Today we’d like to introduce you to Joey Flaherty.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started my career working for a small dance music agency & DJ school called MMMMaven in Cambridge, MA. I was at a music festival called the Identity Fest, in Mansfield, MA, and I found a flyer looking for interns, and I applied the very next day. I used to do marketing things for the agency and for the DJ school…
I took DJ classes as well… really engulfed myself in the dance music world in college. I went to school in Rhode Island and would drive to Boston on weekday nights to see DJ’s perform in Cambridge & Downtown Boston – in class the next morning. It was a bit of an obsession. I really loved the community.
After graduating, I worked at another small agency called Gotham Artists in New York City. Whom I still work with regularly. There I learned how to book shows at colleges for the musical groups I was working with before as well as speakers and comedians.
From there – back to Boston and worked at a “speakers bureau” which is a company that specializes in keynote speakers for Corporate event. Eventually the opportunity to move to LA and work at Innovative presented itself..
Now I book speakers, comics, & actors for personal appearances.. which could be anything from Comic Cons & charity events, to college stand up shows.
Has it been a smooth road?
I have moved all over the place trying to work in this industry. Boston to Brooklyn, Brooklyn to Manhattan, back to Boston for some time, and now out to LA. I have been blessed with an incredibly supportive group of friends and an even more inspiring and supportive Mother. Wouldn’t have been able to pursue my passions to the extent that I have without them.
The most important thing I have in my life that have helped me with my journey is the people who have helped me along the way. I have a real tight group of people who I consider mentors and I owe it all to them.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Innovative Artists story. Tell us more about the business.
I am a Personal Appearance & Comedy agent for Innovative Artists. I work with our roster of clients to find them appearance work at colleges, corporate events, and most specifically and regularly – Comic Cons. The community at Cons is very similar in a lot of ways to the dance music community that I loved so much in my early career.
With Conventions & Festivals – the true spirit is expression and community. Fandom, community, and self-expression means the WORLD to convention attendees. Having a place to express yourself, with like-minded individuals is an incredibly fulfilling experience and is so important to so many people. I am so lucky to have witnessed it in so many places.
From NYC to San Diego to South Africa – I have worked with so many passionate fans and hard-working people who are a part of an amazing and growing community.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The convention industry grows every year. Comic Cons are more like pop culture experiences now. More A-list guests are attending and seeing how important it is to interact with fans. I’m very much looking forward to see what the industry becomes over the next couple of years. Exciting stuff.
- Instagram: @Joey_Flaherty