Future Present Shock 1

I just did a little survey that Eventbrite asked me to, and there were a couple interesting things for theatre:

… over the next 12 months, how important do you think information from social networks will become in identifying the best attendees for events you plan to organize?” [emphasis mine]

Not any attendee, not “new” or “returning” but “best.” “Best” – despite what the world might have us believe – does not have to mean richest, or most powerful or most cool – to me, it means the people who care the most and the people who find (or might find in the future) some solidarity and help in the work I’m part of. They are the people who stand in line, who sign up and unfortunately, the people we tend know very little about.

Chatting with the great young makers at S.L.I.P. – I was the internet guy, pushing for basic uses of web analytics to help identify who cares about us. That might tell us how best to let them know about what we’re doing.

“Basic” because I don’t think any of us have the numbers to do the hard-core stuff. But please, check your stats on open rates, click rates, platform (mobile or computer), software (browser), search terms, page interest and on and on.1

The other issue it raised was a clear focus on mobile. As in an assumption that mobile will play a large role in events and ticketing in the future. 56% of Small Wooden Shoes emails are first opened on a phone. If you are in a major wealthy city, and your email or website doesn’t work easily on a phone, it’s broken. And a bit embarrassing. Simple. Because its not that hard to fix. Services like Wordpress and Squarespace have pretty clear ways to make mobile versions - the branding and design won’t necessarily stay the same, but when I’m on your site on my phone I’m not looking for fancy and pretty - I’m probably looking for information. Make it easy. It’s insane to try and predict the future of this stuff. But I’ll go out on a limb and say, we won’t see less mobility.

All this can make me feel like I’m wandering away from the work - except of course, that dealing with the world and the people in it is my work.

  1. If you don’t get this information from you website, contact database and email distribution (I use Mail Chimp - there are others) – you need to change them. Sunk costs are no reason to stay with software or processes that are difficult to use and don’t provide the information you need.  ?