Post by Nicole Carter, Coordinator, Distribution and Partner Marketing at Pac-12 Networks and WISE Marketing Committee Member
On August 15, sixty incredible women, hailing from all around the Bay Area, gathered at August Hall to network and learn more about the events and entertainment industry. August Hall, operated by Live Nation, is a historic venue reborn in downtown San Francisco and serves as a flexible event space for live music and entertainment.
Below is a brief overview of the discussion, touching on the highlights of our four highly-accomplished panelists: Jodi Goodman, Ashley Graham, Tara Porter, and Cindi Wilson. All four women currently work for Live Nation Entertainment, and they took the stage to provide the audience with valuable insight into their work, lifestyle, motivations, and career experiences.
Throughout the discussion, each woman echoed a common mission:
What can we do today to bring more fans to more cities and venues around the world? How can we best serve the artists, bring content to each venue, and sell out all Live Nation shows?
Jodi Goodman, Live Nation’s Bay Area President, got the panel discussion off to a fantastic start by discussing the creation of the Women Nation Fund, a committee of International Live Nation female executives who evaluate early-stage female-founded live music businesses. Jodi described how the funds’ purpose is to “provide access to capital for underrepresented female entrepreneurs in the concert, promotions, events, and festival space.” This initiative will be instrumental in bringing more fans to more venues, selling out Live Nation shows, and supporting women as they break into the industry. As the first female division President at Live Nation, Jodi’s leadership capabilities empower other women and create an environment where every woman’s voice is valued.
Ashley Graham discussed her role as Live Nation’s Marketing Manager as being one that serves the artist, the fan, and the venue. She markets events at Live Nation venues across the Bay Area and works closely with the venue staff to promote each show. When a show sells out, she feels as if she has been successful and loves feeling connected to each event. An audience member posed a question to the panel about work/life balance. She noted that crafting helps her decompress from the constant craziness of working long hours and late nights and she is always looking for ways to improve efficiency in her daily life.
Tara Porter, who is currently the Senior Director of Special Events, started her career as an intern at the Shoreline Amphitheater. As a Public Relations major at San Jose State University, she knew she had a passion for concerts. While at SJSU, she started a conference to bring in industry speakers. As a result of her efforts in undergrad, she landed an internship with Live Nation. Since then, she has stayed with the company and successfully worked her way to a leadership position. As a way to combat her crazy schedule and long hours working events, she goes to yoga during the week to help her relax and strike a work/life balance. It was so inspiring to see her speak so passionately and brilliantly about her work and her love for the industry.
Cindi Wilson, who works as the Backstage Director for Live Nation, gave the audience a sneak-peek of what it is like to work behind-the-scenes in the events and entertainment world. She approaches each event from the talent’s perspective and is dedicated to creating a premiere, home-away-from-home environment for every artist she works with. As an example, she explained that “when Beyonce and Jay-Z go on tour, they love to have everything backstage colored all-white.” By providing world-class service to the artists and making their individual requests come to life, she produces an environment where the artists feel comfortable and welcomed while on the road. As a result, artists are excited to continue bringing valuable content to Bay Area Live Nation events. Working backstage has given her an understanding of how much collaboration goes into every event.
We would also like to extended a big thank you to WISE Board Member and Treasurer Leigh Anne Lewis, who moderated the panel. Her career began in music as a tour manager and she provided valuable insight during the conversation.
After the panel discussion and Q&A, the group shifted from the music hall into the plush cocktail bar, The Green Room. This was a great opportunity for everyone to network, meet new industry experts, and eat delicious appetizers provided by Live Nation. Towards the end of the evening, the WISE Board Event Chairs announced our next event happening on September 13 at Decker Communications! Join us for an exclusive professional development seminar that will transform the way you engage with others.