In the Mix
Our NAPL offices in East Rutherford, N.J., are just across the highway from MetLife Stadium, home of the football Giants and Jets and venue for numerous concerts, including this week’s One Direction event, where 60,000+ ‘tweens (mostly girls) screamed their lungs out for two hours.
This prompted a local newspaper to write a column about screaming that goes on at music concerts, especially where teenagers or younger kids are the predominant crowd. It cited the Beatles, the sound of whose debut on the Ed Sullivan TV Show 50 years ago was pretty much obliterated by the screaming female audience. It could have gone back even further to the early 1940s “Bobbysoxers” who shrieked their way through Frank Sinatra’s performances at the Paramount Theater in New York City.
It leads one to wonder why someone would attend a live concert if hearing the music is the main goal? In today’s world, sitting at home before a monster TV with Dolby sound system would seem to be a far more satisfactory experience, especially when concert-goers who are not in the first 30 rows or standing directly in front of the stage tend to spend most of the evening looking at the mammoth screens alongside the stage rather than at the tiny live figures in front of them.
The answer is simple: They’re not there for the music—or at least not just for the music; they’re there for the shared experience. Similar parallels can be drawn in sports. Anyone who wants to see a football or baseball game “up close and personal” will do so in the comfort of his own living room, where he will enjoy the best view possible with the least aggravation or annoyance from crowds or weather.
Again, we endure the noise, the distractions, and the inconvenience because of our desire for the shared experience. Whether it’s being in an arena or stadium when a goal is scored or a ball clears the outfield wall, or hearing a favorite singer belt out her most famous hit, the electricity, the shared elation, the sense of being a part of something rather than just an onlooker, and the opportunity to meet people who have common interests and maybe even learn some inside information about a team or a star are all part of an experience you simply cannot get at home alone.
And we remember things so much more vividly when we have been part of them. Decades later, you will recall every detail about being in the audience at a farewell concert or in the stadium for the winning 65-yard kickoff return but have little or no recollection of watching a similar televised show or game.
The same is true of industry conferences and meetings. We can read a speaker’s book in the comfort of our home, but it is likely to have far less impact than if we hear and see that same person deliver her message in person, participate in the question and answer period that follows, maybe meet her one-on-one to learn more about her ideas.
And then there is that shared experience. Meeting with other business owners, hearing their stories as they listen to ours, sharing similar concerns of questions, discussing what we’ve both heard during a seminar or general session all make the learning experience richer and deeper and what ensure that we’ve learned will be far more likely to stay with us.
Your association makes this kind of in-person experience available in its major events, such as the Owners Conference in Chicago next month. It also makes them even more convenient and cost-effective through its series of chapter meetings this month and during the fall at a dozen locations around the country. Why not plan on taking advantage of an opportunity to learn something new, meet your peers, and share a valuable real-world experience by checking upcoming events in your region at www.amsp.org/membership/chapters/. Attending will be time well, and memorably, spent.