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5 Sessions I can't Wait to Attend at XLIVE 2019!

Ace here with the November edition of the Monthly Beat by XLIVE, the community creating extraordinary live event experiences. It's a big month for XLIVE as you know, the annual conference takes place next week at the MGM grand in Las Vegas. After much deliberation, I think I've got a good sense of the experience that I'm going to have next week. So in this video I wanted to just talk about some of the sessions that I'm particularly excited for!

So let's dive right in, five sessions I can't wait to attend at XLIVE 2019!

You're more than a Festival, You're a Content Factory

So going in chronological order here, and reading slightly off my laptop, the first one is titled 'You're more than a Festival, You're a Content Factory'. As a content marketer, this one stuck out to me as something I'm familiar with, but something that I would still love to continue to learn more about.

Most festivals take place once a year, and they have this colossal task of staying relevant the other 51 weekends a year. How do you do that in an increasingly noisy world, where you are increasingly selling a lifestyle and not just a specific event or a specific ticket? And there's a specific speaker on this panel that I'm looking forward to hearing from, her name is Aundy Crenshaw. She's the COO and CMO of Dirtybird and Tailfeather Events. You might be familiar with Dirtybird, the House of Techno label, and their event planning arm, Tailfeather Events, responsible for events like Dirtybird Campout and Dirtybird Barbecue.

Cannabizness: Understanding Cannabis Within the Live Event Marketplace

The next session is titled, 'Cannabizness: Understanding Cannabis Within the Live Event Marketplace'. I live in California, literally just outside the studio there are billboards promoting delivery weed. So it's a very normal thing here, but it is not like this everywhere. And if I were to talk about big trends in the event space going into 2020, the normalization of cannabis is way up there. We saw some pretty significant developments in that space in 2019 with the Northern Nights Music Festival. They had a fully compliant dispensary within the festival grounds, and just shortly after that, Outside Lands announced that they would have cannabis just days before the event.

And what's even more appealing to me, is live music and festivals is an environment where drug use has a certain stigma. So I'm hoping to get some insight as how experts are maneuvering advocating for open drug use in these environments

International Expansion: Growing Your Event's Global Footprint

The next session is titled 'International Expansion: Growing Your Event's Global Footprint'. I'm an event planner myself, but I am nowhere near the level of expanding globally. So I don't think any of this would actually pertain to me, but as a festival enthusiast, it's been really interesting seeing events like EDC, Lolla, Ultra is going to Abu Dhabi next year, seeing these events staking claims in these key markets like Japan, Mexico, all over Europe. And with these expansions come challenges working with local governments, aligning with the local culture, promoting to an audience that in almost every key way is different from the original brand's key demo. There's also somebody speaking at the session that I'm really excited to hear from. His name is Michael Julian. He is listed as the CEO and director of Seer Assets, but this is a man of many hats.

I know he was, or is, involved with Electric Zoo in New York and, he was most recently listed as the president of Elrow in US and Canada. And as fate would have it, I'm attending an Elrow event the Saturday prior to the conference. Elrow is hosting an event at Encore Beach Club, and I am super stoked for that. If you're not familiar with Elrow, I highly recommend looking them up. Basically they're a Spanish party brand that dates back to like the 1800's or something like that. But they now have events all over the world and what makes them really unique is they're known for these highly immersive productions with very distinct themes. It's been described as very like circus like and the videos show stilt walkers, confetti cannons, costumes and more all in these club and festival music events.

So to go to Elrow right before hearing from somebody that has played a role in their international expansion will add a lot of important context for me. Honestly, that's probably what I'm telling myself. I would attend this Elrow event whether or not this person was speaking, so a shout out to Elrow!

The Rising Generations: How this Influential Demographic is Shaping the Events of the Future

The fourth session I want to highlight is titled 'The Rising Generations: How this Influential Demographic is Shaping the Events of the Future'. To be honest, hard to hone in on what to even expect from this. The description reads, "With eight out of 10 millennials saying they would rather purchase an experience as opposed to a physical object, brands and live events are learning how to hone in, appeasing to this growing demographic, which is reported to be 48% of total media audiences." Very broad, I feel like 50 minutes isn't nearly enough to talk about this, especially with the panelists that they have for this session, and this is the real reason why I even want to attend.

XLIVE has six panelists for this coming from all corners of live events and entertainment. Two in particular I'm really excited to hear from are Stephanie Rosa, she's a biz dev manager with Festicket, founder of Festival Squad, listed as a strategic partner at Festivate, but I think she's a founder or co-founder of that as well. She's somebody that I've been following online for quite some time, and who's work I look up to in terms of media, influencer marketing, and music festivals. And then next is Frantz Cayo, he's an executive director at BET, and rounding out the panel are four other seemingly spectacularly knowledgeable people in their respective spaces. I'm not quite familiar with the brands that they're representing, but there's a CEO here, a President and really just a group that I'm excited to see how they interact with each other about this topic.

Building Unique Talent Lineups in a Homogenized Market

And the fifth and final session I'm looking forward to attending is titled, 'Building Unique Talent Lineups in a Homogenized Market'. More and more we have seen lineups that look increasingly aike, especially at the headliner level. Most recent examples I can think of is this year, Childish Gambino, I felt like it was everywhere. Ariana Grande was at Coachella Lalapalooza, Tame Impala was at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Flume was at Outside Lands, and Lollapalooza. So how do you continue to create unique lineups in a scenario where these big organiztions which own multiple festivals have every incentive to book artists for multi festival deals? The musical lineup is an enormous part of somebody's experience and their decision to attend or not attend a festival. Everyone wants unique experience, right? So how do you continue to provide that on the musical level when festivals are becoming more and more consolidated by a few big companies.

And that's my list of sessions I can't wait to attend at XLIVE 2019!

If you're going to that conference drop line in the comments, I'd love to meet you, get to know more about what you do, and if you're not going, which you really should, but if you're not, I will see you next month for the December edition of the Monthly Beat. Thanks for watching!

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