Musical Influences: The Rolling Stones Get Stakeholder Satisfaction

Novid Parsi

After more than 50 years in the spotlight, the Rolling Stones know how to get what they want. So it's no surprise that a project team producing the first-ever touring museum exhibit about the legendary British band discovered that its four members—Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood—are very active project owners.

“Exhibitionism—The Rolling Stones” debuted last year in London, England's Saatchi Gallery. The 20,000-square-foot (1,858-square-meter) exhibit, which has stops planned in 11 other cities around the world in the years ahead, was the product of a US$5.7 million, three-year project planned and executed by Australia's International Entertainment Consulting (iEC).

The iEC team and curator ISG Productions had to juggle rigorous legal requirements and overcome a host of technical challenges, says project director Ileen Gallagher, principal, ISG Productions, New York, New York, USA. But the team also often was at the mercy of the Rolling Stones. So it focused on intense stakeholder management—ensuring the Rolling Stones would get what they want and team members would get what they need.

For instance, when band members pushed for more immersive and interactive elements for each of the exhibit's nine separate galleries, the project team turned to exhibit designers to identify routes forward.

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"The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style."

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