Lifestyle Podcast Post

Experiential Entertainment with David Carpenter

George Grombacher August 25, 2022

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Experiential Entertainment with David Carpenter

LifeBlood: We talked about experiential entertainment, what it is, how it works, how it makes the consumer an active vs passive participant, and how you can benefit, with David Carpenter, CEO of Gamiotics, a live entertainment software. 

Listen to learn where experiential entertainment will show up next!

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

David Carpenter

Episode Transcript

Unknown Speaker 0:00
Come on

Unknown Speaker 0:11
one left for this is George G. And the time is right welcome today’s guest strong and powerful David carpenter. David, how are you ready to do this? I am ready to do this. Thanks for having me on. I’m excited to have you on. David is a CEO of gaming addicts. They are the only software for live entertainment that connects audiences and content with zero hassles. David, tell us a little about your personal life some more about your work and why you do what you do? Sure.

Unknown Speaker 0:36
Well, I am 22 years entertainment industry veteran veteran, I have worked mostly in Broadway and off Broadway for most of my career.

Unknown Speaker 0:47
And on the on the personal side, which is, which is important to this conversation is that I’m an avid video and board gamer get any type of gaming that I can get my hands on, and always have been and working in the theatrical industry of working on Broadway for a long time is that that was always an outside passion and hobby of mine. And for years, I’ve never since I was I was, you know, seven years old. And we got, you know, the first PC platform where I can start playing video games on. And there was a moment, about six, seven years ago, where I set where I was, I saw something about the gamification of the live event space, right. And it was originally certainly within within theatrical and I thought, gosh, that’s, that’s something I’ve never seen before. And boy, I think I want to, I think I want to dig into that and figure out what this is. And I think a lot of times

Unknown Speaker 1:42
in technology is that you have that kind of 40 year desert period when you have that idea, and you start playing around with it, but you just have no idea what to do with it. And I went through that for about for about four or five years, when I was in the very early stages of developing antibiotics. Because there wasn’t a there wasn’t really an application for it that I could find, right? Or, or could find a way to make it, you know, into a scalable software company. And so it was always a side project. And then it turned into an upside project about two and a half years ago. And that’s really where things started taking off for me,

Unknown Speaker 2:16
obviously coincides with the start of the pandemic. So this is one of those stories where trapped inside the house for two years led to an enormous amount of innovation on my end. Yeah, I imagined that hastened things a little bit. Well, what were you doing with Broadway Off, off and on? Yeah, so I worked. I worked in general management, and I worked in sales and marketing. For many years, I worked at a production company, I ran a perhaps a company for about five years for somebody else. And then I had my own production company for five years. And in that I produced I CO produced on Broadway. I was a lead producer on Broadway,

Unknown Speaker 2:55
experiential show called Slava snow show, that was back in the winter of 2019. And that, and I’d also been the I’ve been the producer of an Off Broadway show called puffs, which is a parody of the Harry Potter universe, which is now the second most produced show. And in the US, I don’t produce any more, but it’s licensed by every high school and college you can imagine. And the type of entertainment that I found myself drawn towards and producing was not traditional musicals was not traditional plays. It was this other idea of experiential and interactive entertainment that I really started falling in love with. And experiential entertainment is the fastest growing sector of live entertainment right now. And I just felt that that was missing a Technic technological component in order to be able to draw audiences deeper into what it is they’re doing. I mean, when you when you play a video game, right, you are, you know, it’s a solo experience, that you’re engaged with the content and you’re taking actions and you’re making choices. And I and I, and that’s, you know, with what I do with Guinea Audix is saying, how do we do that idea on the on the live entertainment in a live space for a collective audience? Right. And that that was kind of the first big thing I was after, with, with what gave me audits. And then during Of course, the pandemic, it morphed into so much more. Yeah, I think it’s really exciting. So you mentioned that, I think the term you used was experiential entertainment. It’s it’s an industry it’s like $100 billion dollar industry. How does that segment is it different from the metaverse? Is it the same thing? Well, it’s the it’s the it’s the idea that that the consumers entertainment is not passive, right? I mean, when you are watch at home watching Netflix when you are watching a movie, when you’re watching a play or a musical you are your role in the experiences as audience member is to is to take in an absorb right and

Unknown Speaker 5:00
That is the extent of what your role is you’re not asked to do anything else other than other than wolves, right? When you look at experiential, the role of the audience changes, right in that they’re no longer being asked to simply be a passive participant, but to have a place and to have a stake and to have an idea. So when you get one of the some of the best ones out in the marketplace, and there’s a very

Unknown Speaker 5:22
famous company called meow Wolf, which does these amazing installations that are just like these beautiful story worlds that they that they’ve crafted, they started in Arizona, they’re originally funded by George RR Martin, right from Game of Thrones. And they’ve Chris created these just Wonderland, right, like Disneyland is experiential entertainment, everywhere you go, everywhere you’re looking at is something to interact with, right. And so

