Members and Fans, Side-by-Side

Rolling out new projects takes a bit of trial and error

When you walk around a show site wearing a staff badge, you notice something odd.

It's not like when you walk around a show site wearing a blue DCI polo. That just means every other person asks you about bathrooms.

What I've noticed is that people's eyes are always drawn to your badge because they're trying to see which corps you're with. And I've even found myself doing the same to others.


A lot of times, I have no idea what the person actually does. They could be anything from a volunteer to a brass caption head. Unlike some DCI mega-fans, I'm not familiar enough with the activity to recognize every corps' staff members.

But I have made it a point to take note of the other media staff at show sites. (My competition, if you will.) Some I've just seen in passing, like the media staff of The Cavaliers. And others I've taken the time to meet, such as some of the Bluecoats' video staff and my successor at DCI.

Even though we're all competing for eyeballs and mouse clicks, we've all got the same end goal in mind: supporting the activity. It's great to collaborate and build ideas off each other — to hear what works and what doesn't.

One such idea we're developing here at The Cadets is "Members and Fans, Side-by-Side." I've seen other corps do similar concepts, and the end result can look pretty great. But I never knew how much work goes into it; we've now tried it three times, each time with varying success.

(I should point out that one easy part of the process is getting members to cooperate. So far I've had no problems getting volunteers, and it helps that Scott Way always has water waiting for them at the souvie stand, 34Store.)


Lighting was an issue I didn't think about. By the time The Cadets perform, it's dark out and the lights of the souvie truck drown out people's faces. I find myself constantly moving the members around the souvie stand, searching for that sweet spot.

Another odd problem is crowds, or sometimes the lack thereof. I'm still trying to figure out the rhythm and pacing of the souvie area. At times the entire area is empty, and then the next minute it's so crowded that we have no room to take photos.

Even with the kinks in the system, I’ve been pretty happy with the end result, because it’s always great to see fans and members interacting. Be sure to stop by the 34Store after we perform to grab a few photos!


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