I've been perusing marketing and customer service literature lately to reflect on the upcoming patron/learner/audience experience (PLAX??) in the theater.
A takeaway I have from this reading is that a huge challenge of the theater will be feeling comfortable (as staff) with the scarcity of access the overall community will have to this new space. See Figure 1 for a meditation on scarcity!
We want to create astonishing events. We know we need to generate a very positive word-of-mouth response. But we also know we are up against a very difficult rubric for assessing its value: space in NYC.
And even though we will need it to be a work environment to prepare for pubic events, I suspect our services team (and, really, all lab staff) will feel a lot of pressure to explain why people can't use it right now... and that this pressure will likely become more nagging over time.
But utility is not the sole reason it can't be a reading room. If it is going to be a remarkable space (and in the sense that Jonah Berger defines in Contagious, see below), then I think the theater might also have to be a sacred space. I suppose it depends on what impact we want the theater to have on the work of educators.
Do you agree? If so, what can we learn from other sacred spaces? If not, why not? In either case, what can we do to mitigate the effect of scarcity? How can we get ahead of this problematic aspect of our PLAX going into the fall?
A book about word-of-mouth marketing, "Contagious"
A SlackHQ blog, "Happy teams, happy customers"
A slideshow Gary found, "How Digital Technologies Shape Customer Service"