“IT doesn’t know what’s cool, and marketing doesn’t know what works,” said Matt Smith, IT director for AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Smith’s pointed statement, though, is exactly why so many people attended the 2013 Stadiums Hybrid Meeting, held in the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Named “Sofa vs. Stadium,” the meeting tackled the ever-increasing challenge of making the in-person experience of an event preferable to the home experience, or what meeting host Paul Turner, director of event operations and security for AT&T Stadium, called “the marriage of entertainment and excitement.”
While the golden key wasn’t discovered, great information, ideas, and best practices were shared.
Venues around the world are noticing that demand for Wi-Fi is rising, and people want it readily available. In AT&T Stadium, for example, 40 percent of the total audience during a game is connected online at some point, while 23 percent connect simultaneously. The stadium features 1,600 access points, Smith said, but the challenges are still capacity/density, reach, and aesthetics.
Smith continued by discussing what apps can really do.
“They offer ease of navigation (e.g. maps, digital ticketing, food ordering), new experiences, and data capture,” he said. “You should look beyond the app, too, at things such as suite service portals, big boards broadcasting Instagram photos, and social lounges.”
In the end, Smith said that creating a great fan experience comes down to enhancement.
“Don’t mimic the sofa,” he said.
Following Smith’s presentation was a panel discussion featuring Michael Bekolay, vice president of operations for Legends Hospitality; Jennifer Surgalski, director of client services and corporate partnerships at Dallas Cowboys; and Chris Lamberth, sports architect for 360 Architecture.
The Orange County (Florida) Board of Commissioners voted 5-2 last night to approve a $94.5 million funding package. According to the Orlando Business Journal, the package includes
Now that the funding has passed, Orlando City SC plans to join Major League Soccer as its latest franchise team.
“We thank the Orange County and City of Orlando Board of Commissioners for their support to build a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Orlando,” MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott said in a statement. “We also would like to thank [owners] Flavio Augusto da Silva, Phil Rawlins and their staff for their passion and commitment to bring a Major League Soccer team to Orlando. We look forward to working with the Orlando City SC ownership group to finalize an expansion agreement.”
(Image via Orlando City Soccer Pinterest Page)
There’s an old maxim that says a happy employee is a productive employee. I’ve noticed that to be true in my 20-plus years of employment. Those who love to come to work and enjoy working for their bosses tend to produce the best results.
Ray Clark, CEO of The Marketing Arm (TMA), is aware of this, too. Last week, the Dallas-based promotion firm celebrated its 20-year anniversary by treating almost 500 employees to a day of various activities in the Deep Ellum entertainment district. Want to learn to play guitar? Check. How about some improv lessons? Covered. Oh, you want to have a pub crawl, too? Sure thing.
“TMA’rs got to check out different hot spots like ‘Football & Beer’ with special guest Jimmy Sexton (called ‘a quiet giant in the NFL sports agent market’), who regaled us with sports agent tales about representing NFL coaches and players,” wrote Audra Glover, digital coordinator, on TMA’s blog. “In between each of those sessions were fantastic musical acts by Hip Hop Hooray, Ryan Edgar and Michael Castro.”
The celebration, called Sparks, concluded with a Bon Jovi concert at the American Airlines Center.
“Clark figures the festivities cost just under a half-million bucks,” Cheryl Hall reported for the Dallas Morning News. “The Marketing Arm regularly works with Bon Jovi’s concert promoters, so he was able to get 500 concert tickets that only cost about 50 grand. Clark squirreled away much of the money for Sparks in budget savings from the past year and personally underwrote the rest. He considers it an investment in innovative thinking—a must-have if the agency is to satisfy its 100-plus big-brand clients, including AT&T, Frito-Lay, and State Farm Insurance.”
One of the best things about TMA’s employee day out was the chance to learn new skills, which are beneficial to keeping the mind sharp. It’s especially helpful if you learn something mentally demanding, according to a study forthcoming in Psychological Science.
“It seems it is not enough just to get out and do something—it is important to get out and do something that is unfamiliar and mentally challenging, and that provides broad stimulation mentally and socially,” says psychological scientist and lead researcher Denise Park of the University of Texas at Dallas. “When you are inside your comfort zone you may be outside of the enhancement zone.”
“The endogenous hormone dopamine triggers feelings of happiness,” wrote Peter Rüegg for ETH Life. “Dopamine enables us to make the ‘right’ decisions in order to experience even more moments of happiness.”
