Aventus and Blue Horizon Entertainment - a deeper look at the relationship
As part of the road to solidifying and growing our relationship with Blue Horizon Entertainment, we decided to share some insight into the CEO Diane Bowers with the Aventus community.
Diane, could you please describe yourself, your background and some of your past experiences in the live entertainment industry?
At heart, I love to build things and fix things which could be my epitaph especially relating to my history of managing business.and effecting turnarounds. Another driving concept, inspired by Booker T. Washington, is the notion that “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way”. These few rather simple core drivers have shaped my past, the present, and will underwrite my expected future.
Live music entertainment was a foundational element of my life. The first concert that I ever worked featured BB King and Santana. I was hooked and got involved locally with a national promoter bringing groups to Miami Beach. A vivid memory was the Yes concert — the night when my right ear hearing was permanently impaired. This was a different era — the hippie movement was in full swing — and people were laid back and seemed to get along. One responsibility was ticket sales which was then a manual, time intensive, risky process. We had to batch printed tickets, physically deliver them to record stores for sale, call for counts, move unsold tickets to high demand outlets if we guessed wrong, and scramble to pick up the cash and unsold tickets for delivery to the box office at the 11th hour.
Years later, after finishing grad school and a corporate stint with Mobil Oil, I bolted to Atlantic City at the dawn of the casino gaming era and started working at Resorts International. Our Superstar Theater was the East Coast epicenter for headline entertainers. Sinatra, Tom Jones, Julio Iglesias, Don Rickles, and Engelbert, among others, visited annually and packed the house. Amazing times and spectacular events … I immediately appreciated the power of entertainment to strengthen a brand, build loyalty, and shift long-term demographics. My life and career then diverged to build leadership and business skills in other industries, and I was fortunate to spend several years in the technology sector where I gained some expertise in software development, application marketing, and product support. Every life event, to date, has readied me to return to the live entertainment world to launch Blue Horizon Entertainment with several casino and entertainment executives who were all in Atlantic City when gaming was launched.
Blue Horizon is a turn-key venue management specialist that builds and executes world-class live entertainment programs for clients in the casino industry — both Native American and non-tribal — and for non-casino venues in secondary markets. Our festival division will focus on creating unique immersive branded events for our casino clients and independently in underserved markets. We have a pipeline of prospects that will establish a network of venues under management across the USA; a roll-up that reduces system-wide operating costs. Success will, in part, rely on embracing cutting-edge technologies that enhance the customer experience at every touchpoint, insulates fans from fraudulent practices, and helps create a safe and secure venue environment. Our value proposition has been pre-tested, fine-tuned, and validated by entertainment and casino industry titans.
In your experiences, how would you describe the current ticketing paradigm? What are some of the more damaging problems in the industry?
Event ticketing has obviously evolved from my early days but although digitized, the process has been largely controlled by a few dominant players and there has not been any incentive to disrupt the status quo. Fans often are boxed out as scale tickets are bought in bulk by resellers at the instant they hit the market. For high-demand events, prices in the secondary market can hit extraordinary levels, only affordable by the wealthiest fan base. Neither the artist, the promoter, nor the venue typically participates in the revenue upside. Those who purchase in the secondary market also have no absolute assurance that their ticket is unique and valid. Lastly, of critical importance today, a venue owner will never know who is actually holding the ticket at the door seeking entry to the event.
When did you first become familiar with the blockchain space and why do you feel it could be the technology that solves the problems in the ticketing industry when other technologies such as machine learning have failed?
Consistent with our mission at Blue Horizon to embrace disruptive technologies, we suspected that the existing ticketing paradigm was ripe for change and we were vigilant in researching what was brewing behind the scenes in search of innovations and innovators who were challenging the status quo. Old dog, new tricks. I was introduced to blockchain last year and initially had trouble grasping what is was, how revolutionary and transformative the protocol had the potential to become on a global scale, and who was beginning to play in the sandbox. Digging deeper, I discovered that event ticketing was a real world application where several blockchain innovators were seeking remedies to the inherent deficiencies that I cited earlier. A compelling attribute was the fact that blockchain would enable a verifiable chain of custody for a ticket from the point of creation to the point of redemption. We knew we were on to something but the realm of possibility remained a bit fuzzy.
Finally, why did you choose to align yourself and your organization, Blue Horizon Entertainment, with Aventus despite the existence of several other blockchain based ticketing platforms?
Ultimately, Aventus surfaced for us as the leading player in building a blockchain-based event ticketing solution that effectively disintermediates the initial purchase and creates the indelible link of the buyer to the ticket. More impressive was their solution for controlling resales in the secondary market whereby the change of custody was validated and the process controlled the transaction. This enabled the additional revenue to be distributed back to the key stakeholders (original buyer, the artist(s), the promoter, and the venue) according to a proscribed formula. Their capability is, we believe, far more advanced than any competitor. As we further explored real world issues and possibilities with Aventus, they recognized the potential to revolutionize venue safety and security with their application. Since Blockchain identifies the unique customer, screening protocols could identify customers who might pose a threat, and facial recognition and/or biometric scans at the point of entry could further control access. These are down-stream opportunities with doable solutions.
Aventus is positioned to “fix” chronic dysfunctions in the live event ticketing industry by “building” a robust blockchain-based solution that permits equal and fair access to the market and channels incremental financial benefits to key stakeholders. Their team, business savvy, network of advisors, investors, and advocates is quite impressive. Alan, Annika, and Kavon represent and deliver “excellence” so it should be crystal clear why I was personally drawn to Aventus and why Blue Horizon has aligned and is betting that their innovative technology and application will become the dominant player in the space. We are providing input and counsel from the user perspective as the application develops and intend to market, install, and support Aventus throughout our venue network.