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The exploration of the " Experience Economy" throughout the design, development, and use of venues (stadiums, theaters, halls, conference centers… Read More
The exploration of the " Experience Economy" throughout the design, development, and use of venues (stadiums, theaters, halls, conference centers, etc.). The study is focused on those venues located in Southern California with some comparison studies to Europe, Asia and South America. Read Less
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The Venue "Experience Economy"
Creating Economic Vitality Through Unique Connections at Entertainment Venues
In 1999 Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore published "The Experience Economy", an exploration of how companies can and should be connecting with their customers in order to stay economically viable and salient in the marketplace.  In today's competitive market, it is no longer sufficient to only offer a service, companies must now provide an experience to capture profits.  Experiences treat customers as guests, ensuring lasting memories and develop a loyal customer base who will return time and time again.  

These same principles apply to venues, that serve as the stage for entertainment, sport and musical productions.  Innovative architecture and urban planning can make those connections through urban form, space and use of technology.   Successful venues understand that need to connect with the individual and provide more than a service.  

This project addresses the stadiums throughout Southern California, beginning with Dodger Stadium.  Dodger Stadium was built in 1962, now celebrating its 50th year in 2012.  It is one of the largest baseball stadiums with 56,000 seats and includes multiple levels and pavilions.
Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles, California
Photo courtesy of Curbed.com
 
The venue going experience begins before the show, game or production even begins, so guests' arrival and pre-venue experience is important to the overall success of a venue. Dodger Stadium is isolated in the Chavez Ravine, with few amenities or services near-by. Guests arrive only to be met by large surface parking lots. Minor tree canopy and limited walkways do break up the asphalt [image above] but it is principally designed for the car. So in these terms, Dodger Stadium is missing an opportunity to capitalize on the "experience economy", and create a unique destination that draws guests hours before the game. Stadiums that have strived to address the connections to their surroundings and the experience of the arrival, the event, and the departure for their guests see increased revenue and increased satisfaction from their guests.  

Another source for experience is the connection with other guests at the venue. Technological advances in smart phones, tablets, readers, and mini-computers have made the internet accessible anywhere and anytime, including at venues. Consider the possibility of fans connecting with fellow fans through the digital world while sitting in the same stadium. Developments with geo-tagging, augmented reality, and wi-fi have practically made it feasible to do so on a much larger scale than ever thought possible. The following highlights the future of viewing the real world in a digital frame, and thus connecting in both the real and the digital simultaneously.
Geo-tagging combined with Augmented Reality will allow digital data to be overlayed on real world images to identify and connect to social networks at live events.  
Real-time conversations will be displayed on hand-held devices, increasing the connection to others in the venue.  Multiple conversations can be viewable at a time be geo-tagging their origination and author, and tracking subsequent comments or conversations.  
One of the most prominent opportunities to provide a unique "experience" for guest is to fully immerse them in the venue's game, show or entertainment.  Pine and Gilmore refer to this as "Escapism".  Technological advances have made it possible to draw guests in and make them one with the venue.  Tours of the stadium allow guests to get a personal, up-close look at the facilities, playing field, and experience viewing the stadium from the players perspective.  Restaurants allow guests to dine, be served and watch the game all at the same time.  Digitally, a new augmented reality will allow guests to view live stats, replays, detailed information, and connect with players, coaches, and other guests [as shown below].
These and other technological advances, which allow us to be connected as one; both guest and venue, will ensure novel experiences each and every time.  The "experience" at Dodger Stadium and all other venues will be strengthened so that future developments can be formed around venues to enhance guests' stay to and around the venue.  The possibility of venue themed or inspired shops, museums, hotels, and even whole districts create the unique branding and necessary placemaking for long-term economic stability and a true "experience economy".
[Staples Center, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the Rose Bowl are coming soon]