Corporate Vision February 2017

28 CORPORATE VISION / February 2017 , Ticket to Success Maria O’Connor, Managing Director of Ticketmaster Australia and NewZealand, tells us more about the company, what motivates her and shares her secrets to success. Ticketmaster has been operating in its current form in Australia since 1995 and is a recognised market leader in the ticketing and entertainment industry. “As a business, we’re constantly investing in technology and market-leading innovations that enhance the capabilities of both our clients and customers,” explains Maria. “With that, we commit ourselves to delivering world class service to thousands of clients every day. Ticketmaster sells thousands of tickets for sports, music, performing arts, theatre, comedy and attractions, while offering our clients the very best in retail ticketing services and box office systems solutions.” As the largest global event ticketing organisation serving more than 10,000 clients in 20 global markets, Ticketmaster has a clear ongoing strategy to ensure operations run smoothly and successfully. “Our business requires a 24-hour day,” Maria embellishes. “Our customers are motivated by passion, so we have to match that same level of passion to service them. I’m very proud to work with a team that display that same, integral passion day in and day out; they are passionate about Ticketmaster and the events that they’re selling. We’ve made massive technological advancements, which I think will only become more and more crucial to our business. Customers have endless technology at their fingertips and it’s changed the way retailers operate. Ticketless operations will become more and more important as the whole ticket-buying process becomes more seamless and digital. We talk to thousands of customers online each day via social media, which I believe only strengthens the importance of retailer transparency.” In order to ensure customer satisfaction on such a grand scale, a watertight approach must be taken and adhered to in order to develop the company effectively. Maria tells us more about the key principles that she, and the Ticketmaster team, adhere to. “Above everything else, it’s vital to tell the truth and always do the right thing. That is the core of my personal principles; to do the right thing by both our customers, our clients and, of course, our staff. Across Ticketmaster, and in today’s marketplace generally, I believe it’s important to give the customer the benefit of the doubt. Whether on stage, in the field or in an office, our industry is based on the strength of relationships. Being in this business for such a long time means I have developed these key relationships both with our staff internally and externally with clients that we work so closely with on a day to day basis.” Whilst it’s true that women in power face challenges on a daily basis, and Maria’s rise to the top certainly hasn’t come without other road blocks, she shares some of the attributes she possesses which she believes have helped shape her career and her success. “I can honestly say that I have been fortunate enough not to have faced any challenges that come from being a woman working in the corporate environment. I am proud to be part of an industry that is extremely accepting and respectful of diversity. After all, these are the things that make people different and that’s something this industry acknowledges in a positive way. Throughout my career I have been helped and mentored by great women and men, which continues to be the case even to this day. I’m also fortunate to work in an industry which includes lots of women in various sectors. “I believe tenacity and honesty are vital, along with the strength to be innovative, make decisions and see things through. Something that has perhaps been helped by my upbringing in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I also pride myself on being a very good judge of character which I think has always served me well in business. With regards to giving advice to like-minded women wanting to suceed in this sector, I would say to just do it. There is no benefit to be gained from making excuses and the best thing you can do is to get stuck in. Work out what you what to do and where your strengths lie, then work extremely hard and get going. Once you have the skills and knowledge to succeed in your chosen industry, I believe the most important attributes are to be smart, have stamina, maintain integrity, and possess great people skills, leadership skills and to not walk away from adversity. You must believe in what you are doing and have the skills to convey your ideas to others effectively.” Industry in general is ever- evolving, and Maria has witnessed significant change, mainly regarding the huge advancements in technology we have experienced over the last few decades. It is fair to say that the internet is king, especially in Ticketmaster’s sector. “The industry has changed dramatically but most notably is the shift in power from selling to buying, which has undoubtedly been caused by the growth in information technology. Power in the ticketing marketplace has gone to the consumer as they have all the latest information at their fingertips thanks to technology. Where the development in technology has devastated other media businesses, Ticketmaster has blossomed and grown with it. We have integrity and are transparent with both customers and clients; something technology has only helped us to be. This brings me back to the importance of honesty; with consumers having so much access to information, honesty is the only way to approach successful business. “Technology is absolutely key. Today’s consumers are extremely smart and have the power to make or break any live event. The power of social media for instance means the job of publicists is even more important to help ensure we are translating information clearly online. Security at venues is also vital; an operation you could compare to airport security. The advancements in technology mean knowing who is in a venue at any given time. Our clients have access to a great amount of technology through Ticketmaster; including access to mobile e-Tickets, brand new analytics tools and advance reporting tools. In 2017, we’ll move towards the first ever paperless ticketing events, among many other industry-first advancements.” The entertainment and ticketing industry as a whole is currently at a crossroads as it moves through 1701CV73