A big group of us travelled up from Birmingham, meeting up with other friends from around the country. In the photo below (taken just after breakfast on day one) you’ll spot folks from Birmingham Hippodrome, Dancexchange, The Rep and Artichoke with others from BCMG and The RSC just out of shot.
Join me after the pic for my notes from some of the sessions.
These days there’s more art and less education about art. That means arts marketers are trying to get audiences to attend things they don’t know much about. In that sense, their job is about mitigating the audience’s risk. Jerry illiustrated the principle with a few case studies:
• Oregon Humanities do a series called Think & Drink
• Mostly Mozart – shorter shows, time for a drink
• BAN6 at YBCA had an opening party (rather than a reception) which carried on later and featured live music, cocktails and DJs to appeal to a younger demographic
How about giving a credit to people who leave halfway through to allow them to come back and try something else? What about offering a money back guarantee? Maybe try selling sections of the show separately (ie with triple bills of work). The last one caused a bit of a stir in the audience, which was good.
Some other bits and pieces:
• Taste is socially transmitted
• What are you doing to help your audiences talk to each other?
• Audiences can be reached at various stages of an experience: Before -> During -> After -> Omnipresent
Sarah and Kate’s session was titled ‘Reviewing Your Marketing Campaign Strategy – a marketing health check’ and it was probably the most practical and useful session I attended.
However, rather than regurgitate my notes, they’ve been good enough to make their presentation and a host of other resources available here so I’ll just point you towards that. Check out the resources section of their website for more case studies too.
Mark has kindly uploaded his slides along with a few notes scribbled during other sessions.
The main thing I took away from his talk was the idea of performing three strategic (as opposed to random) acts of kindness. He acknowledged an element of cynicism in this but I think that’s fine – if doing a good thing also makes sound business/mission sense then there’s all the more reason to do it. From our point of view there are a couple of things we do that would fit snugly into this bracket.
(Photo by craftscotland)
The second day was really all about having conversations with people, so you’ll have to excuse the lack of notes from any sessions.
Jane Finnis and Seb Chan expanded on the day’s opening keynote session in an interesting and quite wide-ranging session (with some nice words said about the mobile site we built for Warwick Arts Centre too).
It was also a pleasure to meet and talk with Rohan Gunatillake (Edinburgh Festivals Innovation Lab), Antony Pickthall (Liverpool Biennial) and Sarah Hunt (National Theatre) who hosted the round table sessions I attended.
Russell Willis Taylor brought things to an end in fine style with a final keynote session that was as drily amusing as it was authoritative and thought-provoking.
To sum up
Congrats to the folks at the AMA for organising a good conference, hello to everyone I met (I’ve got a lot of post-conference following up to do) and thanks to everyone who said nice things about us unprompted. Glasgow was great, too.
If you want some more notes to devour, check out these:
• Morning keynotes livestreamed by Envirodigital – day one and day two
• Notes from the AMA’s guest bloggers
• Choice #amaconf tweets collated by Get AmbITion – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
• On a related note, see Taras Young – On Virtually Being There
• AMA video round table notes from Alex Fleming (I presume) at Lyric Hammersmith
• I understand some notes are due on the Cultural Tweeters blog imminently
One final thought that occurred to me on the train home: all those arts marketers and nobody once tried to sell me a ticket to anything…