Aussie, and former Melburnian, Troy Suda is Ticketmaster International’s Chief Product Officer based in London.
He works as part of the team who build all of the world-class fan and client applications that help position Ticketmaster as the leader in live event ticketing.
This year he was named in Billboard’s 2020 Pride List, which highlights industry-shaping LGBTQ Executives in the music business.
Earlier this month, we sat down with Troy to chat all things Pride, his inclusion in this year’s Billboard list, and what he misses about Australia.
Hi Troy, tell us about your role at Ticketmaster and how it has grown/changed over the years?
My role has dramatically changed in response to the expectations of fans. Today, fans want to be able to discover and buy with ease – wherever, whenever, and on whatever device. They also want to be able to do this all from their mobile phone on the bus, just as easily as they can on their laptop during their lunch break.
The focus of my team and I has been to transform our Fan Marketplace (ticketmaster.com.au) into one that is the industry’s best place to discover, buy, sell, and share tickets to events. Simplicity and findability have been front and centre in our minds; we have designed, crafted and tested many versions of our features and we test these in real life with customers to see which ones perform the best.
I love the fact that in my role I get to interact not only with all of the Ticketmaster product & technology teams in crafting these new experiences, but also observing fans using the new solutions we build and getting their feedback to help continually craft the product is something I enjoy the most.
We are truly delivering what fans want and expect, and this helps us sell more tickets for our clients.
What was your reaction to being included in Billboard’s second-ever Pride List?
Well, it certainly was a surprise. Billboard is the world’s leading music entertainment media brand and the entire industry reads their unique content. I was certainly honoured to be recognised as someone who is in a leadership position and making a mark in our industry.
How important is it for publications like Billboard to recognise and celebrate Pride?
Pride is a recognition of diversity. At Ticketmaster, we have an enormously diverse workforce and we believe it’s one of the keys to be successful in helping shape what we build as a company for our clients and fans.
I’m thankful to be part of Ticketmaster, and the broader Live Nation Entertainment family where LGBTQI+ individuals have the opportunity to be themselves, network with like-minded colleagues and clients, and be open and transparent about their lives in the workplace.
While it may seem commonplace in many organisations these days, I recall just 5-10 years ago, many LGBTQI+ individuals may have perceived that being open about their lives might have been considered to be a career-limiting move. I’m glad those days are behind us, and that I’m working for a company where diversity is embraced.
What advice do you have for young LGBTQI+ professionals?
Be yourself. Make your mark. Leverage your creativity. You will never reach your full potential of success if you hold yourself back in your workforce. Bring your whole self to work and provide a positive experience for your co-workers by being transparent – you’re actually building stronger relationships with them, which will ultimately result in better collaboration and success in business.
What is your favourite Pride memory from across the years?
I’m fortunate enough to have experienced Pride in many places in the world – Sydney, Tel Aviv, New York, Madrid, London, and of course I have fond memories of Midsumma Festival in Melbourne when I lived in Australia a decade ago.
Every Pride is different, so it’s amazing to travel around the world participating in different pride events and seeing just how much they have become not only a celebration for LGBTQI+ people, but allies as well.
What have you been getting up to in lockdown? Learned any new skills or picked up any new hobbies?
There’s a danger in lockdown to be working 24×7 – the laptop is always there, and there’s always more work that can be done. I’ve always been quite fitness focussed, so with gyms closed, I have forced myself to take a break from my screens and walk down to Hyde Park in Central London and do a workout. It’s amazing how with the intensity of a lockdown workday, a hardcore sweaty workout can really clear your mind and help you make better decisions.
What are some new life hacks or routines that you think you’ll take with you post-lockdown?
I have been super productive during lockdown working from home. I have been very focussed and have had very few distractions. I hope that when life does eventually get back to normal, flexible working becomes even more of a conventional thing across all businesses and industries.
What’s the first thing you plan to do as soon as the UK opens up again?
You mean other than get a haircut? 🙂 Travel of course. I am usually on an aeroplane every other week, so I absolutely cannot wait to be able to reconnect with Ticketmaster teams around the world, and of course, see my friends in other countries that I haven’t seen for a while
As an Aussie-expat, what are some of the things you miss most about living Down Under?
Dare I say it, the sunshine. Although I can’t be too critical as Spring in the UK this year has been glorious during lockdown, so I have spent much of the lockdown working outside with my laptop and headset on Zooms collaborating with the rest of the Ticketmaster teams around the world.
The great thing about being part of a global company is that we were already used to collaborating using technology such as Zoom and Slack so continuing to deliver new product features for fans or clients has not slowed down at all.