As a manager and leader, what kind of experiences are you offering your employees to help them have even more moments of happiness?
(Image via The Marketing Arm/Audra Glover)
The British Psychological Society (BPS) Research Digest pointed out an interesting study today that has to do with crowd management. In “Psychological Disaster Myths in the Perception and Management of Mass Emergencies,” the researchers wanted to know whether public safety officials believed in disaster myths, such as crowds devolving into mass panic, that people often engage in criminal behavior during emergencies, and that survivors are shocked into a catatonic state of helplessness.
“Respondents endorsed the first two myths,” the researchers wrote in the study’s abstract. “However, they rejected the myth of helplessness and endorsed the view that emergency crowds display resilience. Despite these contradictions in stated beliefs, there was also evidence of ideological coherence: each model of mass emergency behavior (maladaptive vs. resilient) was linked to a model of crowd management (coercive and paternalistic vs. mass-democratic).”
Dr. John Drury, a social psychology professor at the University of Sussex in England, and his colleagues interviewed 115 police officers, 46 civilian emergency workers, and 120 football (soccer) match stewards. They also interviewed 78 students and 89 people in the general public for comparison purposes.
“Overall, there were positives to emerge from this study—the professional groups endorsed fewer disaster myths than the students and general public, and they recognized many aspects of psychological resilience exhibited by crowds in emergencies,” Christian Jarrett wrote for BPS Research Digest. “On the other hand, it’s worrying that the professional groups endorse many aspects of disaster myths.”
Jarrett writes that the researchers know that the study’s quality is undermined because some of the beliefs were gauged by a single question.
“Also, it’s not clear how much the professionals’ survey answers would match their decisions on the ground in a real emergency,” Jarrett wrote.
If you’re interested in learning how you would react in a real emergency, consider attending the International Crowd Management Conference at the Plaza Marriott in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 10-13. There you will learn all aspects of crowd management, guest services, and the enhancement of the guest experience, as applied to creating a safe and secure venue.
(Image via Flickr: Ragesh Vasudevan/Creative Commons)
You’re a leader, a manager, a person in charge. You delegate, coach, and inspire. And sometimes you want to put your feet up on your desk. Could this pose, though, really make you feel more powerful at work?
University of Buffalo psychologist Lora E. Park, Ph.D., conducted four studies with more than 600 men and women born in the U.S. or East Asia (e.g., China, Japan, South Korea) to see if the assumed link between expansive body postures and power is true. What she discovered was that it actually depends on the type of posture and the person’s cultural background.
“The expansive postures, which were based on previous research, consisted of an expansive-hands-spread-on-desk pose (i.e., standing up and leaning over on a desk with hands spread apart), an expansive-upright-sitting pose (i.e., resting one’s ankle on the opposite leg’s knee with one arm on the armrest and the other hand on the desk), and an expansive-feet-on-desk pose (i.e., leaning back in one’s chair with feet on top of the desk, hands placed behind one’s head, fingers interlocked and elbows spread out wide),” Park said. “In four studies, the effect of each posture on participants was evaluated in comparison to a constricted body posture (e.g., sitting with hands under thighs, standing with arms wrapped around one’s body).”
Park found that the feet-on-desk pose led to greater feelings of power, power-related concepts, and greater risk-taking for Americans, but not East Asians. After holding the pose for three minutes, the American participants more often chose to deal with a problem presented to them. This didn’t have the safe effect for the East Asian participants.
Just for the record, the expansive-hands-spread-on-desk and expansive-upright-sitting poses led to greater feelings of power for both the Americans and the East Asians.
“Overall, these findings suggest that expansive postures have both universal and culturally specific effects on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior,” Park said. “Some postures, such as the expansive-hands-spread-on-desk and expansive-upright-sitting poses, make people across cultures feel more powerful. In contrast, expansive postures that violate cultural norms, such as putting one’s feet on the desk, do not make all individuals feel powerful.”
“Stand Tall, but Don’t Put Your Feet Up: Universal and Culturally-Specific Effects of Expansive Postures on Power” is reported in the November 2013 issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 49, Issue 5). Park’s co-authors are Lindsey Streamer, University of Buffalo doctoral student in social psychology; Li Huang, Ph.D., assistant professor of organizational behavior, INSEAD; and Adam Galinsky, Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Business, Columbia Business School.
(Image via Flickr: starmanseries/Creative Commons)