Tag Archives: arts and change

Be the change you want to see

Change2

As some of you may know, I am in the midst of a legal challenge with Getty Images.  I will write more about this in the future, since the knowledge will help others.

Today though, I have been thinking about all the support requests I receive.  There are so many crowd-fundraisers happening and so many requests to spread the word for an event, that I am starting to have my head spin.  Maybe I need an exorcist, but what I really would love to see happen is more collaborative efforts for helping each other out.

If you want more support for your art projects, it would be good if you helped others as well.  Here is a list of easy things you can do to be the change you want to see:

  • I follow a give 10% away rule for events and personal donations.  I feel it is good karma, and you become part of the community with this effort.
  • Help spread the word of other peoples’ events.  This will show the other people that you are a team player in your community!
  • Buy another artist’s art or go see a show that is not put on by your organization.  We all need audiences.  Being a part of their community will likely see a return that they will become one of yours.
  • Purchase books, webinars, and other educational resources from your respected consultants.  The consultants are here to lend everyone a hand, but will only remain helpful and in business if you help them too.
  • Donate to other art projects when you can.  I understand budgets are tight, but again, being the change and distributing the change you want to see will come back to you.
  • Be part of an arts solution team for your community.  If you want the community to help the artists, the artists can continue to be creative in helping the community.  They will sit up and take notice!

All of us need support.  In a world where more individuals are clamoring for attention and support, this being the change you want to see happen to you can cut through all the noise and make a huge difference!

If you have any other ideas, please feel free to post in the reply section for all to see.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

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“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

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Filed under Arts, Arts funding, arts management, Audience Development

The uncomfortableness of old and new side by side?

My friend, Dale, sent me a thread to look at on Reddit: Going to my first symphony, what are some tips for my first experience?

This ongoing conversation has me thinking about traditions and their protocols.  The traditions with the respective protocols are generated by people.  People adopt these ways, and a status quo forms.

We are currently in the wave of changes in status quo and our traditions are being challenged.  I have mentioned traditions and status quo a few times now, but I have yet to explore it further than the thought that changes are happening and people are taking sides due to these changes.

Currently, I am thinking about the Amish way of life.  Back in the day, the majority of people churned their own butter, plowed the fields with horses and donkeys, sewed and washed their clothes by hand and built their own furniture.  When steam, gas, electricity, came into the picture, everything changed and the old way of living was put to rest, except in the places where people chose to continue to live the old traditional lifestyle.  We have pockets of the old among the new.  The Amish live a quiet life in a hidden pocket of our noisy society.  They are still in existence and have not died in the process of change.

I feel that we can have pockets of tradition to be side by side with the new.  The key is to figure out which end of the spectrum you choose to live in.  If you do decide to choose the old traditions, which is fine, be prepared to live in your pocket, your extreme niche.  You will still find an audience, yet it will be a smaller, more specific audience.  If you want to break out of the traditions, be prepared to risk, experiment, reach out to new audiences, and change with the times.

It doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.  We can complain about the new audiences and their disrespect for the old traditional way of presenting the arts, or we can choose to be comfortable and live in the direction that we decide is best.  Neither way is wrong.  It’s only a matter of choice!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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Filed under Arts, arts management, Audience Development

Brother can you spare some change?

ChangeI came across a fun project today called The Bicycle Opera Project.

The Bicycle Opera Project brings Canadian contemporary opera to communities across Ontario by bicycle!

They also have a specific mission:

We bring Canadian music to people who might otherwise have little opportunity to hear it, and work to close the distance between audiences and opera singers through performance in intimate spaces. The project focuses on operatic repertoire that deals with contemporary issues relevant to all audiences. Our scenes are sung in English (with one in French) so that audiences can more readily relate to the material.

This is a fantastic example of creating a niche arts company.  In order for this group to even consider an adventure of this nature, they all had to change their ideas about how opera is supposed to be performed.

Please do use this example and some of the other wacky ideas that are starting to be presented, as a chance for you to change your mind too.  In order to reach new audiences, and viewing that the same old is not working to do this, it would be best to consider getting a little crazy and becoming something incredibly amazing.

As I mentioned before, stop and consider what is being shared.  What is going viral these days?  What types of events have a huge buzz?  What kinds of performances are reaching the biggest audiences?

I think you will find that it is the extraordinary that reaches out to people and reaches into people as well.  You may not want to change your traditions, but if you can spare some change, it could make a world of difference for the arts.