Unknown Speaker 5:44
that started, I want to say, you know, in a significant way, in the amusement park space, and it is now just kind of moving further into just places where we intersect with consumers. And so you see a lot of installations, you see a lot of a VR and AR and light shows and things that are happening, you know, around the world. And that’s kind of that’s what it’s all fueling the experiential entertainment marketplace. Got it. Nice. So with with gaming addicts, what I mean, when thinking about how am I going to deploy this, this technology that I’ve created, it could be everywhere. How do you decide? How do you? Well, the the sukiyaki is a platform, right? I mean, what the software company is, it’s a b2b company, right? We are selling a platform, that is that is allowing for a different type of experiential entertainment,

Unknown Speaker 6:36
or bid to come into the marketplace. And so so the difference with what I am doing is that is that gaming addicts, it’s a two way communication device, right, like between the audience in between the content. So you know, the one, the one that Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, right, is a is a beautifully crafted thing, because they buried an RFID chip inside this very expensive piece of plastic. And it allows you to go around the park and wave the wand over things and have an interaction, right, it becomes interactive, right? But that communication is only one way, it’s like I wave the wand, the thing happens, and then that conversation is done. And what I’ve been after is, what if you’re able to establish a conversation where the the choices that the patron or the collective audience is making, it can be down to the individual level, or, you know, there are as many people as you want, but their choices are actually having a consequence and having a reaction. And then that reaction has another reaction, and then more choice and a different set of choices come forward. And so you’re able to create this idea of this, this branching narrative idea, like I mean, this is kind of weird gaming addicts really began in that how you’re informing of the content changes the content as it’s happening in front of you, right. And that’s a very new idea within within this marketplace. I think the other thing has to do with just simply communication and audience engagement, that that you’re able to, to very simply easily with the software provide an ongoing conversation with your audience member, that that is informative, that is gamified. Right, that is giving them action and giving them stakes in this experience that they’re having to allow for a different type of experience than we normally do. And the other thing too, for me is, and I am getting ready to answer your question, right. But the other thing, too is, is taking the phone and turning it into a tool to unlock your entertained device without having to download an app. Right. And that’s really important to me, because consumers are don’t want to download apps before for something for something, you know, what we’re proposing for our clients a library Tim is based they want the the interface to be dispensable. Right? So we made a very conscious decision from day one, to dive into mobile web and do it completely mobile. And we’re finding a huge success with that. Because because the consumer don’t want to think that I’m tracking every single thing they’re doing and I now have access to their phone. And there is a there is a trust implicit if they’re opening a web browser, that when they close that web browser, they’ve cut off that communication, right. And so for for gaming addicts is about agency, it’s about putting that power putting that choice in the consumers hands. So who we’re selling to is certainly within the experiential entertainment. I’m a partner in a live action, Dungeons and Dragons style gaming event show, right where the audience is using gaming addicts to interact. But there’s all sorts of

Unknown Speaker 9:31
mugging game mechanics that exist within that show. But where this starts getting, you know, even more exciting for me is when we look at traditional spaces, right? When you look at the museum space and say, Hey, you can do a linear audio guided tour where the where the information is being fed on a stream, right? And you’re going from point A to point B to point C and learning something. Or you can flip that conversation on its head and say, well which room do you want to go to and what

Unknown Speaker 10:00
Do you want to learn and then have that information communicated back to you. And then that choice then determines where you go next. And suddenly you’ve taken the idea of going into a museum or going into a space and turning it into an adventure and turning it into a game that I’m participating in, in order to learn in order to do something, right. And that’s the thing that I’m that’s what we’re really after, with, with what we’re doing the software is that that gamifying? The experience, right? But putting it into the audience’s hands and saying, Well, what do you want to see? And what do you want to do today? And how can and how can your choices make for a better experience here. And so it’s a different level of how we craft narratives, right? And how we craft the story that we’re telling our audiences. So and then, you know, there are there’s applications for it, certainly within the sporting events, because you’re at a game with people who want to watch a game, let’s all play a game, right. And so I’m, I’m deep conversations with, with sporting teams about running pilot programs, about how it is that you are continually engaging your fans, right in the moments when the game’s not happening. And that’s, I think that’s also, you know, fun and exciting to be able to do, because one of the things that we’re having so much trouble with is engagement with our fans and engagement with our audience is because the minute that they we lose their attention, they go off onto another Facebook or Instagram, or you know, or SNAP or whatever it is that they’re doing. And I’m saying, hey, if they’re, if they’re on their phone, harness the power of that phone to engage with them, right, and use it in a way that that they’re not going to go off elsewhere, but they’re gonna stay in your in your conversation that you’re having with them. Yeah, so essentially, the sky’s the limit it can there’s use cases, that right, because like I’m in startups, you can’t say that, but

