In the Arena, 2/29

28 Feb

BY TODD HUNT

At long last, I have found the time to blog about my trip to L.A. earlier this month. I’m sure the details will be boring to the majority of you, but this was a work trip after all. Again, I apologize for the delay but we have been slightly busy around here…

L.A. DAY ONE:
Really this is day 1.5. I arrived at the hotel around 11 p.m. Monday night after catching a late afternoon flight out of Tupelo and went straight to bed. Tuesday morning was spent in meetings with the Venue Coalition, a group of 34 venues scattered across North America. I got the chance to visit with several promoters whom I had been in negotiations for several shows for the Arena. Phone calls and emails are nice, but face to face meetings are what really drive the concert business and lead to increased activity.

Tuesday afternoon I attended the conference keynote address which was delivered by Harvey Goldsmith. Mr. Goldsmith’s most recent claim to fame is as the promoter behind the Led Zeppelin reunion concert in London last December. Alas, he did not bring any of the band members with him, nor did he announce a world tour by the greatest rock band of all time. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens there.

Another hot topic at the conference was the emergence of the ticket reselling (or scalping) market. This was a lively discussion between building managers, artist managers, ticketing companies and ticket scalpers, but unfortunately there are no easy answers to this thorny problem. The only thing I can add to this is to always make sure you are buying tickets from an authorized ticket outlet or the venue itself. Web sites can be made to look pretty, but they can still be a scam if it’s not directly affiliated with the venue.

L.A. DAY TWO:
I spent Wednesday picking up event marketing tips from a P.R. guru from Phoenix and meeting with other building managers, promoters, and agents in an informal setting. Based on my meetings the previous day, I was able to add a couple of concert holds to the building for fall 2008.

I also learned that it’s hard to go anywhere in L.A. unless you have a car. Taxis are quite expensive and aren’t easy to find in the sprawl of southern California. Next time I’m definitely renting a car…

L.A. DAY THREE
While there was a full slate of activities for conference attendees on Thursday, it was time for me to catch a plane back to Tupelo. With Charity Ball scheduled for Friday, Gaither Homecoming on Saturday and Winter Jam on Sunday, I felt that I needed to get back to the office. I used the time on the plane to work on a couple of projects for the arena instead of writing this blog as I originally intended before the trip began. That’s the way life goes sometimes…

So that’s a quick look at how I spent my sixty hours in Los Angeles. Hopefully it will pay off with a show or two in the Arena later this year. And speaking of Arena events, we have the Metro Ford Monster Jam in the house this weekend. So if you’re into big trucks that make a lot of noise, come see me this weekend!

Until next week,

Todd

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