 2015 will be the year that Ticketfly really begins to reimagine live events…and you won’t want to miss it.
One of the highlights for many was the Fireside Chat with special guests Marc Geiger—head of music at William Morris Endeavor, and Seth Hurwitz—owner of the 9:30 Club and other famous DC-area venues. Joined by Andrew and a good amount of tequila, these three music industry legends didn’t hold back, hotly debating Live Nation/Ticketmaster dominance, inherent structural issues in the biz, and how indies can thrive in an increasingly competitive market.
[From r. to l.] Andrew Dreskin, Seth Hurwitz, and Marc Geiger having one of many laughs during their Fireside Chat.
Hopped up on best practices, product teasers, and good old fashioned debate, attendees piled into buses for Casino Night at the one and only Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco’s North Beach. The more chips in your hand, the more chances to win big. The night’s lucky winners went home with iPads, headphones, and gift cards.
The next morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (we’re sure), everyone filed back in for a second day filled with industry-related content. They got a marketing deep dive with our Marketing Services Senior Manager, Robyn Bald (key takeaway: it’s all about them data), which was complemented by a presentation from Facebook about how to make the most of the social network’s advertising platform. Guests were also treated to an Agent vs. Promoter panel—moderated by Dawn Holliday, owner and operator of Great American Music Hall and Slim’s and featuring Tom Windish, President of The Windish Agency; Ralph James, President of The Agency Group, Canada; Ali Hedrick from The Billions Corporation; Nick Storch from Artists Group International; John Chavez from Ground Control Touring. They also received words of wisdom from the Expanding Your Business and Your Brand panel—moderated by Dave Brooks, founder of Amplify.
We wrapped it all up with a beer and wine social before attendees bid one another adieu and headed off to all four corners of the continent to continue doing what they do best: putting on amazing, unforgettable events.
Dave Brooks, writing for Amplify, called FlyCon “…the top ticketing user conference in the industry… Ticketing conferences have their own personalities, and FlyCon is for the cool kids — the indie promoters and the small venue entrepreneurs who cut their teeth on new music and help develop the soundtrack of America.” We love the company we keep.
Thanks to those who joined us here in San Francisco. See you next year for FlyCon 2016!