What if more businesses had "Tweet Seats"?
When you go out to a movie, you always get the warning to silence or turn off your phone. It's amazing to me, because it's such a natural thing—you're there to see a movie, so get rid of distractions. But obviously it doesn't always happen. People forget. In fact, when I went to go see The Master, the lady in front of me received three phone calls. Her ringtone was "Born to Run."
More than a little jarring.
But for a lot of people it's not that they've forgotten to turn off their phones, it's that they'd rather not. Maybe they want to livetweet The Master.
Or maybe they want to livetweet The Servant of Two Masters. If so, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis has them covered: There are special "Tweet Seats," where smartphone addicts can hang out, check in and tweet:
It sounds a lot like a smoking lounge for social media addicts—a roped-off area exclusively dedicated to fix-getting—but the Guthrie Theater's External Relations Director Trish Santini says the intent was not to quarantine smartphone users, but to encourage deeper interaction with the show.\n
A tweeting section. It's a bold move. It could bring in a new audience. (And I'm glad it's not "The Comments Section.")
Let's think optimistically and presume that it does get people talking about productions and the theater itself on social media, and maybe it even sells a few tickets—what other businesses could benefit from special sections for smartphone and/or laptop users?
Movie theaters. Same premise, broader appeal. I wonder if you could even do a specific smartphone screening from time to time, where everybody in the whole theater knows what they're getting themselves into. Maybe even project a Twitter feed on the wall next to the movie. (My inner critic says, "What could go wrong?")
Airlines. Specifically red-eye flights. If you're flying overnight and hoping to catch some shuteye, it's a bummer when the guy next to you asks for a coffee and opens Excel. You know you're going to have a pretty serious mandatory nightlight.
Sports and concert venues. These guys don't need tweeting sections, but they could make some money by charging for high-speed wifi. Ever try to tweet from a football game? The other 40,000 (or whatever) smartphones sitting next to you seem to bog it down a little. Maybe they could even provide the wifi in exchange for a tweet about the event you're seeing.
Can you think of other businesses that would benefit from a tweeting (or no-tweeting) section?