1. Lessons In Leadership
  2. Thoughts from the Zeitgeist

Why We Need to Connect

Thinking about Comic Con and Taylor Swift as a force for good.

I’m not sure why the arrival of New York Comic Con at the Javits Center lifts my spirits every year, but it does. I think anything that brings people together in a playful way is worth celebrating. People crave connection. And while fan loyalty is certainly fierce, the overall allegiance is to the spirit of the event — the joy of connecting with like-minded people who embrace cosplay and the heroes who inspire it.

This spirit of connection, as noted in the recent BizBash article about Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, is an in-demand commodity. Ms. Swift is to be congratulated on creating a spectacular event that leverages the latest in stagecraft and storytelling magic to connect every concert goer not only with her, but with each other. And this sense of connection anticipates the actual experience as her fans increasingly invest a lot of thought into planning their own costumes for the concert. What they choose to wear shows not only that they belong, but signals to other fans how they connect with the artist.

As someone old enough to remember the iterative personas created by such artists as David Bowie and Madonna and the fashion trends they inspired, I find Taylor Swift’s success gratifying. She has found an authentic way to stand on the shoulders of giants and achieve new heights in the entertainment industry. She has been smart about learning from what has worked for other artists. And she has been intentional about spreading the love not only to her fans but to the collaborators and crew members who make the elaborate tour logistics possible.

Not every modest trade show or business conference can expect to inspire the kind of cosplay loyalty we see at Comic Con or the Eras Tour. But every event has (or should have) an essential purpose that brings people together. Medical conferences help save lives. Technology shows enable the advance of new and better products that revolutionize multiple business sectors. Corporate sales meetings help bring prosperity to more people.

We come together for a reason. That reason is worth celebrating. We can gather with joy, humility, and gratitude. We can celebrate each other. We can be a force for good.

Follow me on LinkedIn!