VenuesNow Finalizes Speakers

Industry heavyweights set to speak at inaugural VenuesNow summit

  • by VT Staff
  • Published: July 7, 2017

Sports and entertainment heavyweights to speak at inaugural VenuesNow conference. Groundbreaking industry event set for L.A. July 12-14.

LOS ANGELES – A veritable “who’s who” of the most influential and visionary executives of the sports and live entertainment industry are confirmed to speak at the first-ever VenuesNow conference, set for July 12-14 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in L.A.

Produced by Oak View Group, VenuesNow is a 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.

More than 300 industry professionals are expected to attend the invitation-only event (with open registration beginning in 2018), including representatives from major sports leagues and live entertainment firms, along with executives from 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 unlike any 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. “Our speakers reflect our emphasis on innovation and positive disruption at all levels around the venue space.”

VenuesNow has confirmed an impressive list of heavy hitters from both the sports and music industries. Music executives booked at VenuesNow include mega-managers Irving Azoff, and Red Light Management founder Coran Capshaw; KISS manager Doc McGhee; Metallica agent Adam Kornfeld, Artist Group International; Rob Beckham, WME co-head of the Nashville office; Live Nation Global Touring COO Gerry Barad and Co-President of North American Concerts Bob Roux; Red Light COO Bruce Eskowitz; and concert promotion legend Louis Messina, president of Messina Touring Group. Taking on issues in the ticketing world will be Jared Smith, president, North America, Ticketmaster; Scott Cutler, president, StubHub; and Andrew Dreskin, co-founder/CEO of Ticketfly.

Technological advances in the world of venues, sports and entertainment are a priority for VenuesNow, and the conference has booked a wealth of influential 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; Nate Parienti, president, Live Alliance; Tobias Sherman, global head of e-sports, WME IMG; Paul Ward, CEO, e-Sports Arenas; Rick Fox, founder of e-sports powerhouse Echo Fox; Michal Lorenc, head of Industry, Ticketing and Live Events, Google; Pete Vlastelica, CEO of Major League Gaming; and Stratton Sclavos, founding partner (with Fox) in Vision Venture Partners.

Safety and security at live events is another area of focus for VenuesNow, which will be addressed in a panel moderated by CNN counter-terrorism analyst/former CIA official Phil Mudd and including Prevent Advisors counter-terrorism experts Michael Downing and Bill Bratton, along with Cathy Lanier, head of security for the National Football League, and Abacode CEO Michael Ferris.

From the branding/sponsorship world, VenuesNow has confirmed Justin Toman, director of Sports Marketing, Pepsi; Joe Belliotti, head of Global Music Marketing, Coca-Cola, Mark Weinstein, senior VP/Global Head of Customer Engagement, Loyalty & Partnerships, Hilton; Andrew Georgescu, Lincoln Marketing Communications Manager, Ford Motor Company; Aaron Simon, director of licensed products, Harman Industries; and Marcie Allen, president, MAC Presents. From the industry investments world, VenuesNow will host Jay Kapoor, MSG Ventures, and Deepen Parikh, Courtside Ventures. Other confirmed speakers include the Los Angeles Dodgers CFO Tucker Kain; Tim Romani, CEO, ICON Venue Group; Bruce Miller, senior principle, Populous; Christopher Lamberth, VP/Sport Development, HOK; Al Guido, president, San Francisco 49ers; Justin Dragoo, partner, Latitude 38 Entertainment; Tim Zulawski, Senior VP/Chief Commercial Officer, AMB Sports + Entertainment; and Dan Berkowitz, founder/CEO, CID Entertainment, among many other industry leaders.

For more information on VenuesNow 2017, please visit For more information on OVG, please visit


About VenuesNow:
VenuesNow is a next-level consortium for the sports and live entertainment industry, that will debut July 12-14 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The conference focuses on venue-centric content related specifically to sports, entertainment events, technology, event safety, concessions, ticketing, operations, and programming.

About OVG:
Oak View Group (OVG) is global advisory, development and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries. Based in Los Angeles, OVG is helmed by its CEO Tim Leiweke and backed by Azoff MSG Entertainment. OVG is comprised of a sponsorship/partnership company, a consulting division, a venue security company, a media division, a venture fund/equity division and an Arena Alliance. The Arena Alliance is designed to serve a select group of leading facilities with access to unprecedented scale and resources through sponsorship optimization, untapped revenue streams, insights and access to premier sports and live entertainment content.


  • by VT Staff
  • Published: July 7, 2017