Wednesday, November 26, 2008

White Space...what?

I think many of you have probably heard about this issue but like me, did not quite understand it. I have been spending some time lately trying to understand it. White Space is the frequency on which our wireless mics, clear-coms, hearing impaired listening systems and some radio-controlled scenery operates. It is the space between frequencies and it would take someone much brainier than me to explain how that works. Recently the FCC ruled that companies such as Microsoft and Google could operate as yet to be invented devices in the white space. What they didn’t do was investigate properly what interference those devices would cause to wireless mics, headsets, etc. There was some testing done in which the technology that would prevent such interference failed.

The FCC pushed through the ruling in a vote on election day. The proceedings have been described as “irregular.” Theatre Communications Group has been working on the issue for a while and I was on a phone call with a number of advocacy organizations, commercial producers and individual theatres yesterday. There are ways to appeal the FCC decision and the call was basically informational on that point. I will continue to be a part of this coalition of people who care about the issue and if you want more information you can go to

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Buzz on a Budget

In case you missed it last night, Dean Richards from WGN-TV interviewed Deb at Hot Tix for a segment about affordable entertainment options. Check it out online and click on "Buzz on a Budget" to watch.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Minimize the Risk

The League has embarked on an On-Line Ticketing Market Research Survey. Try to say it (try to remember it). Anyway, Slover-Linnet, an audience research firm is doing the research for us and we recently completed some focus groups and I thought the preliminary findings were fascinating. The essence of it is this: ticket buyers are looking TO MINIMIZE THE RISK when they are buying tickets. We have talked a lot in the past about breaking down barriers to theatre attendance, but this is a concept I hadn’t heard before. Patrons consider going to the theatre risky…for most people it is a big deal, not something they do on the spur of the moment. Will the show be good? Will the seats be good? Where is the theatre? Where is the restaurant? Will the food be good? Will people be nice to me? Where will I park? Will it be expensive? The interviewers were astonished by the degree to which some ticket buyers will go to get information, including actual reconnaissance of the theatre to check it out before they attend. There is much more to come and in fact some of you will be asked to have your patrons participate in surveys, but I thought this was an especially interesting piece of information to share.

A happy and safe Thanksgiving to all of you and yours.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

What's next?

What an extraordinary time to be alive and to be in Chicago. I’m not from Chicago and so felt even luckier to be here Tuesday night, watching the world watch us. I know that many of you worked on the campaign, I would wager that almost all of you gave time or money. Imagine if all the time and money and hope and work that were put into that campaign were put into the arts. Late Tuesday night a friend asked me “What are we going to do now?”

What we need to do is take our energy and the energy of our constituents and turn it towards making the country’s policies on the arts the envy of artists of all nations. Read Obama’s Arts policy and work with him to make it happen. I urge you to reach out, as I will, to your Aldermen, your state representatives, your congresspeople, and your senators.

Be loud, we are vitally important to the cultural health of this nation. Now is the time, don’t let up, I say again, BE LOUD. Make sure your representatives know the impact your organization has on your neighborhoods, your audiences, everyone you serve. Have meetings with them, invite them in, pester them until they pay attention, it is their job to pay attention. Encourage your boards, and your company to do the same. Let’s make ourselves heard on this issue.

Deb Clapp