There was a lot of news this past week. Here are some stories that caught our eyes.
Introducing Populous’ Living Park, an Exclusive Baseball Stadium for the Future
“A park that doesn’t simply sink into the dense urban fabric of a city, but merges with it, creating a completely new vision of stadium facades, community and interaction.”
FCC to Tackle Media Ownership, Spectrum Allocation Rules at March Meeting
“The FCC will consider a report and order that seeks to revise rules that would liberate 100 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum in the 5150-5250 MHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use.”
Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center Launches National Music Theater Institute, Ensuring Future of Broadway Musical
“The O’Neill promises that the faculty will consist of “industry professionals and master teachers” but has not yet announced the names.”
Bigger Ice in NHL Arenas? It’s a Conversation Worth Having
“While the NHL’s unlikely to ever move to international size ice surfaces, there is an appetite for some amendments to the current standard.”
8 Ways Tech Has Completely Rewired Our Brains
“Some cognition experts have praised the effects of tech on the brain, lauding its ability to organize our lives and free our minds for deeper thinking. Others fear tech has crippled our attention spans and made us uncreative and impatient when it comes to anything analog.”
(Image: Sports Illustrated/Populous)
Engineers at Duke University have built the world’s first 3-D acoustic cloaking device. For venues, this could help with architectural acoustics.
“The particular trick we’re performing is hiding an object from sound waves,” said Steven Cummer, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, in an article written by Ken Kingery . “By placing this cloak around an object, the sound waves behave like there is nothing more than a flat surface in their path.”
This all has to do with the field of metamaterials (artificial materials that exhibit properties not normally found in nature). For this cloak, the materials manipulating the sound waves are plastic and air. The final construction looks like a pyramid—plastic plates with air holes in them stacked above each other.
“To give the illusion that it isn’t there, the cloak must alter the waves’ trajectory to match what they would look like had they had reflected off a flat surface,” Kingery wrote. “Because the sound is not reaching the surface beneath, it is traveling a shorter distance and its speed must be slowed to compensate.”
Cummer said that even though the structure looks simple, it’s actually more difficult than it appears and the team had to put a lot of thought into how the sound waves would interact with it.
“To test the cloaking device, researchers covered a small sphere with the cloak and ‘pinged’ it with short bursts of sound from various angles,” Kingery wrote. “Using a microphone, they mapped how the waves responded and produced videos of them traveling through the air. Cummer and his team then compared the videos to those created with both an unobstructed flat surface and an uncloaked sphere blocking the way. The results clearly show that the cloaking device makes it appear as though the sound waves reflected off an empty surface.”
Cummer said that there’s potential for using this technology in venues.
“…the design of auditoriums or concert halls—any space where you need to control the acoustics,” he said. “If you had to put a beam somewhere for structural reasons that was going to mess up the sound, perhaps you could fix the acoustics by cloaking it.”
(Image: Duke University)
The IAVM Mentor Connector Program is an excellent vehicle to enhance your venue management career. Supported by some of our industry’s best and brightest venue professionals, now is the time to sign up for this unique program. Are you looking to change the sector you are involved in, are you wanting to learn a new skill, improve your leadership skills or need help devising a plan to become the next general manager at your venue? If so, sign up for the next 12-month schedule, April through March. Both mentors and mentees benefit from participating in the program—mentors become better teachers and mentees benefit from the knowledge and direction they gain. The partnership usually introduces both individuals to a new network of colleagues!
The program has no age limitations. You may want to learn about the latest smartphone apps, the latest techniques in ensuring the fan experience, advocacy laws that are applicable in your state or region—everyone can learn something from someone.
If you’d like to experience the value of this member benefit, please apply by March 26. If you have questions, please contact me at 972.906.7441. You can complete your application online at www.iavm.org/mentor.
There’s an upcoming event that I think many you may be interested in attending, especially if you’re in the North Texas area. It’s called the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo, and it will feature more than 12 areas of education and meetings for every specialty skill in the entertainment and theater industries. It all takes place March 26-29 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.
“In looking at what might interest IAVM members, sessions such as ‘Life Safety Management – Crowd Manager,’ ‘Creating Safety Plans,’ and ‘Death by Meeting’ (lead by one of the folks from Disney) are natural fits,” said Barbara E.R. Lucas, USITT director of communications & Sightlines editor. “Others, which include ‘You can almost hear the OSHA’ are also important. ‘Egress Lighting’ from our Architecture Commission may not be the session that draws the biggest crowd, but our attendees are looking forward to its insights. It is a collaboration of our Architecture, Engineering, and Safety & Health commissions.”
What’s more, IAVM members also have a great opportunity to learn about new products and resources at Stage Expo as a USITT guest. Visit www.usitt.org/iavm to register for the expo for free.
(Image: From the USITT Facebook page)
In an upcoming issue of FM magazine, we’ll have a feature about Brown Paper Tickets, a Seattle-based company that works behind the philosophy of “not just for profit.” It’s a great story and one I’m looking forward to having you read.
While you’re waiting on that, though, I thought I’d share another story from Brown Paper Tickets and a cool new application it has developed. It’s called Transfer-to-a-Friend™, and it’s a patent-pending tool for digitally transferring tickets and event registration via SMS mobile text.
“Our goal was to create the simplest user experience possible. No downloads. No forced presence on your smart phone. Nothing unnecessary. Just practical, fast delivery,” said William S. Jordan, president and chief technology officer of Brown Paper Tickets. “We think that relationships of all kinds should be because you want to have them, not because you are forced into it. That’s why we have never required any contracts with venues. We actually prefer to earn our relationship with every customer every day.”
Here’s how the transfer application works. Fans who purchase mobile tickets can view them on any Web-enabled device and touch “Transfer-to-a-Friend” to be prompted to enter a destination country and mobile phone number. Transfer-to-a-Friend sends a text message, including the name of the original ticket buyer, inviting the recipient to collect the ticket. With one touch the transfer is complete, if the recipient is logged into their Brown Paper Tickets account. If not, the receiving fan can choose to log in, or create an account, and the ticket is transferred.
Ticket holders can also re-transfer their tickets, or organize a group to attend any event together by purchasing several tickets, and using Transfer-to-a-Friend to text message them to as many friends as they wish. The tickets are automatically distributed to friends as they claim them, on a first-come, first-served basis.
“I was attending a show and had bought tickets for friends who were running late,” Jordan said. “There was that moment that many people have probably experienced, where I really, really wanted to go into the show and yet I didn’t want to let down my late friend. And I thought, ‘There really should be an easy solution for this.’ So, I went home and created it for Brown Paper Tickets.”
The company said that more than 10,000 ticket buyers have already used the transfer tool. I, for one, look forward to using it at a future event. What about you? What do you think of this new tool? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
(Images: Brown Paper Tickets)