There was a lot of news this past week you may have missed. Here are some headlines that caught our eyes.
Vintage Photos: The Winter Olympics Through the Ages
—Condé Nast Traveler
“The Winter Olympics in Sochi are on everyone’s mind right now, but we’re taking a trip back through Winter Olympics of years past, thanks to these charming vintage photos.”
Madison House Presents Joins AEG Live
“AEG Live has announced the acquisition of festival, touring, and special events production company Madison House Presents. The deal will see Madison House Presents’ principal partners Don Sullivan, Mike Luba and Jeremy Stein joining AEG.”
A New Approach To Improve Networking at Conferences
—Event Manager Blog
“Stimulating your audience to meet new peers and matching the expert with the non-expert leads to more effective and satisfactory meeting experiences.”
Japanese Companies Testing 360-degree VR Broadcasts for Live Events
“Users can move their HMD [head-mounted displays] around to shift their view, and the cloud processes and machinations aim to maximize stream quality for where (and on what) you’re viewing, ‘as if you’re really there.'”
Storytelling Lessons from World Wrestling Entertainment
—Harvard Business Review
“For anyone in entertainment, marketing, or storytelling trying to understand the way a company should (or should not) interact with its fan base, this is the bout for you.”
(Image: ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Alamy)
David Beckham’s recent announcement of plans to launch a new MLS soccer club in downtown Miami is raising hopes, doubts, and questions about the details of his plan. Included in the mix is the mention of a new stadium as a part of the launch. In the press conference on Wednesday, Beckham mentioned that the new stadium would be privately funded, addressing the known issue of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimminez opposing the public funding of private sports venues.
As reported by Nick Madigan with the New York Times, “In an interview after the news briefing, Don Garber (MLS Commissioner) said that in the last month or so he had personally looked at three properties in downtown Miami that might be suitable stadium sites for Beckham’s team. ‘We want that stadium to be downtown,’ Garber said, mentioning in particular a site in Miami’s seaport near the arena where the NBA’s Miami Heat play.”
There is at least one interesting idea for a location floating around in Miami. It has been closed since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but the historic Miami Marine Stadium at one time played host to premier boat racing; floating-stage concerts by Queen, The Beach Boys, Steppenwolf, Ray Charles, and Gloria Estafan; and perhaps most famously the Live at The Bay video recorded during a two-day Jimmy Buffett show in 1985. Jimmy Buffet joins the ranks of many that want to see the stadium restored as an active Miami venue, including the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, and a group of soccer fans that would love to see a soccer pitch floating out where the stage once stood.
Is the Miami Marine Stadium a possibility? Who knows, but having a spectacular venue does seem to be a top priority in this latest effort to prove that MLS soccer can thrive in the Miami market.
The recent winter storm in Atlanta was a trying time for residents and visitors, such as the more than 1,100 exhibitors and 25,000 attendees at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), January 28-30. However, a well thought-out weather preparedness plan proved to mitigate problems.
“The winter storm presented us with some challenges staffing the event,” said IAVM member Patrick Skaggs, assistant general manager at GWCC. “We had over 100 employees stay overnight on rotating shifts to ensure that the sidewalks and roadways in and around our campus were cleared. We also had to perform all of our regular duties in cleaning and converting almost three million square feet of space that the event used within the facility. These monumental challenges would have been impossible for us to take on without the team members and equipment from the Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park (also managed by the GWCC Authority).”
An “Inclement Weather Plan” was created more than three years ago, Skaggs said, and it’s an extension of the venue’s “Emergency Operating Procedures.”
“The plan came in very useful during this weather event, but it’s one of those documents that is constantly being improved,” he said.
At the time of the interview, the event was still moving out of the facility, so a comprehensive debrief hadn’t been conducted yet. The main goal, though, was to ensure a great guest experience, and Skaggs said he’s proud of the GWCC team for doing whatever was necessary to provide “best in class” service to attendees.
“I’m very pleased with how our team handled this winter storm and IPPE in general,” he said.
Do you have a current weather preparedness plan in place? How often is it updated? Please contribute to the conversation in the comment section below.
It’s National Storytelling Week…well, in the U.K. at least. Still, whether you’re celebrating it here in the U.S., across the Atlantic, or anywhere else in the world, storytelling is an important part of the human psyche. It’s how we convey information, entertain each other, and comfort ourselves. Even in this age of listicles, storytelling is what drives creation and the desire for immortality . We’re drawn to stories in all types of mediums.
For example, a Johns Hopkins researcher conducted a two-year study of 108 Super Bowl ads and found that people rated commercials with dramatic plotlines (e.g., exposition, rising action, climax, denouement) higher than those without storytelling elements.
“People think it’s all about sex or humor or animals, but what we’ve found is that the underbelly of a great commercial is whether it tells a story or not,” Keith A. Quesenberry, a lecturer in the university’s Center for Leadership Education in the School of Engineering, told the Hub.
Quesenberry says that when marketers tell a complete story, an ad ranks higher in polls and causes more people to want to view and share it.
Let me take this chance to share with you, then, a bit of my editorial philosophy for FM magazine. As you may have guessed, it’s rooted in storytelling, and it’s what I wrote about in the Opening Words column in our latest issue. Too often, association magazines simply want to impart information and they neglect the humanity of the organizations. It doesn’t have to be that way. Association magazines can hold their own against time-honored, narrative-driven publications such as Harper’s, The New Yorker, or Wired, and my plan is to hold FM to that standard. If we focus on complete storytelling (e.g., exposition, rising action, climax, denouement), we’ll not only have a much richer magazine but a more memorable one, too, one that you can’t wait to share with your family, friends, co-workers, or employees. It’s an ambitious goal, sure, and I believe we can achieve it together.
“Consumers want infotainment, not information,” said author Gary Vaynerchuk in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. “Information is cheap and plentiful; information wrapped in story, however, is special.”
As I concluded in my column, let’s together show how special the venue management industry really is. It’s definitely a great story to tell.
If you have a story idea, please feel free to email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh wow, what a game. Total nail-bitter down to the end. No, no, I’m not talking about the actual play on the field. I’m talking about the commercials. I watched them all, hoping to be impressed. I was less than impressed. Sure, the Doritos time machine ad was clever, the Budweiser puppy and horse ad was cute, and the Stephen Colbert pistachio ad was funny. There was one ad, though, I knew would irritate a few people when it aired.
Coca-Cola ran an ad in which “America, the Beautiful” is sung in a variety of languages. I believe it was done to showcase the melting pot that is our country. However, others took it another way, and you can check out some of their social media responses over on UPROXX.com.
My co-worker and I were talking about the commercial this morning, and we got into a discussion about learning languages. Okay, sure this intro is a roundabout way of getting to my point, which is that learning languages is beneficial to your brain. For one, learning a foreign language can help your brain grow. It can also help with your memory and change the way you see the world.
Learning a new language can be fun, too. I’m currently learning French, and there are two websites that offer free language learning courses—Memrise.com and Duolingo.com. Both offer smartphone apps, and Memrise goes one better by offering an app called CatAcademy. Yes, it’s exactly how it sounds. Cats will teach you a new language (see video above). Currently, the cats only teach Spanish, and the app is only available for iPhones (which rankles my Android hide). More language lessons are forthcoming, along with Android accessibility (I hear the cats have a fear of robots).
See, this blog post wasn’t so bad. We started off on a serious note and ended up talking about cats. That’s pretty much how the Internet operates anyway.