Message from the CEO Josh Barney

Message from the CEO Josh Barney

Back in 2016, I attended the SEAT Conference for the first time in Vegas, while I was with the Utah Jazz. We were gearing up for a big renovation at the Vivint Arena (now the Delta Center), and I leaned on SEAT to network and find the right tech partnerships for the project. The coolest part? I met some amazing folks there who are still my friends today, drove a NASCAR car and found the right partners needed to help create the arena of the future.

Fast forward, and now I'm the steward of SEAT, shaping it into something that really hits home for our community, especially after all the changes we've seen with technology post-COVID. Teams and venues had to pivot, finding new ways to engage with fans using technology. We've recognized this shift, and it's driven some pretty exciting changes for this year's SEAT.

So, we're adapting. We've revamped the tracks to focus more on what's current and crucial. Venue Tech & Security track and Data & BI track will not have any changes. Remember the Digital Marketing track? It's now "Digital, Sponsorship, and Ticketing," zeroing in on driving revenue with technology. And we're bringing in a whole new track called Fan Experience. This isn't just another technology deep dive; it's about giving a 360 view of creating the fan experience—IT, marketing, data, partnerships—together so they can see the bigger picture and how they fit into creating unforgettable fan experiences.

We're also pushing for presentations that show scalable solutions, recognizing that some venues and teams may have personnel or budgetary constraints. It's all about moving forward, no matter where you're starting from. We want people when they leave SEAT to be able to have something actionable when they go back to the office to help you keep moving forward.

I'm genuinely pumped about these changes and I think they'll make a huge difference for anyone who attends SEAT. I want SEAT to be more than just an annual conference; I see it as a place where you can get together, make new friends, push your career forward, and help your organization create those "I was there!" moments for fans.

So, why am I telling you all this? Because I believe attending SEAT can really help you level up in what you do. It's not just about attending a conference; it's about joining a community that's all about making things better, together. I look forward to seeing you in Vegas in June!