Paciolan CEO and President Kim Damron delivers the opening keynote at Pacnet ’19. (Courtesy Paciolan)

Ticketer expecting record crowd eager to hear about latest tech

Ticketer Paciolan expects record attendance of more than 800 for its annual Pacnet conference, which runs Monday through Wednesday. The gathering of company clients and vendors will again take place at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa in Newport Beach, Calif.

“It’s obviously become a very valuable conference, but our community continues to grow, which helps the attendance as well,” said Kim Damron, Paciolan CEO and president.

The conference’s agenda is dotted with subjects that fill the plate of anyone trying to sell tickets — how best to use data, tips on sales and serving customers better, sharpening the focus of digital marketing programs — but much of it ties back to technology, which Paciolan has rebuilt itself around in the last few years.

“This year’s theme is driving innovation, and we’re really focused on that,” Damron said.

“You’ll get a lot of insight into how we think about things, which is different than before, because the world moves much quicker than it did before,” she said. “We’re having to keep up with technology, which evolves every day.”

Damron and Craig Ricks, Paciolan’s senior vice president of marketing and the leader of the team that assembles the conference lineup, broke down the event’s keynote speakers:

  • Jon Gordon, who will give the Tuesday afternoon keynote, is an author and consultant who extols the benefits of positive leadership and works with professional sports teams, college programs and other organizations.
  • Jake Olson, who made national news in 2017 when he played in a football game for the University of Southern California as a long snapper despite having lost both his eyes to cancer as a child, will give the closing luncheon keynote Wednesday. Olson’s long and close relationship with the USC program began when he was a child, and he has written two books.
  • Cole Gahagan, who became president of content, multimedia sales and enterprise solutions for Paciolan parent company Learfield IMG College early this year, will speak as part of the Paciolan opening keynote. Gahagan came over from sports licensed goods retailer Fanatics and has worked for Ticketmaster, Live Nation and Tickets.com, where he worked with Damron.

While Paciolan fills the stage with clients who can directly address how they use the company’s offerings, it also brings in outside voices as panelists and moderators who can speak to broader themes in the industry. The company works with a client committee ahead of the conference to identify key players to bring in to speak, “either from a best practices perspective, industry perspective, but frankly, just from a personal growth perspective,” Damron said.

That helps expand the perspectives represented on the dais. “You’ll see everybody from Brad Mayne from IAVM speaking on a panel and addressing the arena community to our performing arts clients as well as our college clients,” Damron said.

Other outside voices this year include Maureen Andersen of INTIX, who will moderate a panel on elevating the customer experience throughout the event process, and Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, who will talk to panelists from the college ranks about career development and rising through the ranks.

“We’re really focused on not only helping people grow their business but also helping people grow their careers, their personal growth and developing their own brand,” Damron said.

With the speed of technology and the increasingly fast arrival of new ways to business, though, the sharing of best practices among Paciolan’s users, always a staple of the event,  has become more important than ever.

“The best thing,” Damron said,  “is having clients actually show what they’re doing.”