March 28, 2011 | last updated June 1, 2012 9:54 am
BUSINESS STRATEGY

At TicketNetwork, the value is in the connection

Don Vaccaro, founder and CEO, TicketNetwork

Don Vaccaro, founder and CEO of TicketNetwork, first got the idea to resell tickets in 1979 when he was 16 years old. When he learned tickets for a Jethro Tull concert were on sale for $10 apiece, he snatched up 20 and later sold them for between $25 and $50 each.

Today, TicketNetwork takes in about $111 million in annual revenue, employs more than 260 people at its Vernon headquarters and has a $1 billion to $1.5 billion inventory of tickets at any given moment.

Vaccaro said his online marketplace for tickets to concert, sport and theater events lists more than 80,000 events worldwide.

Founded in 2002, the company also includes websites like TicketLiquidator.com and TicketsPlus.com as well as the trade convention — Ticket Summit — that Vaccaro started nearly five years ago.

Like EasySeat, TicketNetwork landed on Inc. magazine's annual list of 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. TicketNetwork grew nearly 129 percent, reaching $111 million in revenue compared to $48.5 million in 2006. The magazine ranked TicketNetwork at number 2,054. The company also ranked 27th on the 2010 Tri State Fast 500, Deloitte's list of the fastest-growing companies in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.

Many people make the mistake of believing online secondary ticket providers buy and sell tickets directly, said Vaccaro. Instead of holding on to inventory, TicketNetwork connects buyers and sellers, said Vaccaro.

"Through our vast network of websites, we connect buyers and sellers from around the country with ticket inventory listings to more than 80,000 events worldwide," said Vaccaro.

TicketNetwork makes money by charging licensed brokers 10 percent and buyers 15 percent of the ticket's price. Fans who sell an extra pair of tickets are not charged.

The Vernon-based TicketNetwork has experienced a 125 percent or more in each of the last three years and earned $111 million in revenue in 2010. The value of its real-time inventory listed on the company's website jumped from $65 million in 2005 to $1.5 billion last year.

TicketNetwork increased its staff size from 120 people in 2007 to 260 last year, according to its CEO Don Vaccaro, who founded the company in 2002.

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