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Apr 10, 2020

When Cirque de Soleil files for bankruptcy protection you realize how fast the sun has set on the event business. To find out what it will take to stage a comeback I chat with brothers David and Stephen Shaw , who are Canadian born, and have become global thought leaders in different segments of the event business.

David Shaw is the Senior Vice President, International and Content at UFC. David talks about the importance of being first.

Stephen Shaw is the co-founder of Round Room, his resume includes producing for the Rolling Stones, Oprah, Broadway Productions and major touring exhibits like Jurassic Park. Stephen talks about how the concept of immersive experiences will change because of COVID and through technology.

In this exclusive I chat with the Shaw Brothers about their upbringing, I seek their insights into the world of entertainment and putting smiles on people’s faces, and ideas on how Canada can stop the drain of talent like these two.

What advice can you give parents to kind of bring up and raise the kids? (01:07)
- Kids need to understand the value of the dollar and the value of hard work
- Respect and not only respect for your contemporaries and your peers, but respect for people of all ages, races and ethnicities

What is considered exceptional in the experience economy? (02:29)
- Creating a balance between your audience, the content and accessibility
- Incorporating experiences that appeal to your fans, both the hardcore and casual fans
- Diversifying the content experience with traditional elements and immersive experiences
- Accessibility is key, providing multiple customer journeys that appeal across all age groups and geographic markets

How David scaled the UFC brand (03:30)
- Be first is a key maxim that drives the brand forward. A decade ago UFC was one of the sports franchises to live stream live events, on Facebook. 
- Unable to secure favourable pay-per-view deals, they adopted social media to connect with their audience and disseminate information and to market their product.
- They created a sports product that transcends language, it transcends borders and geography and it transcends ethnicity and religion. 

The role technology will play in the future of entertainment (04:50)
- Technology enables the UFC to connect their product with a customer, wherever they are via whatever medium or platform they wish, be it satellite, cable, Facebook, etc
- VR and AR has heightened the content experience and online ticketing has enabled greater accessibility

How will the experience economy come back from the COVID pandemic? (06:27)
- Until there is a vaccine it will be a long road to recovery
- A slue of strict health and safety protocols and measure will be implemented
- One needs to look to new revenue streams, particularly in digital media
- Develop new sponsorship assets

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Links and References

Stephen Shaw, Founder, Round Room Live

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Twitter - @RoundRoomLive
LinkedIn -

David Shaw, SVP International and Content, UFC

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