Rock your audience like the Jonas Brothers

Last night I had the opportunity to study the Jonas Brothers with 56,000 raving fans at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. That’s right. Study them. Contrary to popular belief, I am not a fan of their music. Although, I must confess, they did put on one heck of a show on Sunday night.

Which brings me to the focus of this post. There were more people there than the last concert I went to at the Rogers Centre: Coldplay. Granted, at least 15% in attendance last night were parents or older siblings chaperoning the young ones. But I digress.

What I witnessed Sunday night was astounding. A band that held the audience in the palm of their hands for almost 2 hours. A band that provoked screams of delight from every word they sang or spoke. A band that prompted many fans to pay upwards of $400 for a floor seat, gift bag and a special meet and greet and sound check 5 hours before the brothers took stage.

What made this concert a sell-out? Why are the Jonas Brothers a success?

Here are FIVE things I took away from the concert:

  1. Be emotional. During the show, one of the brothers (the one who plays guitar, piano and drums) spoke about his diabetes diagnosis and how he was determined never to let that stop him from pursuing his dream. I mean, the guy is younger than 30 and he spoke about how us “kids” should never quit. Pursue your dream. Well, his audience ate it up. And it’s a good message too. What emotions does your audience have? Are they excited for you? Or do they want to pull their hair out after you’ve spoken to them?
  2. Know your audience. The brother’s know who their audience is. It’s not people who like Coldplay or U2 or even Neil Young. It’s not the Y generation. And because they know their audience they play to them. They put out movies and TV shows to sell to their demographic – girls under 15. Who is your audience? Do you know or are you just throwing mud against the wall to see what sticks?
  3. Thank those who pay. I doubt any 14 year old girl or boy has $400 to shell out for a concert. But their parents do. And so the Jonas Brothers thanked the parents by playing a Neil Diamond song and thanking the parents for bringing their kids. Don’t forget to thank those who help pay your bills. You may even want to sing them a song.
  4. Invite others to participate. Please don’t ask me to name the groups or why don’t I remember the names of the other performers because I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that the Jonas Brothers had 3 opening acts. Another boy band and a couple of other girl fronted groups. During the main set though, various members of these groups played with the Jonas Brothers. And it seemed to raise the decibel level of the stadium to even greater heights. Wow. In business, I think it’s very important to encourage clients, partners and other stake holders to participate. It can be as simple as asking your clients their opinion of your work.
  5. Dream. This is important. The Rogers Centre call fit 50,000+ people in it. And the boy band of the moment filled it. I wonder if the Blue Jays heard about this…

These are 5 take aways that I know every business, organization, institution, family and club can use to help them “rock their audience.” What are you doing to “rock” yours?