We’ve all been there: You’re at a show, a race, or a concert, enjoying the event, when a bright screen emerges from the seat in front of you to capture the moment. At some events, this is not only unavoidable, but encouraged. But where should venues draw the line when encouraging their patrons to actively interact during an event?
We put together the following tips to help your venue guide patrons in the right direction.
1. Gently guide users to the “Right Time” to Tweet
There’s a time and place for tweeting, and it’s more in your control than you think. Consider posting somewhere when and what patrons should be tweeting. A hashtag to use when at the event paired with a time that you’ll stream live tweets and photos (intermission and/or pre/post-show) will gently guide users to tweet at a time that’s not disruptive for other guests.
2. Have a section of “Tweet Seats” OR a “Mobile Free Zone”
Separate the tweeters from the non-tweeters. Section off a portion of the venue to be occupied by those who want to tweet, post photos, and interact during a show. This way the patrons that would be bothered by it can seat themselves elsewhere, and those who enjoy it will feel at ease. The same can also be used in reverse. Create a “Mobile Free Zone”: a section where patrons who’d rather enjoy the show sans-screens can shut their phones off to watch the performance.
3. If the performance would be better suited in a “tweet free” zone, make it clear.
Some events just aren’t built for bright screens. Live theatre, broadway, and classical concerts aren’t the place to lift a screen and snap a photo, so let your patrons know that they shouldn’t. A clear note in the program, or a mention of cell-phone policies for that specific show in a voice-over should take care of the problem.
The most important thing to remember is that however you want to approach the use of social media at your event, communicate to your audience. Creating sections, adding verbal or written reminders in the program or pre-show will guide users in the right direction, so they can feel comfortable about pulling out their devices when the time is right.