VenuesNow has announced the A-list speakers at its inaugural conference, July 12-14,to be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, Calif. 

A veritable “who’s who” of the most influential and visionary executives of the sports and live entertainment industry will speak at the inaugural VenuesNow conference, set for July 12-14 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

Produced by Oak View Group, VenuesNow is game-changing, forward-looking gathering for the sports, entertainment and venue industry geared toward recognizing and inspiring innovation in the dynamic live event space through candid discussion of the challenges and opportunities the industry is currently facing. Set up to coincide with ESPN’s annual ESPY awards on July 12, VenuesNow 2017 is an invitation-only event (with open registration beginning in 2018), to be attended by executives from all major sports leagues, live entertainment firms, arenas, stadiums, and other venues hosting live events (including OVG’s Arena Alliance group of major market arenas across the country, which attract some 70 million fans per year), and the wide range of businesses that serve the industry.

“The concept of VenuesNow is to host a conference like no other in our space, an elite forum focusing on the epicenter of where sports and live entertainment events and fans converge: the venue,” said Ray Waddell, president, Publications & Conferences, for OVG, who is spearheading programming for VenuesNow. “Out of the gate, we have a heavy emphasis on technology, security, branding and sponsorships, fan engagement, and live music, along with concessions, ticketing, operations; basically innovation and positive disruption at all levels in the venue space.”

The speakers booked for the first VenuesNow reflect that focus. Confirmed to speak are heavy hitters from the entertainment world, including mega-managers Irving Azoff and Red Light Management founder Coran Capshaw, KISS manager Doc McGhee, Metallica agent Adam Kornfeld, Artist Group International; Rob Beckham, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment co-head of the Nashville office; Live Nation Global Touring COO Gerry Barad, and live legend Louis Messina, president of Messina Touring Group.  Taking on issues in the ticketing world will be Jared Smith, president, North America, Ticketmaster, and Scott Cutler, president, StubHub.

Technological advances in the world of venues, sports and entertainment, is a priority for VenuesNow, and the conference has booked a wealth of speakers to address a range of topics in that realm, including streaming, virtual reality, e-sports, and new tech in security, ticketing, concessions, and venue operations. On board are Jed Corenthal, CMO, PhoenixP2P; Chris Wagner, EVP, Marketplace Strategy, Neulion; Brad Allen, executive chairman, NextVR; Tobias Sherman, head of e-sports, WME/IMG; Paul Ward, CEO, e-Sports Arenas, Rick Fox, founder of e-sports powerhouse Echo Fox; and Stratton Sclavos, founding partner (with Fox) in Vision Venture Partners.

From the branding/sponsorship world, VenuesNow has confirmed Justin Toman, director of Sports Marketing, Pepsi; Mark Irace, chief Marketing officer, FanDuel, Joe Belliotti, head of Global Music Marketing, Coca-Cola, and Marcie Allen, president, MAC Presents. Other confirmed speakers include Tim Romani, CEO, ICON Venue Group; Bruce Miller, senior principle, Populous; Al Guido, president, San Francisco 49ers; and Dan Berkowitz, founder/CEO, CID Entertainment, among many other industry leaders.