Tweet seats have high-culture consumers all a-Twitter

thumbnailby Robert van Alstyne

WHAT’S HAPPENING

  • A phantom at the opera … and a smartphone? A rising tide of “tweet seats” are giving mobile mavens the all-clear to engage in rapid-fire texting at fine arts performances across the country.
  • Typically restricted to a predefined area on one side of the auditorium so as not to interfere with the enjoyment of other attendees, “tweet seats” have popped up everywhere from the Dayton Opera in Ohio to Carolina Ballet company performances in Raleigh.
  • More than just a platform for attendees to cyber-blab mid-performance, they’re often an opportunity to foster meaningful in-the-moment chatter with the crowd. PR managers often help moderate tweet-seat conversations and encourage the use of common hashtags.

WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS

  • For a growing swath of young adults, constant access to mobile communication is as essential as oxygen. Cultural norms are changing to accommodate these always-on consumers as organizations with longstanding tech-resistant policies  embrace change to make them feel welcome.
  • Simply letting attendees keep tech toys on does nothing to further an entertainment brand’s event experience. Be sure to provide an event-centered and intelligently curated mobile experience, or expect smartphone users’ attention to frequently stray from the (allegedly) main attraction.


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