sábado, 10 de noviembre de 2012

What do you know about Country Fest at Gillette Stadium?

Foxborough is expected to see over 100,000 country fans at Gillette Stadium this weekend as Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw wrap up their 2012 “Brothers of the Sun” Tour. Concerts will be held Friday and Saturday, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
The New England Country Music Festival atGillette Stadium has become an annual event in Foxborough since its inception in 2004.
The show, referred to by many concertgoers as “CountryFest,” features some of the industry’s biggest stars on one stage and this weekend will be no different as Kenny Chesney returns to Foxborough for the seventh time as the festival’s headliner and he’s bringing some all-star friends with him.
Jake Owen, Grace Potter and Tim McGraw will join Chesney on stage this weekend (Friday and Saturday) for the ninth annual Country Musical Festival in front of sellout crowds of 50,000 to 55,000 people each night.
“It’s the largest country music event in New England each year, and country music continues to gain in popularity,” said Gillette Stadium spokesperson Jeff Cournoyer.
The festival enjoyed initial success in 2004 and 2005 before exploding in 2006. In that year, the Gillette Stadium concert became the top-grossing country music show in history and "Country Fest" was born.
The ticket demand over the years has increased steadily as country music continues to gain popularity throughout New England. As a result of the overwhelming interest, Gillette Stadium has added a second day to the festival. Each show is similar – featuring the same artists – and is meant to give more fans an opportunity to experience the festival.
In advance of the two-day festival, here are five things you need to know about Country Fest weekend in Foxborough:
1. Parking Ban in Residential Areas will be Enforced and Other Parking and Event Entry Information
Stadium parking lots are scheduled to open to general parking at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Foxborough Police and Gillette Stadium personnel ask fans not to arrive prior to lots opening at 1:30 p.m.
Other important information for those attending Friday or Saturday’s event:
  • All passengers in vehicles must have a ticket for entry into Gillette Stadium parking lots
  • Transportation of alcohol between parking lots will not be allowed
  • No tailgating will be allowed after 5:30 p.m.
While some concertgoers may view security at this weekend’s event as strict – Cournoyer says Gillette Stadium personnel works closely with local and state police to ensure safety at all stadium events, especially ones that produce record crowds.
“As with any major event, we've worked closely with [Foxborough Police Chief Edward O'Leary], his team and the Massachusetts State Police to continue to improve traffic management, as well as to identify and address any public safety issues,” he said. “We make tweaks each year to try to improve on previous events. It has been a successful partnership.”
Foxborough residents are reminded that the town’s parking bylaw that bans parking for a fee on residential properties during Gillette Stadium events will be in effect Friday and Saturday. If residents are caught parking cars on their property for money, they will be subject to a $100 fine for each car in violation on that property. For more on the parking bylaw, click here.
As for general parking, the following rates apply:
  • $40 for cars
  • $125 Limos
  • $125 RV's and oversized vans/cars
  • $200 busses
Note that Gillette Stadium Lots are cash only. For more parking information, click here.
2. Sellout Crowds Mean Traffic Delays in Area
Two sellout crowds of 50,000 to 55,000 fans are expected in Foxborough on Friday and Saturday to see Kenny Chesney’s “Brothers of the Suns” Tour. Officials advise those travelling through the area to plan ahead and expect traffic delays similar to New England Patriots games, especially Friday night, where concert traffic will be added to the evening commute.
Click here to keep an eye on concrt traffic with Patch’s live traffic feature.
3. The Dos and Don’ts at Gillette Stadium During Concerts
Note the following will not be allowed in Gillette Stadium Parking Lots:
    • Any vehicle towing a trailer (this includes fifth-wheel RV units).
    • Professional catering trucks and or services without prior written approval from Stadium Management.
    • Excessive tailgate setups that impede on customers parked around your vehicles, emergency access or deemed to be unsafe or inappropriate by Stadium Management.
    • Any type of swimming pool, portable pool, hot tubs, water filled pickup trucks, or the like.
    • Branded vehicles that Stadium Management determines to be advertizing to the general public.
      For a list of prohibited and acceptable items at Gillette Stadium, click here.
      4. Did You Know …
      • While Chesney has made the New England Country Music Festival the largest concert series in New England, he did not headline the first Country Fest in 2004. Do you know the artist who did? Here’s a hint … his bar and grill is located in Patriot Place. That’s right, country fans … Toby Keith headlined the 2004 Country Music Festival.
      • This year will mark Chesney’s seventh Country Fest, which included consecutive appearances from 2005-2009. In 2010, while Chesney took a break from touring, Brad Paisley headlined the event. Chesney returned for two performances last August at Gillette Stadium, even with Tropical Storm Irene on the verge of hitting the region.
      • Gillette Stadium is often Chesney’s last stop on his summer tours because it is one of his favorite venues.
      When in New England, Chesney often embraces the culture of the crowd. In past performances at Gillette Stadium, he has invited Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots players on stage with him during his shows and features a slideshow of photos and video of Boston and the surrounding area during the performance of his song, “Back Where I Come From.”
      5. Lineup of Artists and Possible Set Lists for Performers
      Country artist Jake Owen and his hit “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” will open the ninth annual New England Country Music Festival; taking the Gillette Stadium stage at 4:30 p.m. The rest of the musical lineup is as follows:
      • Potter and the Nocturnals
      • McGraw (on stage around 6 p.m.)
      • Chesney
      To give fans attending Country Fest this weekend an idea of what they may hear, we’ve done some research to see what songs these artists have been performing on “The Brothers of the Sun” Tour. Here’s a look at the set lists from the tour’s last three shows. Information courtesy of www.setlist.fm.
      Tim McGraw at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. (Aug. 11)