Have you seen any amazingly different arts programs and presentations lately?  Please  share with us in the comments section!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

 

 

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How to deal with the dealings of 50% off – audience development for the arts

It is Wednesday, when I normally have a guest blog post for you, but I had something to say that just couldn’t wait.  I am working with a theatre company that is using one or more of the discount sites in order to attempt to fill the seats.  I have written a blog post about my feelings for these types of pricing- Dynamic, Groupon, Living Social, etc.  We also had an #auddev chat on this topic.  The feedback I have been receiving is that these sites do work in helping to fill the seats, but there are two major downsides.  One, it is difficult to follow up when people purchase at the other site, and two, you are helping to create a group of people that will only come to the show at these ridiculously low prices, meaning you devalue your ticket.

When talking with my new client, she admitted that it was rare when a “Saver” audience member followed up to buy tickets at the normal price.  The theatre’s pricing is actually quite reasonable too, so each time they use the discounts, they are undervaluing the cost of the theatre experience.  They are a newer company, which means that these discount sites could be a good introduction.  However, when arts companies keep using these discount sites on a regular basis, the entire industry is going to suffer.

The arts are valuable, and if we keep devaluing what the cost of a ticket should be, we are going to keep bringing in an audience that is fickle and does not see the true value of the arts.

So, what can you do?  You feel you need to use these sites to get new audiences, and it does work to fill the seats.  Here is my list of how to deal with the deals:

1. Create a follow up plan.  If the discount site does not offer you the information about the audience member (a big red flag for audience development), figure out a way you can get this information.  As an industry, I think we should start asking these companies to work with us on this one, but I see the legal issues they may have in terms of giving us the information.  There are ways to track who your discount audience members are, and then find a way to reach out to them so they can become a part of your database.  You can seat people in a certain section so you can follow up with them at an event.  Also, find a way to offer them, “if you purchase your next ticket with us at 50%, you will also get __________.”  This way, they are purchasing the ticket with you for this time, and you get their information.  Or, pass around a clip board one night to see if you can pick up a few more.

2. Once you have found a way to start the relationship with these people by obtaining their contact information.  Start building relationships with them.  For this step, stop using the discount services and instead give these people a special that is a little closer to the value of your ticket.  For example, send them an email saying, “We are not using Groupon for the following weeks, but you can still save with us at 30% off.”  It’s a matter of attempting to ween them off the 50% to value your ticket at a higher price.  You are still hooking with a discount, but you will find out among this group who is loyal to your company and who is only coming for the 50% discount deals.

3. Build stronger relationships with the 30% off crowd.  These are the people that are definitely worth your time and effort. This is the time to survey this group to find out more about them.  You can also figure out ways that they would be comfortable in paying closer and closer to the regular ticket price.

4. In any case, implement a donation campaign to help offset the 50% discount. Some of the discount sites do have the ability to add a donation.  Add a message that their extra dollar will add up to help your arts company.  Ask for only $1 (or less) specifically since they are on these sites to save money, but the specific ask is better than asking for a non-specific donation in this case.  Or, get creative and price the ticket where they have the option to round up to the next dollar.

5. Work on building your own list to keep the information in house. You can also implement your own discount programs to keep the purchase in house.  Use email trades with other companies, purchasing lists from newspapers in your area that have the people you are looking for, and joining any group databases that might be available to reach out to new people.

6. Design a program to obtain new audience by using old fashion audience development.  Build relationships with groups of people in your community and commit to a few outreach efforts that are available over your off/slow season.  Personally invite these groups and people to your next show.  Use a few of your comp tickets to build relationships with group leaders.  The 4 C’s of audience development can help you: Connect, Collaborate, become a part of your Community and show you Care to reach out to new audiences.

You see, the discount sites are claiming to do the work for you in terms of building a new audience, but without real control, you may only be left with discounting over and over to fill the seats (butts in seats – not loyal people in seats).  The arts industry as a whole complains about these disadvantages, but I’m not seeing much in the ways to change this system.

These sites promise the easy way to build audiences, but as you can now see, they have some bad side effects.  You can use these sites as an introductory reach out point, but good old fashion audience development solutions will always be better than the take a pill approach for the long run.

Plus, I would hate to have these discount sites “Wal-Mart” the value of the arts in general.  Tickets to an arts event has value, but they will only have value, if we value ourselves.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

My eBook

New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan

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Filed under arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development