The twinkling backdrop of Las Vegas dimmed as the premiere installment of festival and live event conference XLIVE drew to a successful close this past December 5-7. Having rounded up a high caliber roster of luminaries from the live event and festival production industries, XLIVE 2016 proved to be worth the wait as attendees commingled throughout the day’s schedule of events and deep into the after-hours at XLIVE sponsored parties. Having amassed an astounding 140+ experts to preside at each carefully curated session, the creators of XLIVE offered up a wealth of panels and workshops highlighting everything from music and food & beverage festivals to eSports for attendees to discuss current topics and explore the bustling future of live event operations.
For a glimpse into the game-changing conference and expo – watch XLIVE’s dynamic 2016 Recap video, which features soundbite interviews with keynote speakers such as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy Chip Conley, and Eventbrite’s Co-Founder & CEO Julia Hartz, who remarks on her personal experience at XLIVE, saying “I think XLIVE is an exceptional experience because it is bringing together the best and brightest in the industry to exchange ideas.”
Of the many tracks offered over the three day conference, several panels caught the attention of the enthusiastic crowds such as ‘State of the Artists – The Importance of Festivals to Musicians’ spearheaded by special guest speaker, artist & Frye Co-Founder Ja Rule who is launching his Fyre Festival in April and May of 2017 off a private island in the Bahamas. Ja Rule was joined onstage by CEO of CID Entertainment Dan Berkowitz, Owner of Circle Talent Agency Steve Gordon, plus a handful of other artist relations and entertainment professionals. Here, attendees had the opportunity to listen as the panel shared how festivals have positively impacted the careers of the artists they manage, while explaining how emerging artists can use festivals as a springboard to their own success. It was very insightful to see perspectives from both the artists’ and festivals’ viewpoints and how it comes into strategic play for booking festivals.
Other high profile sessions included the exploratory panel, ‘Press Pass – The Impact of Media Relationships on Festivals and Live Events’ which featured journalists from some of the most renowned publications in the world. Lending their insight into shared personal experiences regarding media relations and invaluable advice on how the media can make or break a festival, were featured writers from Forbes, Billboard, The Huffington Post, LA Weekly + Fest300 with moderation by creative agency and top publicity firm founder, The Confluence’s Russell Ward.
Making sure to pioneer the latest frontiers across all live event production, XLIVE also coalesced an impressive array of leaders to talk about the current state and sweeping evolution for the rising niche and almost $1 billion dollar industry of eSports. Putting together a program that was specifically designed for the eSports community with panels discussing the industry’s stronghold as the next media content gold rush, XLIVE brought Senior Vice President of Activision Blizzard Mike Sepso to give a keynote speech on the exhibition hall floor to round out the morning’s agenda on the final day.
The XLIVE experience was not limited to tracks of enlightening panels – also up for discovery were three highly regarded workshops where festival heads could go to learn industry secrets and techniques on how to take their event next level. A huge hit among the attending production houses was the ‘Festival Mergers & Acquisitions’ workshop, whose immense popularity hints at bigger things to come within the future of the festival community and live events across the globe.
Emphasized throughout XLIVE was the importance of identifying and defining what makes an event truly special, encouraging each and every producer to hone in on a vision and delivering the tools necessary to actualize that vision. Echoed in his own keynote, Oak View Group’s Tim Leiweke said it best noting that the best thing Paul Tollett ever did for Coachella was to not let Leweike and AEG take over the vision of the festival. Tim Leiweke’s keynote was amazingly put together with an inside look at what major players in the industry are up to. It was a keynote you just had to be at.
Looking ahead, XLIVE continues its crusades into 2017 with the ‘Data & Analytics’ Summit taking place in Los Angeles this April 4-5. During two days of interactive discussions with industry experts such as Google’s Head of Industry – Ticketing and Live Events Michal Lorenc, and Golden State Warrior’s Director of Business Analytics & Strategy Brandon Ramsey, XLIVE will invite participants to look closer at how festivals and live events are utilizing their existing technology applications to better understand attendee behavior, sponsorship activations, identify valuable customers, garner best practices with current marketing activations, and more. Organizations in attendance will include music festivals, concerts, film festivals, beer festivals, wine & food festivals, popular brands, eSports events, Cons, event venues, sports teams, event tech solution providers, event services companies, and many other organizations serving the live event and festival community. For more details on featured speakers and/or to register for the summit, be sure to visit the XLIVE website.
XLIVE will also be hosting a specialty eSports focused event in New York City during the week of August 21 – more details to be released early in the new year via the XLIVE website. For a taste of the eSports topics covered at XLIVE 2016, check out 2016’s eSports agenda.
With plans already in the works for XLIVE 2017 to return to Las Vegas December 10-13, 2017, multi-faceted organization XLIVE will continue to revolutionize the way live event and festival organizations share expertise, learn, and most paramount, envision the future of the industry. XLIVE convenes with leading experts at the intersection of music, film, culinary, beverage, eSports, technology and the experiences that culminate at festivals and live events. Reflecting the passion of the vibrant festival community, XLIVE serves as a catalyst for curating unique, memorable and life-changing experiences within the growing, dynamic and influential realm of festivals.
To stay up to date with XLIVE news and industry happenings – sign up for the XLIVE newsletter at the bottom of the website’s registration page. We’ll see you next year in Vegas!
Photo Source: Optimystic Media Hub