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43 minutes | Oct 29, 2021
EP 40: Collecting Squirrels with Laurie B. Squire
Laurie B. Squire, Director of Ticketing & Business Insights at Imagine Exhibitions Inc., joined Mike Evenson on episode 40 of the Unobstructed podcast. Laurie is a collaborative, results-driven sales and guest experience professional with over two decades of expertise generating revenue in live entertainment venues, museums and attractions. They discussed the importance of data-driven decision making, storytelling, looking outside of your core industry to meet revenue goals, pricing strategies, things live events professionals can learn from attractions & exhibitions, optimizing per capita spending, and much more! Quick links: Laurie Squire on LinkedIn Imagine Exhibitions, Inc. Dino Safari USA Downton Abbey: The Exhibition Box Office Ticketing Software
39 minutes | May 13, 2021
EP 39: Maximizing Revenue with Matt DiFebo
Matt DiFebo, a highly respected industry leader and visionary in #SportsBiz, joined Mike Evenson on episode 39 of the Unobstructed podcast. Matt has become known as the nation's leading expert in collegiate ticket sales and has been recognized as a pioneer who has revolutionized the industry in regards to how college athletic departments can maximize revenue from ticket sales. They discussed the need for greater sophistication in college sports, breaking down silos within athletics departments (and on campus), the growing need to diversify offerings, the importance of pricing analytics, the changing landscape of fan engagement, maximizing revenue, retention risks as we reopen, sales culture, the psyche of the customer and much more! Quick links: TheFanSummit.com Matt DiFebo on LinkedIn
55 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
EP 38: Into the Future with Garry Golden
Garry Golden, an academically trained Futurist that helps organizations explore implications of long term change, joined Mike Evenson on episode 38 of the Unobstructed podcast. Garry is also the founder of Into the Future, a Brooklyn-based learning space that has a mission to help the world anticipate and lead change. They discussed futurology, the slow pace to fast change, trends vs. fads, cryptocurrency, TikTok, spatial computing, the intersection of social and technological change, the empowered athlete / actor / entertainer and much more!
44 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
EP 37: Experience Economy with Jim Gilmore
Jim Gilmore, an Assistant Professor of Innovation and Design within the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, joined Mike Evenson on episode 37 of the Unobstructed podcast. Jim is a co-author of The Experience Economy: Competing for Customer Time, Attention, and Money – the book that spawned worldwide interest in experience design, customer experience management and experiential marketing. They discussed all aspects of the experience economy – a subject that Jim Gilmore literally wrote the book on! Topics included ‘thrice in a lifetime’ experiences, integrating virtual events with physical goods, curating audiences, seating people by interest, failing small (and often), events inside of events, economy of scale versus economy of scope, money value of time and much more!
46 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
EP 36: Gena Buhler and Scott Crossfield from Theatre Projects
Gena Buhler and Scott Crossfield from Theatre Projects joined Mike Evenson on episode 36 of the Unobstructed podcast. Gena is Head of New Business Development for North America, while Scott is the organization’s principal theatre designer. They discussed the accelerated adoption of technology by theater-goers, the future of the hybrid event model, the need to remove “excuse barriers” in the arts, the ray of hope as arts organizations begin to put tickets on sale and much more! They also examined parallels that highlight the similarities between the years after the 1918 influenza pandemic and our current environment as we begin to reopen.
46 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
EP 35: Reduced Capacity, Increased Creativity with Bret McCormick
Bret McCormick, facilities and ticketing beat reporter at the Sports Business Journal (SBJ), joined Mike Evenson on episode 35 of the Unobstructed podcast. Bret has been a sports reporter, writer and editor for more than 15 years, focusing on creative storytelling, investigative journalism and using social media to interact with readers. They discussed the increase in mobile adoption across all age segments, creative tactics being used by sports organizations to make up for revenue shortfalls, re-entry into large crowds of people, the challenges associated with monetizing “stay at home fans,” spending in college athletics, hygiene theater and much more!
43 minutes | Feb 19, 2021
EP 34: #BeCowboy with Kosha Irby
Kosha Irby, CMO at the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), joined Mike Evenson on episode 34 of the Unobstructed podcast. Kosha has 18+ years of cross-functional experience in global live event marketing, professional sports, NCAA Intercollegiate Athletics, brand development, integrated sales, touring logistics and more. They discussed the PBR’s 2020 journey, the decision to double-down on content, embracing 2nd and 3rd screens, reimagining the in-venue experience, multi-tasking fans, the #BeCowboy mentality, silent discos and much more! Quick links: PRB.com PBR on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Kosha Irby on Twitter
49 minutes | Feb 5, 2021
EP 33: Change the Narrative with Aubrey Bergauer
Aubrey Bergauer, CEO of Changing the Narrative, joined Mike Evenson on episode 33 of the Unobstructed podcast. Hailed as “the Steve Jobs of classical music,” Aubrey is known for her results-driven, customer-centric, data-obsessed pursuit of changing the narrative for symphony orchestras. They discussed the patron experience, relentlessly pursuing retention, removing barriers, the importance of diversity across our staff and stages, ideas for new and recurring revenue streams, the role of an arts organization’s website, owning the value chain and much more!
