Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What makes us feel ALIVE at Live Events?

Austin is about to open up it's home to ten's of thousands of music friends and lovers for the ACL Festival.  With people coming from everywhere, there's a strong interest by the people "invested" in the event to learn who these folks are and what they think of our fine city.  

The rumor is that this year the festival producers want to "measure" more by issuing RFID enabled wristbands so we can link them to our Facebook profile and "wave" them as we meander around.  It's interesting that they want to know WHO we are and WHERE we go and WHEN we were there.  The question is whether they'll be able to know a lot of more interesting things like WHAT we think about the festival and HOW we planned to get here and WHY we chose to attend certain shows over others.

My Dad worked faithfully for the Walt Disney Company at the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA for 27 years.  That means my sister and I we were blessed to get to go to Disneyland over 100 times as kids growing up.  I am very proud of what he taught me as he watched the park evolve from Walt's vision to Eisner's to what it is today as part of one of the world's largest media companies.  

But relevant to ACL is that my Dad would share at our family dinner table about how Walt spoke of sprinkling "pixie dust" around the park for the "Guests" who visited that day.  Walt believed in putting on a show, and he believed in what is effectively today's Total Quality Management.  He's right - why can't we strive for the same standard for live events?  Social media and mobile should be able to make live events come ALIVE by knowing what's hot, what's not, with friends and with "people like me" regardless of whether I know them.  I wonder if Walt would have embraced social media?

Walt was ahead of his time.  Are we finally catching up?  Well, I'll be watching closely this weekend as I link and swipe my badge, and will report back WHAT I think.  :)