Author: Jeffrey Larris
Date: April 2004

2004 represents a milestone for the ticketing
industry – 25 years of the International Ticketing Association.
Over that quarter century, box office and admissions management has
grown to be a highly respected profession complete with its own
language, skill sets, and an industry service organization – INTIX.
Just 25 years ago, 40 ticketing professionals trekked to Milwaukee
to talk about what was happening in the industry, to learn about
new technologies, to explore new management and operational
techniques, and to make business contacts and friends that would
last for years to come. In this regard, nothing has changed, but
our annual conference has grown to a four-day meeting attended by
1,000 individuals and 65 exhibiting companies. Everyone has come
together to learn, grow professionally, network with colleagues,
and just talk ticketing. INTIX's 1,300 members now represent every
size and type of public venue in North America, plus 30 countries
around the globe. This, in itself, is something to celebrate. This
year's single-digit temperatures in Philadelphia in January were
very similar to winter in Wisconsin in 1980. But like that first
Milwaukee conference, the blustery weather was inconsequential as
the warmth generated by long-time colleagues defined the event. The
cheer generated by our gala evening event at the Franklin Institute
thawed those waiting for busses. One big constant in INTIX's
history is the association's focus on education. Despite dramatic
changes in how we sell tickets, our educational initiatives have
remained the same. At that very first meeting in 1980, workshops
focused on customer service, telecommunications, computers,
management issues and technology conversion. In 1989, seminars
focused on marketing, networks, technology, counterfeit tickets and
crisis management. And in 2004, we addressed a similar lineup of
topics: technology and leadership, acquiring new systems, ticketing
consortiums, the Internet, loyalty clubs, and e-mail marketing.
Last year, INTIX responded to our members' continuing thirst for
education with the INTIX-Intensive, a track-focused advanced
education program, which has been enthusiastically received. After
being introduced in Denver one year ago, 70 participants completed
the requirements for the 2004 program and were awarded certificates
at the Philadelphia closing luncheon. Each participant selected one
of four tracks and attended seminars on topics like emerging
technologies, patron relationships, outsourcing, contracting and
union negotiations. Topics are based on the INTIX Body of
Knowledge, the core collection of information and skills that every
ticketing professional should master. The INTIXIntensive delivers
concentrated information about one aspect of ticketing to give
participants an extra edge in addressing their particular ticketing
challenges. I encourage you to take advantage of INTIX educational
programming as often as possible at our annual and summer
conferences and to sharpen your skills by registering for next
year's INTIX-Intensive. INTIX education gives you the tools to
tackle immediate problems, plan for future challenges, and add
value to your professional and personal lives. In the constantly
changing ticketing environment, professional education is the key
to your success. I look forward to seeing you at the INTIX Summer
Conference in Washington, D.C., this June.

Jeffrey Larris, President, INTIX