Thursday, March 15, 2012

Flash mob, MATS style

A flash mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform some unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time – then disperse. The word gets out via social media, text messages or email that goes viral.

Flash mobs are not to be confused with smart mobs. A smart mob is one that has a definite planned purpose. Although a flash mob is mostly done for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression, there is normally a good reason for a smart mob.

For instance, truck drivers gather in Louisville, KY, for a couple of days to shuffle relentlessly through a million square feet of exhibits. These mobs are a hybrid between a classic flash mob and a smart mob. It’s far from pointless to be eyeballing the new truck models and snapping up the incredible show trucks. And who can argue that there’s total purpose in madly scavenging for stickers, free caps, copies of the U.S. Constitution, yard sticks, cups and basically anything free?

One mob that I saw materialize before my eyes one time at MATS was when they announced that NASCAR driver Tony Stewart was at the Sirius booth. As one of our OOIDA booth workers screamed “get his picture for us,” I was swept up in this crowd and got shoved to the front and ended up practically in Tony’s lap. Got a darned good photo. Now that was what you might call a “SMOKE” mob.

Another good example of a MATS mob is the hundreds of women who come to the truck show for the Women In Trucking event. They storm the show on Saturday noon in red shirts and have their photo taken together in an attempt to break a record. OK, so there’s a lot more to it than that, but I am just sayin’ – if you see a sea of red shirts coming at you, get out of the way; it’s a “WIT” mob.

If you are on the scene this month in Louisville, you’ll not only get to see these phenoms appear suddenly out of nowhere, but you can be part of one. Like on TV.

No comments:

Post a Comment