53 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
EP 32: Fan Monetization Strategies with Nels Popp
Nels Popp joined Mike Evenson on episode 32 of the Unobstructed podcast. Nels is an Associate Professor of Sport Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and serves as the Co-Director for the Center of Research and Intercollegiate Athletics. His research interests include revenue generation for college athletic departments with a particular emphasis on sport ticket sales at both the collegiate and professional sport levels. They discussed fan monetization strategies, opportunities for new revenue streams, treating data as currency, the importance of understanding the distinct difference between price and value, the need to engage better with displaced fans and much more. You can follow Nels on Twitter at @NelsPopp.
39 minutes | Jan 20, 2021
EP 31: INTIX Live! with Maureen Andersen
Maureen Andersen, President & CEO of the International Ticketing Association (INTIX), joined Mike Evenson on episode 31 of the Unobstructed podcast. Maureen is an industry veteran, voice of calm and mentor to so many ticketing professionals. They discussed the role that ticketing professionals have played during the chaos at the start of the pandemic and how their responsibilities have grown and shifted, the courses that should be required if a bachelor’s degree in ticketing was created, a preview of this year's INTIX Live! Digital Conference & Exhibition and much more! Quick links: 2021 INTIX Live! Digital Conference registration @intixassoc on Twitter Maureen Andersen on LinkedIn AudienceView is a proud Platinum Sponsor of the 2021 INTIX Live! Digital Conference & Exhibition. Please visit our booth in the virtual exhibit hall to learn more about our software solutions, audience growth strategies and client communities that are used by thousands of live entertainment organizations across the world. We invite you to join us for TheaterMania's TriviaMania Happy Hour from 5:00 - 6:00 PM on Wednesday, January 27 in the Social Hour Room. Members of the winning trivia team will earn bragging rights and an Amazon gift card. We also encourage you to attend Kara Parkinson’s education session – The Patrons’ Perspective: An Overview of Buying Behavior and a Timeline to Return to Theaters – at 2:00 PM on Thursday, January 28.
51 minutes | Jan 14, 2021
EP 30: #SportsBiz and Personal Branding with Chris Grosse
Chris Grosse, Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing at Penn State University, joined Mike Evenson on episode 30 of the Unobstructed podcast. Chris is a preeminent sports marketer and has made career stops at Florida State, New Mexico State, Navy and Georgetown before arriving in Happy Valley in 2018. He’s the brains behind wildly successful promotions like Millennial Day, Fashion Faux Pas Night, Hail to Kale and many more. He also firmly believes that a hot dog is a sandwich. They discussed Chris’ creative process, how to leverage theme nights to drive attendance and revenue, strategies to stay relevant when fans aren’t attending games, his success in building a personal brand on Twitter, how his dad role has helped his sports marketing role and much more. His Twitter account, @Chris_Grosse, is a must-follow for all live events professionals.
49 minutes | Jan 8, 2021
EP 29: Dance Like Everybody's Watching with Dr. Trevor Boffone
Dr. Trevor Boffone, a Houston-based educator, writer and producer, joined Mike Evenson on episode 29 of the Unobstructed podcast. Known to his nearly 300,000 followers on Instagram as “The Dancing Teacher,” Trevor is a lecturer in the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Houston and a Spanish teacher at Bellaire High School. They discussed how Trevor earned the title “The Dancing Teacher,” how he’s amassed such a large social media following, his unique approach to teaching high school Spanish, reasons why theater professionals should be paying closer attention to platforms like TikTok, the benefits of making theater more accessible and much more. Helpful links: @TrevorBoffone on Twitter @dr_boffone on Instagram trevorboffone.com
48 minutes | Dec 21, 2020
EP 28: State of UK Theatre with Sita McIntosh
Mike Evenson was joined by Sita McIntosh on episode 28 of the Unobstructed podcast. Sita is the Chief Operating Officer at WhatsOnStage, the UK’s largest theatre website that is an unrivaled source of news, reviews, interviews, videos, tickets and more. They discussed the state of the arts industry in the UK, the #CurtainsWithoutYou campaign, the resilience of theatre professionals and the importance of striking an optimistic tone. Sita also talked about things you can do to help theatres during the pandemic, the yeoman's work that has been done by ticketing and box office professionals in 2020 and what she looks forward to most when venues open again.
31 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
EP 27: Culture of Experimentation
Kristen Huss, Vice President of Community Partnerships at the Hudson Valley Renegades, joined Mike Evenson on episode 27 of the Unobstructed podcast. Kristen has spent her entire career in Minor League Baseball (MiLB), starting with selling programs as a 16-year-old to her current leadership position with the Renegades. They discussed the Hudson Valley Renegades' culture of experimentation, things that live events organizations can learn from the way that MiLB teams operate, opportunities to participate in the experience economy, the strategy behind building a promotions calendar, the importance of selling the entire gameday experience and more.
