The Oak View Group has announced the speaker lineup for its first-ever VenuesNow conference, scheduled for July 12-14 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Produced by Oak View Group’s Tim Leiweke and Billboard veteran Ray Waddell, VenuesNow is being described as 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,” according to a statement from OVG.

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Organizers expect 300 industry professionals to attend the invitation-only event — open registration for VenuesNow will begin in 2018 — including OVG’s Arena Alliance group of major market arenas across the which play host to  70 million fans per year.

“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,” explains 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 speakers in both sports and music. Music executives booked at VenuesNow include mega-managers Irving Azoff, Red Light Management founder Coran Capshaw, KISS manager Doc McGhee, Metallica agent Adam Kornfeld with Artist Group International and Rob Beckham who serves as WME co-head of the Nashville office. Covering the concert side is Live Nation Global Touring COO Gerry Barad, Live NationCo-President of North American Concerts Bob Roux; Red Light COO Bruce Eskowitz and country concert promoter Louis Messina. 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.

VenuesNow will include a significant focus on technology with speakers that include Chris Wagner, EVP, Marketplace Strategy, Neulion; Jed Corenthal, CMO, PhoenixP2P​; 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 include 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 ParikhCourtside 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

Dave Brooks
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Dave Brooks

Founder & Executive Editor at Amplify Media
Dave Brooks has over 15 years experience as a writer, including eight years as the Managing Editor of Venues Today. He started Amplify in 2014 to give the industry its own voice and turn up the volume on live entertainment.
Dave Brooks
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