Digital Concert Experience
My wife, some long time friends, and I went to the Luke Bryan concert in Late August 2016 at Wrigley Field and we had a "blasty". A great show with great friends.
Being the digital junkie I am, in addition to a great evening it was hard not to notice how digital expectations impact the concert experience today.
No digital tickets
Preparing to leave for the concert, my wife asked if I could get out my computer to print the tickets.
Print the tickets?!? What year is it?!
This concert was at the same great venue my wife and I enjoy ~10 Cubs games each year, hardly ever with a physical ticket. Why is this event any different? After the event, I checked StubHub and there were electronic tickets available but to purchase the tickets from cubs.com and not be able to use an electric ticket seems wrong.
Streetwise vendor removes top excuse
Walking up to the friendly confines a Streetwise (a workforce development agency designed to help the homeless and those at risk of homelessness out of the crisis of poverty) vendor approached our crew to make his pitch in an attempt to sell us one of his magazines. We politely gave our “no thank you”s and continued about our way.
As any good salesperson would do, he continued his pitch.
“and if you don't have cash, I accept credit card” (while showing a small tablet with the Square card processor plugged into the headphone jack)
I turned around and congratulated him for the initiative… and continued walking towards the stadium.
Of all people, a nearly homeless man, was accepting credit cards. I wish Bob, the beer vendor, would take this guy's lead…
Creating your own content is too easy, too cheap, and SO personal.
About half way through his set Dustin Lynch, the first of two opening acts, bent down, grabbed someone's phone from the crowd, and took a selfie with a concert goer.
The cost: nothing.
The benefit: a fan for life. An evangelist for his brand as an entertainer. I guarantee on Monday at work, she tells no fewer than 12 people the story holding her phone out saying “and he took it with MY phone.”
You see this all the time now with celebrities and athletes taking the time to have a personal interaction with fans.
Lebron stopping to take a picture with someone in the first row.
Big papi eating popcorn after making a play along the first base stands.
The collision of being a human, mobile technology, and micro-moments.
I remember at one of the Spurs NBA championship celebrations in the early 00's Tim Duncan was on stage with a handheld camera. So this is not new… Creating your own content existed before but now with social media, and sharing sites (Flkr, Dropbox, etc.) this content isn't sitting on a shelf in the Duncan family living room. The content is out there for the world to see, to enjoy, to react to.
I like to think Dustin takes these pictures out of the goodness of his heart but these reactions are what Dustin’s publicists and business manager are hoping to capitalize on. A long play on a micro-moment in hopes that person comes back to see Dustin the next time he is in town, purchases an iTunes album, or generally spreads “the word”.
Never miss an opportunity to build your following
Before and between acts there was a slide show which featured a Miller Lite ad, a logo for Luke Bryan’s conservation brand of clothing, and a snapcode to follow Luke on Snapchat.
The first several times the code scrolled onto the screen, I frantically pulled out my phone, steadied my hand to see if it would register. (How to add friends on Snapchat)
After missing on my first few attempts, it quasi-became a game to prove to my friends that I could get it to recognize the code.
Sitting in section 419, nearly directly behind home plate, we were quite a ways away from the screen in center field. Lots of factors could have contributed to not being able to capture the snapcode, distance from or quality of the screen, the setting sun casting too much light, my unsteady hand, or any combomination of these factors.
At any rate after Little Big Town, the middle act, something clicked and the code was recognized, only to have network issues prevent it from loading.
Finally directly before Luke Bryan came on I was able to get it to register and load Luke’s card.
HA I won the game! More like Luke won the game, I now receive snaps from Luke "on the reg".
Let's light up the sky
As if it weren't obvious enough that mobile has infiltrated nearly every part of our life, during a tear jerker of a song, Luke encouraged everyone to get their phones out, turn on your flashlight, and light up the sky. Super cool.
No Cash, no beer
Lastly and most personally painful… Bob, the beer vendor, only takes cash. I'm a “no wallet” guy. I prefer Apple Pay, actually, I would rather have a chip implanted or on a wristband directly connected my account. Just being should be enough to pay for my purchases.
This is not something new, Bob and his fellow beer vendors operate this way. Par for the course, par for most courses but definitely behind the times.
Consumer expectations are changing faster than marketers and business operations can keep up with. Live events do not fall outside these expectations. We had a great time at the show but as far as we have come with advancements in digital customer experiences, we have an equally far way to go.
Hey beer vendor Bob, we are coming for your business model next…