Unknown Speaker 11:43
but there’s a lot of places where we, where we interact with our consumers, right? I mean, there’s a lot of spaces where we do that. I mean, I was, uh, I was, you know, talking on another podcast, where this concept of gamification is really getting deep into our lives now, and like my Apple Watch, which I’m wearing right now, like, I have the exercise thing turned on, and I close rings every day, and I get that weird serotonin thing and be like, Oh, I closed a ring. And that’s a game, right? Like, there’s a goal, there’s an objective, and there’s an endpoint to it. Right. And, and, and it’s, and it’s so this, this concept, and this idea of engagement

Unknown Speaker 12:18
is something that I think we’re just gonna see more and more on, right. And also, because consumers, especially within the youngest generation of consumers, they there they are moving away from passive entertainment. Right? Like they are the there will always be a place I think, for the for the things, the traditional things that we love in terms of movies, in terms of television, and film, and even theater, but we’re always that next generation comes in and says, I want more, I want something different, I want something more engaged. Right. And I also think that that, for me, this concept of agency of experience is really important, because I feel we’re we are in a place in our lives, where we question how much choice we actually have, right? I mean, like, in terms of in terms of the entertainment, we’re being fed in terms of the news we’re being factored in, and, and there’s a constant fight for consumer intention, attention. But I think what we’re finding that is the most successful is when you’re able to give your audience the choice and let them have the power to choose, then they become a more valuable customer.

Unknown Speaker 13:19
Yeah, that that makes a ton of sense.

Unknown Speaker 13:23

Unknown Speaker 13:25
I’m listening, my company, I interact with people, I have events, I have employees, I’m a school, is there a certain size that that I have to be to engage with gaming addicts? No, because we do, we were we’re looking at this and doing this all the way down from the single user experience, like where you’re able to, like do like what I said, which is a museum walkthrough. And and again, the idea is that the platform has the ability to transform the museum space into an escape room, right without having to build an escape room is that you’re able to gamify and engage right and send a user through to go on an adventure all the way up to the arena size, right? So that we’re so that you’re looking at. You look at the music industry, there’s been some some early indications, and I’ve seen where they’re trying what would they call it as they call the crowdsourcing the playlists, right? Where you have these bands that have so many songs and so many hit songs like what are they what do people want to play? And as opposed to saying, Alright, this is going to be our setlist actually asking their fans and saying what do you want to hear tonight? Like what are the things that you want to do? And so you can look at you look at that, that idea of, of simple polling, right. But what my software what my software allows for is really easy access for the audience to be able to do that engage, get in and you could just start beating them questions, right and start beating them and engaging them as a community in the conversation you’re having about this thing, that thing that they love, and so, you know, yes, of course sky’s the limit in terms

Unknown Speaker 15:00
In terms of each relay, we’re there’s any in the live entertainment, the live event arena, anytime that you have a gathering where you’re putting people together and you’re asking them to pay attention to content, is that finding that intersection of saying, I’m asking you to pay attention to content? What else? Am I asking them? How else am I asking them engage not only with the with us, but also with each other. Right. And so that’s the, that’s the things that we’re experimenting and starting to build with right now. So

Unknown Speaker 15:25
I have a The other thing that that we’ve been able to do, and this is, this is like, go sideways in this conversation, right, in terms of what the software can do is that because the software is so accessible, right, and it’s so it’s so easy to use, and and it’s not dependent on an app download, it’s, you know, Wi Fi or cell service, we can, and we’re feeding information to the phone in real time, we’re launching a program with Purdue University, who we work with in the fall about doing closed captioning in their theater space, right. And there’s the question of accessibility, right within the live event space, to be able to draw more people and more types of people, because you have this other way to be able to communicate with them. And when one of the challenges in the accessibility spaces was especially within live event is like, Okay, we’ll we’ll do our, our, our hearing performance, and we’ll hire an ESL, and we’ll advertise it. But out of the 20 performance, you have just one is designated for that audience. And what we’re experimenting with Purdue right now is saying, He’s saying, What if every one of your performances were accessible? What if What if someone whose hearing impaired who wanted to close caption from their seat, right, wanted to come to any show that you were doing as opposed to the designated show? And so that’s what we’re running with pretty right now. We start that in the fall, just start testing that idea to see what their consumer adoption is going to be, make sure that, you know, everything’s rolling in that there were the software is working the way that that that that they want it to? And then and then seeing where that where that goes. And we’re, you know, we’re building in multilingual capabilities. So that if you want to take this idea, and it’s the idea of taking closed captioning, like what you can do on Netflix, right now I could we could all watch squid game, right? Whether we, you know, and watch the game and subtitles and saying, Well, gosh, there is live audio translation. But if you have scripted performance, why aren’t you delivering that script in multiple languages? And also to the hearing impaired? Right. And so that’s something that we’re chasing right now within within a space too. So yeah, it’s that it again, at the heart of it, it’s providing a technological solution for communicating with your audience using the tool that’s in their pocket. Right. And that’s the thing that we’re really after, you know, with a software company now. Exciting. So, from an entrepreneurial standpoint,

Unknown Speaker 17:39
what what has been the well, I guess, what’s what’s, what’s the hardest thing for you is getting awareness and attention, it’s having the conversations, it’s the technology.

