Current Affairs

Disney World Teaches The World Tech Coolness

CRM & Ticketing, Current Affairs
© jpopeck - Fotolia.comI’ll bet you're surprised I’m suggesting you go to Disney World, but it may just be the best example of our future you can experience today. The first line of this article in Wired sums it up best:

IF YOU WANT to imagine how the world will look in just a few years, once our cell phones become the keepers of both our money and identity, skip Silicon Valley and book a ticket to Orlando. Go to Disney World.

The folks at Disney spent two years figuring out how to remove all the transactional aspects of going to a theme park, and transferred them to a wearable device. According to the article, the “magic band” they created has a singular goal:

The goal was to create a system that would essentially replace the time spent fiddling with payments and tickets for moments of personal interactions with visitors. The MagicBands and MyMagicPlus allow employees to “move past transactions, into an interactive space, where they can personalize the experience,” Crofton says. What started as a grand technology platform has inevitably changed the texture of the experience.

Did you catch the part about “tickets” and “moments of personal interaction”? This is pretty much why I’ve been evangelizing CRM as most important innovation of this generation for our industry, and it’s only now getting started. And, amazingly, Disney is leading the way.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Loyalty Primer - What Really Matters is Loyalty

Current Affairs
© Mopic - Fotolia.comIf you haven’t read the analysis of the work that’s been done in Philadelphia around audience development and loyalty, this blog post is essential reading. Wrapped up in one media analysis of one arts community are truths that spread across the entire arts landscape. And central to the message is that the most engaged and loyal patrons at your organization (or in your community) provided disproportional amount of the revenue your organization requires to survive, if not thrive. According to the study and Philadelphia, referring to “advocates” as the most engaged patrons:

In the Philadelphia community, Advocates represented 0.3% of all patrons who participated in the arts, but provided 39% of the total revenue. These 3,418 households play a major role in sustaining the arts sector in Philadelphia.

Yes, you read that right. In the entire city of Philadelphia fewer than 4,000 households support the entire arts community. Is that the same in your city?

Think of this article as a crash course in audience development in 2015.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Where Should Classical Music Be Performed?

Current Affairs
© IvicaNS - Fotolia.com If you follow the classical music world as I do, you’ll know that there’s a lot of innovation going on right now around where classical music should be performed. I use the word “should” because the prevailing wisdom for the last few decades is that classical music should be heard in a concert hall where there are no distractions and you can hear a pin drop. However here in New York City innovative venues like SubCulture and Le Poisson Rouge are challenging that assumption, and doing so with a lot of success. And this article from Mother Jones about an all-volunteer run classical music program in San Francisco, “Classical Revolution,” provides a full description of what’s going on there, and why it’s working.

I’m not suggesting that classical music should abandon the concert hall. Rather I’m for the “and” approach. Forward thinking classical music organizations ought expand their thinking in terms of where they perform and under what conditions. The Brooklyn Academy of Music puts on casual concerts (some classical and some pop) on the second floor lounge above their opera house. And, at Lincoln Center, there is a small venue where late-night concerts are performed along with wine in an intimate setting. So, could you repurpose some portion of your venue to do something like this? How about a pre-concert casual concert or a late-night event?

I’m not giving this as a recommendation or prescription. I’m only saying that there seems to be a new audience that wants to hear classical music in another setting. How and where you take advantage of that trend is up to you, but it seems like it’s a trend worth paying attention to.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Even First Timers Want Information

Current Affairs
© uwimages - Fotolia.com There's something profound about the results of research sponsored by TDF and Theatre Bay Area. This article is well worth a deep read.

Many of us believe that only our most devoted ticket buyers and subscribers are interested in learning more about the play, the playwright, and/or discussing what they have just seen. But it seems to be more universal than that. People in general want to know more.

The trick is how to engage them. The playbills are seen as advertising heavy, the pre-event website isn't looked at enough, and the post-show "talk-back" arrangement is too formal. There's lots of talk now about downloadable apps — but if you offer them will people actually download and look at the content you put up?

This study fascinates me because it shows that people really do yearn for an experience that makes them think. How we satisfy that itch is the tricky part.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Mobile Artists

Current Affairs
© Delphotostock - Fotolia.com We all know that the smartphone is changing the way nearly everyone interacts with each other, buys things, and gets information. But what about how we make art? It seems clear to me that a new generation of mobile artists is about emerge, and this article from the Guardian in the UK is on it.

Whether the technology is augmented reality (as Adam Weinart wrote about last week) or an Oculus Rift, or Google glass, it really doesn’t matter. The exciting thing will be to sit back and watch what happens. Though some may hate the idea, I can easily imagine a 3-D virtual visit to an art museum. And no, I don’t think it will spell the end of musuems. I think it will only enhance the experience of the real thing.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Crowdfunding Hits the Mainstream

Current Affairs
© Ivelin Radkov - Fotolia.com Now that crowdfunding is a word everyone knows, many arts organizations are considering doing it. And just like most things that seem like a “shiny new object,” the hype around certain amazing success stories is now blotting out the realities of what’s actually involved. Guess what? A Kickstarter or Indiegogo fundraising campaign is still a campaign and goodness knows we know how to run campaigns. They take planning, resources, time, and attention. And sometimes they work and sometimes not. Quoting from this excellent article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review:

Crowdfunding isn’t a quick fix for the social sector’s funding issues, but it is an increasingly critical component of the fundraising toolkit; allowing nonprofits to connect with and solicit support more efficiently than ever before.

If your organization is thinking about a crowd-funded campaign then this contains an indispensable checklist.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Page 1 of 1912345...Last »