Advances in technology means people engage with live experiences differently

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Technology has created a lot of great opportunities for us to connect with people in new and different ways including being able to talk with people around the world, send messages no matter where you might be, or shop while you are on your commute.

When it comes to the live entertainment industry, technology has meant that our customers and prospects have changed as well.

Three big changes that we are seeing are folks attention for average has dropped to almost nothing, customers have a greater expectation of what they consider valuable, and change occurs more quickly.

What does this mean for you? Let’s take these one by one:

Tougher to get people’s attention:

Recent studies can’t put an exact number on how difficult it is to break through and gain a consumer’s attention, but the average consumer is hit with thousands of messages a day.

What does this mean to all of us trying to sell something, gain awareness, or get noticed? It means that average doesn’t work anymore, at all. More importantly, this means that you and your team need to think about the messages you are sending out more closely.

You might start out with the question: “Is this what everyone else is doing?”

If the answer is “yes”, maybe you need to think differently about how you are sharing your information with the world. To gain people’s attention today, likely means that you will need to be more creative in your thinking and be more willing to do things that are out of the ordinary.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

1) In 2008, the people at The Guinness Book of World Records used a week long focus on the American daytime show, Live! with Regis and Kelly to gain attention for their book and the crazy stunts that often make up most of the book including having runner Dean Karnazes run for 48 hours on a treadmill set up in the lobby of their studio so all of New York City could see Dean run around the clock.

2) Recently, a professional services firm based in Washington, DC needed to reach a group of partners at a major law firm and were struggling to get through and set an appointment. To combat that, they waited until one of the first nice days of the spring and rolled an ice cream truck up in front of the law firm’s office and the executives at the firm, called all of their contacts to let them know that they were giving away ice cream out front. They got the meeting and a deal.

I could go on and on with ideas that will help you gain attention, but the idea is that you have to be more thoughtful in engaging with your market because technology means that people have seen everything and they are probably bored by it. So your job is to think differently about reaching out.

Everyone seems to have higher expectations:

As far as trends go, this one should seem most obvious to everyone.

I mean, why be bothered by anything new when you have all the entertainment in the world at your fingers and you can access the greatest performances, songs, TV shows, and other forms of entertainment with no trouble at all.

This just means that people’s expectations are higher than ever before. This also means that we have to constantly be one-upping ourselves to keep people’s attention.

A few years back, I learned about how the Sydney Opera House was using props and costumes from throughout the venues history to create new experiences for their guests. Awesome! Right?


The only downside was that as soon as they’d roll out something cool, people just expected that this was part of the experience at the Sydney Opera House and would ask, “what’s next?”

We are all dealing with that same phenomenon now.

How do we deal with elevated expectations? Well, we can’t rest on our reputation.

For each venue or experience, the answer to this is going to change and be unique, but a few ways you can add value to your experience and give your guests something they can’t have anywhere else include:
• Partner with a local restaurant, brewery, or local business to create something unique just for your guests like a special sandwich or food item, beer, or piece of merchandise.
• Elevate your customer service. One way that you can always change the experience or elevate it is with better customer service. Many of our partners choose Booking Protect due to the way that our customer service exceeds guest expectations.

The key here is that we have to all always think about how to make our experience unique and relevant. Sometimes those changes will be big and sometimes they will be small.

Change is constant:

After looking at customer’s expectation and all of our diminishing attention spans, it seems almost logical to end with a look at change.
But change is constant for all of us today and due to the nature of technology, change can feel like it is coming even faster than ever.

You can see how this plays out by watching the news, stories that used to be at the top of the broadcast for days might now vanish in an hour or two.

Or, look to the world of movies. A movie’s lifecycle used to be months, but now a run at the cinemas may be winding down after only 4 weeks for a lot of movies.

Everywhere you look, the metabolism of change seems to be quickening.

How do we handle that? For one, we need to be ready to move quickly. Slow moving organizations are likely to see themselves beaten to a customer’s spend by more nimble startups.

In practice, this means being more nimble in the way that you test ideas. Think A/B testing like a startup.

Second, knowing that change is constant, we have to work especially hard at giving ourselves some sort of differentiation that will withstand the acceleration of change. In sports, think about the nature of the live experience. There is nothing that will replicate the feeling and the excitement of a big Premier League matchup or a big-time college football game.

Or, on a holiday, the scenic beauty of certain experiences actually is a great counterbalance to an ever changing world.

Finally, knowing that change is constant means that you have to plan for how you are going to always keep growing your experience and your offering to appeal to an audience that maybe changing in ways that you can’t always envision.

Overall, we have to recognize the role of technology in our lives and be prepared to deal with it on the terms set by technology and the ways our lives depend on it.

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