Unknown Speaker 17:52
So, even in 2022, right, there is this,

Unknown Speaker 17:59
this just a binding opinion, that technology doesn’t work, right. And when you’re working in the live space, the the things need to work, the lights need to work, the sound needs to look like other things, things are learned. And you of course, you have decades of of control systems that have been built that have been tested. You know, every once in a while, you know, I’ve been at shows where the whole system collapses, led up to reboot, and when we see this, but like, for the most part, you know, you’re for live entertainment, you’re looking at stability, right? I mean, you know, Netflix, I think, you know, works because their platform or so i Whenever I go into lab flicks, it turns out, right, I mean, that’s what we look for technology. But when you’re introducing these ideas into that space, that that early adoption is really tough. Because there is just an inherent belief of like, Oh, I’ve seen people trying to not quite like mine, but I think we’ll try to do this more. And the technology in the works, right. And so for me, I realized that about a year ago, saying, Gosh, I can tell people that it’s going to work, but to get them to invest the time and the energy to money to use my platform to build the thing that they want to build. That’s a That’s a tough hill to climb. Right. So I built another company, I built an entertainment company where, you know, we’re like I said, Amy Knox is a partner of this experience that is very, very successful now, right, that is really taking off. And part of the motivation on my part was, I need a place I need a showcase to show people that this is working and selling tickets, and everyone’s you know, and this thing is happening. Right. So I think that that’s part of the the main issue, I think, in in what I’m dealing with is just learning how to overcome those early adoption hurdles. And then there’s also no one believes you until they have the tactile experience, right. And so that the so we’re figuring out how we can get a better demo system that doesn’t require people coming to see one of these other components in the shows, but figuring out how to say, No, this, this really does work. And let me show you and let me show how it does and that that you know, the the we’ve been through a lot of different types of demos, and we’re still fine tuning it in order to say hey, this just worked

Unknown Speaker 20:00
So right, like, it’s a stable platform, we’ve had no problems with it, it simply works. But it’s tough. I mean, it’s, it’s tough when you’re when we did I think that would you know, adopt early adopters for a bird startup b2b is one of the single biggest challenges like, get those, get those early customers and then and then marry them. Yeah, makes sense.

Unknown Speaker 20:20
Whatever, that people are ready for that difference making tip, what do you have for them? Um, you know, for me, having having

Unknown Speaker 20:31
having done this for a long for a long, long time. Now, certainly, we’re going under Payment System, Puerto Rico for over two decades. And then moving into technology and startup, I’m obviously moving at it from my home base, which is the entertainment industry is was really just put down, put your head down, and let the and let the work, do the talking. Right, let the work that you’re putting into do the talking because I am a very good salesman. But I what I realized at the end of the day is that the that if I just put in the work, if I just trust the work that I’m doing, that’s ultimately what’s going to sell this at the end of the day, even through all the ups and the up and downs. So you just have to trust the work and trust that the hard work you’re putting into it is going to is going to have that payoff for you even and even in this sense of I’ve been at this for about six, seven years now in a lot of different areas, variations, which is that adaptability, right, that adaptability saying oh, the software is doing something that I didn’t expect it to do. And just chasing down that that rabbit hole for a while and seeing what happens has ended up being a really big boom.

Unknown Speaker 21:30
One thing that is great stuff that definitely gets a come up. David, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with gaming addicts? Alright, so our website is gaming You can check out our videos and look what we’re doing. We are going to be doing a new software release at the beginning of October right now that actually moves us into a consumer release where anyone can license the software and start playing with it for themselves. The my main that’s a that’s our soft product launch or the software platform. We’re doing a big product launch for the live entertainment product called the 20 sided tavern, which is the which is the live action, d&d style show. And you can find out more about the 20 sided tavern at the 20 sided And that’s where you see this this marrying of the technology and content. So those are the places to follow us. Love it. If you enjoyed as much as I did show David your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to game e That’s GAMIOTIC And then on the set, you’ll also find the links to that 20 sided tavern

Unknown Speaker 22:39
as well. And definitely encourage you to check it out because it is an absolute unique, a unique thing that David is working on and moving forward. Thanks. Good, David. Thanks so much. Sure. And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.

Transcribed by

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