Feb. 05, 2018
This past January 15-17, we kicked off the year with a bang, bringing together over 500 people including some of the nation’s top independent venues, promoters, festivals, reps from Ticketfly, Eventbrite, and friends of the ‘fly in New Orleans for our seventh FlyCon partner and industry summit. FlyCon without a doubt ranks as our favorite annual tradition where we get the unique chance to connect with our extended ‘fly fam, swap best practices on topics like digital marketing, answer burning questions face-to-face, and set the tone for the year to come face-to-face. Like a fine wine, FlyCon has only gotten better with time and all that paired with a host city that lives and breathes music like New Orleans made 2018 our best vintage yet.
After we announced last summer that Ticketfly and Eventbrite were coming together, we began working as one powerhouse music team under one roof to build our next-generation music platform. Now that we’re a few solid months in, FlyCon was our first opportunity to officially introduce attendees to Eventbrite folks in the flesh and give them a peek under the hood of how together we’ll continue to provide the best technology and service the world over.
We kicked things off this year by opening the FlyLounge early on Monday, January 15. Being the hot spot of FlyCon, we wanted to give attendees even more time to take advantage of one-on-one consulting and support office hours. But you can’t come to NOLA without having a little fun. We warmed things up on Monday night with our networking night, where attendees and staff reconnected and met in-person—some for the first time—to enjoy craft cocktails, arcade games, and delicious local bites to a soundtrack by HUSHconcerts.
We got down to business bright and (not too) early the next morning at our host hotel, the Intercontinental New Orleans. To start the day, Ticketfly co-founder, now Eventbrite President of Music, Andrew Dreskin, and Eventbrite CEO and co-founder Julia Hartz, took the stage to welcome everyone to FlyCon and share the latest on how the two best live events technology companies are coming together to deliver a powerful, new music solution on Eventbrite, complete with a dedicated music division within Eventbrite. They also elaborated on how their paths led to where they are today and why Ticketfly and Eventbrite coming together is game changing for independent venues and promoters. Leaders from our music product and strategy teams then springboarded into sharing our blueprints and progress on how a now 200-strong tech team is building the solution that will bring together the very best of Ticketfly and Eventbrite.
We quickly broke for our second annual FestLunch, where attendees got to mingle with other festival organizers, Eventbrite’s festival experts, and relevant vendors. After that, it was time to choose-your-own-FlyCon and go deep into your chosen hot topics, trends, and best practices. This year’s agenda featured four tracks and was stacked with top-notch industry speakers, in-demand agents, and representatives from our client base and staff. The Classroom went deep on the Ticketfly and Eventbrite platforms, from becoming a platform pro and building festival events to our ticket exchange partnership powered by Lyte. Our Marketing track featured everything from creative ways to sell more tickets and utilizing pixels to introducing Eventbrite’s marketing solution. Innovation programming introduced how Eventbrite can help you sell more tickets and offered a deeper look at what’s coming soon including an awesome session with Sue Young, Head of Facebook Events. And lastly, our Industry track went beyond tech and tackled subjects top-of-mind across the live events business, including our first ever Promoter 101 live podcast recording featuring Peter Shapiro, the man behind the Brooklyn Bowls, Capitol Theatre, and the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary “Fare Thee Well” tour. We also got up close and personal for a no-holds-barred game of 20 questions with Franky and Cranky, High Road Touring founder Frank Riley and I.M.P. CEO Seth Hurwitz.
We wrapped up our long day of learning by grabbing a “go cup” and marching to our evening bash by way of a f’real Mardi-gras parade complete with brass band and our very first float with the crowned king and queen of FlyCon. We celebrated the spirit of New Orleans with a lively night filled with the best of the city’s cuisine (including fresh, hot Café du Monde beignets!), caricature drawings, karaoke, make-your-own voodoo dolls, and an intimate performance by the Soul Rebels Brass Band, featuring Cyril Neville and Leo Nocentelli of The Meters and Big Freedia. It truly was the stuff of legends!
After an unforgettable night on the bayou, we came back together for one last hurrah that began with a much-needed hearty hot breakfast before breaking back into tracks. Highlights of the day featured programming from our Industry track focused on promoting diversity and inclusion, creative ways to fill your room, and creating more safe, secure event spaces. As expected, the FlyLounge was one of the hottest spots to be on the FlyCon block. Attendees flocked to the lounge for their last chance to go deeper with folks bringing together the best of Ticketfly and Eventbrite, meet their reps, get their burning questions answered, and provide us with feedback.
After the last track session concluded and the FlyLounge shut up shop, it was time to bid everyone adieu. Almost as suddenly as it began, FlyCon 2018 was over. We came together from all over to learn, laugh, karaoke, and affirm the human bonds that are the foundation of live events. Hard to believe we packed all that into just two and a half days…
Sound like your kind of conference? FlyCon is an invitation-only event for Ticketfly and Eventbrite music partners. Learn more about working with us and join us next year!
Photos by Yrving Doveralba and Jenn Hernandez