Laughing Our Way to a Better Community: The Potential of Comedy to Change the Culture of Civic Engagement in Austin
We launched Stand Up, Austin! with a live event, A Civic Comedy Show, on Wednesday, April 11. The event was a minimum viable product (MVP), meaning that it contained just enough features to satisfy paying customers and for us to obtain feedback for future iterations and development.
Key considerations to test included market interest, ability to make a civic event fun and enjoyable, the viability of a live comedy format, and the effect of adding civic-minded organizations to the event.
The MVP included the following features: live event held at an adult-entertainment venue with a bar, a stand-up comedy showcase format featuring five diverse comics and a civic engagement expert, and four civic-minded organizations offering various opportunities to get involved with the community. We designed thoughtful touch points and interactions to enhance the civic-nature of the event, such as Conversation Cards and Community Jenga.
MVP key learnings:
- People will take decisive civic action when given the opportunity (for example, nine people registered to vote);
- there is a market for local civic comedy (over 100 people bought tickets for $5-7 after 10-days of promotion which consisted primarily of social media and free event calendars);
- a civic comedy show can be funny and informative (more than 90% of surveyed attendees rated the show as such);
- and comics want to be part of a show that intersects with civic engagement (almost half of the comedic portion of the show was on topic with civic engagement even though we did not have creative control of the content).
We are iterating our concept and preparing for AC4D’s Community Showcase and Party on Thursday, April 26. Please join us to learn more about Stand Up, Austin!