Return Ticket to Brum

The Ticketing Professionals Conference returned to Birmingham this week for two days of presentations, conversations, networking and learning. A blog from Jas Sansi from the front row.


There were two major ticketing events last Thursday (15th March); first, the release of Rolling Stones tickets at Ricoh Arena, Coventry and second, the opening of the Ticketing Professionals Conference in Birmingham.


Those wishing to see Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie will have to wait until June 2nd. Conference organisers Andrew, Carol, Peter and Rachel-Marie were providing all the Satisfaction this week at #TPC2018. 



Director Andrew Thomas @TicketTattle put on his red shoes and welcomed a record number of delegates to Hall 9 of Birmingham ICC . Andrew thanked sponsors who help keep the cost of attendance as low as possible.


The conference is growing at 10% a year so has clearly identified a need for professionals in the ticketing industry to come together and share best practice. 


Conference learned the organisers hit a gender ratio of 52% – 48% Male and Female Speakers and are committed to even greater balance next year. Andrew was joined by President of INTIX, Maureen Anderson @SmokeyHolden who reminded the audience they were ‘not just the box office, they were the magic behind the button.’ 

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Opening Keynote Speaker, Bill Hogg @BillHogg kicked off a packed program of presentations. The Canadian Change Instigator  explained ‘we have to create great customer experiences. Loyalty is always about that one personal experience.’ 

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Bill added “There are no such thing as corporate values, they are the values of senior leaders. What sort of company has to tell their people to respect each other.’


Registration, an introduction and the first keynote, and already the conference hashtag #TPC2018 was trending in Birmingham at Number 2.


Conference allowed networking opportunities during sponsored breaks.


 #TPC2018 introduced an App this year to allow delegates to plan their time away from the office. There were three presentations at any one time across Hall 6, Hall 9a and Hall 9b. The two most attended sessions other than opening and closing plenaries were ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Customer Service;’ both standing room only. 



Catering at ICC Birmingham is provided by @Amadeusfood who deliver with passion and an unparalleled attention to detail. Amadeus were the official caterers at @London2012


A fascinating discussion was ‘Ask a Millennial’ allowing delegates to get a perspective from this young demographic. A couple of things I learned; their frustration in being asked to print tickets when those on the panel confessed to not owning a printer and the importance of public transport to get to and from venues, car ownership not being an aspiration for this generation. 


#TPC2018 ended day one of talking all things tickets with a drinks reception. 



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And an evening @DistilleryB16 completed a productive day in Birmingham. 



The intensity of the two days makes it logical to stay in one of the many local hotels situated @westsidebid. I checked into @HBHBroadStreet walking distance from Birmingham ICC. There is no better recipe for a good night’s sleep than carrying a 7 kg camera for 13 hours, so after a shower, I enjoyed eight hours of much needed sleep. 



Day two kicked off  with ‘All you need to know about social media in 30 minutes.’  Dawn Farrow @_booments‘s reminding the audience that given the power of Social Media, your event still has to be great.

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Social media dictates content has to be timely, this is why images from the Ticketing Professionals Conference were released in real time. The chance to share content with delegates with smart phones is too good an opportunity to miss. 


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Sponsors were thanked on Day Two with gift boxes presented by Andrew Thomas. 


@andrewcollier fresh from delivering a presentation won the cyclone competition with Booking Protect. 


The interactive machine illustrated a great way to encourage foot fall to an exhibition stand. 


Additional prize winners were unveiled in front of the media wall. 


Conference organisers Peter, Rachel, Carol and Andrew look forward to welcoming everyone back for #TPC2019 21-22 March 2019.

Link to the Registration page:


And with the closing keynote from @robwilliams entitled ‘Failure is not an Option’ the conference drew to a close for another 12 months. 


Thank you for all the feedback, I very much enjoyed photographing the conference and look forward to being back in 2019.

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On behalf of the trustees @LoveBrumUK, a charity supporting local projects bringing real change to our city, I hope you all enjoyed your time in Birmingham. 


Brum is the youngest city in Europe with 40% of our citizens under the age of 25. Its a city undergoing huge transformation as we look forward to hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and welcoming HS2 in 2026. We’re also proud of our neighbours, Coventry who are UK City of Culture in 2021. Come back and visit soon. 


Three things that come to mind from what I learned at #TPC2018; Cleopatra was born closer to the launch of the iPad than the building of the Pyramids, the best price for booking domestic flights is 57 days before the date of flying and finally that bar bill….



Full set of images from The Ticketing Professionals Conference 2018:

Information about Ticketing Professionals

The Distillery, Sheepcote Street, Birmingham:


Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, trustee of LoveBrum and columnist for The Asian Today.

@jassansi 07930 837 505