[Dixielandjazz] Audience connection

Tim Eldred julepjerk at surewest.net
Sat Oct 2 08:33:48 PDT 2004

Steve Barbone has mentioned a number of times that they distribute Mardi Gras beads to the crowd and that it gets a great reaction.  As one who loves beads - they're fun and get people to smile - and who has beads to wear almost year-round, here's another bead story.

We were going to the wedding of my wife's cousin's daughter.  100 guests invited to a "destination wedding" at Sea Pines Resort, South Carolina.  While cruising bead sites, I found some silver "Wedding beads" - a plastic filigree silver bell on silver beads.  Ordered enough for our immediate family and had them shipped to a family member on the East Coast so we wouldn't have to lug them cross-country.  (My wife was not certain whether they would be well-received, but okayed them for just family--)  When they saw them, they loved them - showed them to their friends, church members (Several wanted to know how to order them for upcoming weddings--) and commented about them to everyone.  We then ordered enough for the entire invite list - game them to the bride and groom two days before in case they preferred not to use them or for them to decide how to distribute them.  They loved the concept.

The band started distributing them to dancers, and the place went nuts - they couldn't give them out fast enough and people were trying to steal them from each other.  One guy was even trying to take them from the kids.  I was told that some folks showed up at breakfast the next morning wearing them.

Moral of the story - try to find new and different ways to connect with an audience.  In this case, it worked.  (Beads haven't failed me yet - my staff love holiday beads, and the reaction is marvelous when I take some off my neck and give them to a store clerk who comments on them.)  If it works, great - if it doesn't, it's experience.

Go beads!!!

Tim Eldred
Roseville, CA

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