So now I'm pretending that BSB did do a townhall concept. Here are a few things that I would like to suggest to them for future improvements as well as some fun things I'd love to see them do.
- First and foremost we need a new album. Never Gone was released in 2005; Unbreakable in 2007; and This is Us in 2009. So by that pattern we should've had an album last year! We are way overdue.
- More consistency in the VIP experience for sound check parties. I'm sympathetic that sometimes things come up that are beyond their control which translates into last minute changes. But aside from that, I don't think its fair that sometimes there are barricades and sometimes there aren't. Sometimes they do more songs than others. Sometimes they'll handle the Q&A differently. And don't even get me started on how different the platinum VIPs can differ. I do like the fact that each boy does their tour a little different to suit their personality, but it still doesn't feel right that Brian may spend upwards of 45 minutes doing a Q&A before the tour actually starts where Nick's whole tour lasts 10 minutes. Even Howie himself has joked that he would ask for his money back if he had Nick as a tour guide. If we're all paying the same amount, we should all largely have the same experience?
- I'm not sure how best to articulate this thought, but we need an improvement on the end to end management of events. Fans are starting to feel like they are being financially taken advantage of. For me personally, my issue isn't in the prices of the events themselves (though I certainly wouldn't complain if they lowered the cost of things) but rather on how the whole thing is being handled.
On the front end, events are not always clearly outlined on just exactly what is and is not included in the price. Fans are feeling confused and mislead through vague terminology in event descriptions/ads. Example- This whole debacle with the MixTape barbeque or even the beach party for the first cruise later being announced as an additional charge. Had they been up front from the beginning that these types of things are an addon, then people wouldn't be as upset. In the future I would like to see things very explicitly written out. For example, "Photo op" is too vague for my liking. They need to say "Meet & greet with 5 fans per picture guaranteed" or they need to say "BSB will be taking pictures at their own discretion so no one is guaranteed a photo." I think simply by using more clear wording should hopefully avoid fans feeling deceived going forward.
I also feel like things need to be done on the back end to better resolve scenarios that didn't live up to what was promised. As I said before, I'm understanding that things come up last minute that might elicit changes, but the reality is that if what I bought isn't what was delivered, there should be some sort of restitution. If I bought a VIP ticket that promised 3 songs or bought a group picture that was supposed to have 5 people, its simply not right if I'm not compensated when they only do 2 songs or last minute enforce a picture with 8 fans. This is when I really start to feel taken advantage of because I'm not getting what I paid for. In any other business scenario, that is how it works. If I were to order a pepperoni pizza at a restaurant and they brought out cheese. I'd think to myself, 'Self, this pizza is absolutely delicious but I paid extra for pepperoni so I better get a pile of pepperonis to go or the amount I paid for the extra topping back." Sorry for the food analogy, I'm hungry. I would just like to see us fans treated as any other consumer. We pay a lot for this stuff so we deserve a bit more customer service.
I hope you don't take this massive rant as complaining, but rather I view it is an opportunity for improvements in the future.
- I'd love to see some different pre/post concert events besides an after party at a club. Obviously after parties aren't suited for all members of the Backstreet Boys so perhaps they should do another fun event before the concert that can better incorporate all members. I've heard a little about these brunches that Jordan Knight does and I thought that would be a ton of fun to do with BSB. I wouldn't mind eating an omelet with Howie D.
- Release a DVD from the NKOTBSB tour. And an international version of the This is Us Tour while they're at it. Its been over a week since I've dropped money on our boys, so I'm overdue to spend more money on them. But I can't do that unless they give me something to spend it on.
- Do more atypical concerts such as the unplugged concert on the second cruise where fans can pick songs that Nick doesn't know the lyrics to. Or do more acoustic shows with the Q&A weaved throughout the event. I love the full stage production shows, but the concerts where the boys are more 'raw' are by far my fave.
- Try to add a little more value to the Fan Club. We're essentially paying $40/year for access to a few pre-sales. I'd love to see the boys do more chats or exclusive videos. Just SOMETHING.
- Do more big events similar to the cruise. I'm not sure I can dream up
anything better than the cruise, but I love the concept that we have the
opportunity to spend more time with the boys outside of just your
normal concert. I love interacting with the guys in different ways like
game shows, Q&A, etc. The fans get really pumped for big events like
this so I think they should do more of them. They could do something
like a cruise on land- some sort of Backstreetfest weekend. Even though
my wallet is already trying to seal itself up at the mere mention of it.
- So now I'm getting into a few cruise specific suggestions. My latest brainchild was to have one of the themed deck parties in the afternoon as opposed to late at night. Think luau themed pool party in the afternoon with pool games. We know Brian doesn't like these late night events. Meanwhile AJ doesn't exactly thrive in that environment either. So I'd be interested to see if our boys might be more engaged and energetic in the afternoon than these late-night deck parties. Plus I think it would be fun to try something different.
- Something else I'd really like to see on the cruise is each of the boys doing their own event on the cruise. I've mentioned this before, but if each BSB does a solo event, that's 4 (hopefully 5) more events for us fans and not much extra work on their part. I think it could be a great opportunity for some of them to either promote their solo material or just pick an activity that is better suited for their individual personalities.
- Actually have a townhall meeting so I can share #'s 1-10 with the Backstreet Boys.
So what would be your question/comment if there was a Backstreet townhall?