50 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
EP 26: Handing Out Keys
Mike Evenson was joined by Hannah Grannemann, Assistant Professor and Director of the Arts Administration Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, on episode 26 of the Unobstructed podcast. Prior to joining UNCG in 2017, Hannah spent 17 years in the arts, mostly in non-profit theatre, which included leadership roles at the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, among others. They discussed the benefits of embracing a digital strategy, the risks associated with going dark, the reach of virtual events, the need to experiment with content and pricing and more. Hannah also talked about the virtual events she’s enjoyed during the pandemic, time travel, why we should be handing out keys and the importance of maintaining our rituals while removing barriers to attending the arts. +++++ Hannah is currently a guest editor of We the Audience, an ArtsJournal blog, and is writing a series of articles focused on Audiences During the Pandemic. You can follow her on Twitter at @1126banana.
48 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
EP 25: Giving Thanks with Dave Wakeman
Mike Evenson was joined by Dave Wakeman on episode 25 of the Unobstructed podcast. Dave is a consultant, speaker and podcast host that has worked with clients all over the world to help them generate higher profits, enter new markets and grow businesses. Dave specializes in turning fuzzy ideas into measurable outcomes for organizations. They discussed things they’re thankful for in an otherwise turbulent 2020, including how supporters are being extra generous with their time and money, the creation of new forms of ‘live entertainment,’ the return of drive-ins, the opportunity to take risks and more! Dave also talked about how friction and constraints fuel creativity, ways that disruption breeds innovation, the need to reexamine your value proposition and pandemic silver linings. Sign up for Dave's free weekly newsletter on the business of tickets, live entertainment, and events: Talking Tickets! His podcast The Business of Fun is one of the top podcasts in the world dedicated to people that market and sell tickets, live experiences, and human connection. Find out more about Dave at his website DaveWakeman.com.
48 minutes | Nov 6, 2020
EP 24: The Marist Mindset List
Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Marist College, joined Mike Evenson on episode 24 of the Unobstructed podcast. In addition to her work in higher education, Joyce is a visual artist working with video, digital photography, and interactive installation. Her artwork examines how mass media and culture shape notions of truth and understanding of the other. They explored and discussed the 2020 Marist Mindset List in great detail. The annual list is a collaborative effort by Marist faculty from different disciplines with diverse backgrounds focusing on 10 major areas: arts, commerce, education, ethics, fashion, history and politics, language and literacy, science, sports communication, and technology. They also talked about Joyce’s journey as a visual artist, how to best connect with college students, engaging in the social good, the need to get great at telling the story of why your organization exists and more. Helpful links: 2020 Marist Mindset List Joyce Yu-Jean Lee website FIREWALL Internet Cafe
35 minutes | Oct 26, 2020
EP 23: Virtual Success at Geffen Playhouse
Mike Evenson was joined by Patrick Brown, Director of Marketing at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, on episode 23 of the Unobstructed podcast. Patrick began his tenure with the Geffen Playhouse in 2018 after thriving in his previous roles with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. They discussed how the Geffen Playhouse team shifted their business model through the pandemic, creating engaging remote experiences for their audience, the logistics behind such a move and how they can continue to scale this effort into new and exciting theatre. Patrick also talked about the role of regional theaters, the importance of having a cohesive visual identity and embracing new technology.
41 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
EP 22: Customer Service & Engagement
Mike Evenson was joined by Jonathan Boulter, the Associate Director of Patron Services at Virginia Tech's Moss Arts Center, on episode 22 of the Unobstructed podcast. A Virginia Tech alumnus, he began his career at Walt Disney World, but made his way back to the university in 2012. They discussed how the staff at the Moss Arts Center has continued to serve their core demographic during the COVID-19 shutdown, their HomeStage Series, pricing strategy for virtual events and the complex nature of hybrid events. Jonathan also talked about his customer service philosophy, leadership approach, the importance of thinking safety first, ‘Zoom fatigue’ and more!
53 minutes | Sep 16, 2020
EP 21: Evolution of Live Events with Andrew Thomas
Mike Evenson was joined by Andrew Thomas on episode 21 of the Unobstructed podcast. Andrew is a South Wales-based ticketing industry consultant and Director of the Ticketing Professionals Conference. In a career spanning more than 20 years, he has worked as a vendor, venue operator and consultant in both the sports and performing arts sectors. They discussed the future of virtual events, the irreplaceable experience of in-person events, the staying power of policy shifts driven by COVID-19 and the evolving skill set of ticketing professionals. Andrew also talked about the need for customer ease and satisfaction to be at the top of our priority lists, offered advice for furloughed ticketing professionals and urged venues and organizations to use this unfortunate industry slowdown as an opportunity to experiment.
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