      sábado, 3 de noviembre de 2012

      what do you know about your online customers?

      The Internet has transformed many aspects of our lives, and shopping is one of them. Online commerce is growing exponentially right before us.
      In the case of traditional brick-and-mortar stores, one gets to read the body language and expressions of the customers, from which their satisfaction or dissatisfaction can be gauged. This is not possible in online commerce. So, it is imperative to have a structured process to measure and analyse the effectiveness of an online store.
      The website is one of the key parameters for a successful online retail business. There are plenty of resources available for e-commerce entrepreneurs to create shopping websites. But how efficient is a website, and what are the key performance indicators of the online store? Analytics plays an important role in measuring online store business. It provides valuable insights that aid in strategic decisions.
      Performance indicators
      First, visitors to the website and their behaviour are the crucial data to be captured and analysed. The percentage of new and returning visitors provides a good indicator of the overall business health. Browsing habits and visitors’ intent vary drastically. So, it is important to segment visitors of the website and develop a deeper understanding of the audience.
      Segment them in meaningful ways: are they buyers or browsers? Prospective or committed customers? Unregistered visitors or registered users? Geolocation of visitors is another category to be considered for segmentation. Then, create different sets of metrics for each segment. For example, average visits, average time spent, average order value and conversions by each segment. These metrics would be very useful in the strategy to attract the right customers to the Web store.
      Next, gather and analyse the click path, which is the sequence of hyperlinks that visitors follow on the website. Create metrics such as page views per session — this is an indicator of how compelling and easily navigated your visitors find your website.
      Also, analyse the shopping metaphors. Shopping metaphors in an online store are the different ways that shoppers use to find products of interest — internal search provided within the website is one such way. Tracking how searching visitors differentially convert into customers should help you understand how effective your search engine is.
      Next, measure the shopping cart activities. Metrics such as ‘average items per cart completed’ are indicators of acquiring better qualified visitors to the site. ‘Abandonment rate’ will help in studying the reasons for abandoning products in the cart. The data from shopping cart logs will also provide useful information on sales and demand forecasting, promotion planning and shopper behaviour analysis.
      Next is the metrics from the ‘check-out’ process. Measure the speed of the ‘check-out’ process, effectiveness of payment gateway and details such as number of drop-outs during check-out. Valuable insights can be gained from these metrics.
      Analyse merchandising cues. Merchandising cues in an online store are the different ways Web merchants present their products to motivate purchase. The examples are cross-sells, up-sells and promotions. Collect the metrics related to merchandising cues, for example cross-sell sales; this is an indicator of relevancy of the cross-sell recommendations.
      How they got there
      Knowing how visitors reached your site is as important as knowing what they do on the site. Track and measure the traffic to the website and also the sources of the traffic. The metrics collected in this regard will help in evaluating the marketing techniques such as banner ads, referral sites and paid searches.
      (The author is Principal Product Manager for an IT product development company.)