Tag Archives: arts management

Happy New Year for arts audience development

Happy New Year
This is a quick post to ring in the new year.  I am busily working on plans for 2013, and I hope to have some announcements by the end of next week.  I can mention that I am working on:

  • Quarterly Webinars
  • Monthly #Auddev chats
  • Podcast Projects
  • Video Sessions and Slidecasts
  • More audience development books
  • New services
  • And a few other exciting learning opportunities

I plan on making 2013 the year of content and connection.  What are your plans for 2013?  Any arts business resolutions, or better yet, commitments?

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

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

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

My eBook

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

Are you participating? Arts Audience Development

I have a quick thought today.  Are you participating in the arts as an audience member?  Yes, you might be the artist or the behind the scenes administrator, so you are participating in the arts.  However, I feel one of the reasons the audience is getting less and less is because some of us are not being good audience members to other artists and arts organizations.

We are also not participating enough in spreading the word.  It is rare when I receive an email from an artist about something other than their own personal e-Newsletter.  When was the last time you as a musician (hi musicians), spread the word about an upcoming performance for your own group or another group you are not performing in?  Theatre people, you happen to be better than most of us, but you could also share more.  Dance people, you are also becoming better at spreading the word, but you all could share in the responsibility. Museum folks, yes, you can be more enthusiastic about sharing word about an exhibit.

It is not so cut and dry anymore.  Share the enthusiasm for your art and for others’ art!  Become an audience for other artists and arts organizations.  Artists and the arts administrators could be more a part of the audience development game.  Instead of simply relying on the few arts marketers out there, maybe we all could start participating more.

-Shoshana
Matchmaker for the Arts

 

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

Guest Post: Are artists involved in your audience development planning? They should be.

I have a guest blog post today for you.  I met Samantha at the 2012 National Arts Marketing Project Conference, and we had a good time talking about audience development and arts shenanigans in general.  I recently came across her current blog post and thought it would be fantastic to cross post it here.  Are your artists involved in your audience development planning?  I agree – the should be.  Only disagreement is her “butts in seats” comment, as you know that drives me crazy.  If you have a comment, please feel free to share in the reply box below.  Enjoy!************************************************

Are artists involved in your audience development planning? They should be.

December 4, 2012 · by · Bookmark the permalink. ·

Having worked for several years in the Symphony world, I have experienced firsthand the ‘us vs. them’ mentality between artists and management. The Symphony world is well-known for its labor disputes, musician strikes, management lockouts and general distrust of each other. But I often find it odd that performers and management have such distaste for each other when we should all be working toward the same goal – keeping our arts organizations sustainable in our communities. Some of it may be attributed to the right-brained artist mentality not understanding the left-brained business mind and vice versa, but I think there’s a lot of commonality that artists and management share that is often overlooked.  While finances are certainly at the core of this, not to be ignored are the ideas needed to continue introducing new audiences to our art form. And this is where both artists and management need to work together. So let’s take contract negotiations and budgets out of the mix for a moment and just talk about idea creation.

While I would never expect the concertmaster to write the season’s marketing plan, just as I shouldn’t be expected to play first trumpet, the two sides can work together using our own expertise on finding ways to reach untapped audiences in new and exciting ways. In my years in symphony marketing (or any marketing, for that matter), I find that there is never a lack of new ideas. Someone at least once a week says to me, “You know what you oughta do…” Most times I listen, smile, and either file the idea away or dismiss it. But here’s where I really think both sides of the organization can work together and come up with some really fabulous ways to spread the joy of our artform. I have talked with musicians who’ve said that they don’t feel like anyone listens to their ideas. And I know many staff members who feel totally cut off from having access to the musicians, even in an informal manner. Bridging the two sides can help morale all around, as well as build the opportunity to work together towards a common cause.

As stated in an earlier post, new audiences are key to keeping the relevancy and vitality of classical music alive in the 21st century. Our marketing and development teams (another key relationship in any non-profit) are focused on identifying and cultivating these soon-to-be patrons and donors. What the management side can bring to the table is doing the research to find out who these new audiences are, how and where to market to them, and how to sell them a ticket. What musicians can do is tell their story. Make themselves available to the public. Be the face of the artform that we’re promoting.They are the ones to create the relationships that are KEY in this day and age of the arts. No one really cares what the Director of Marketing says. I have a small enough ego to know that what I say isn’t worth a hill of beans (is that still a phrase?). But when a musician makes a phone call, or appears in a video, or does a radio interview? That’s when ears perk up. That’s what makes a potential audience member interested in attending the Symphony. I can send postcards and record TV spots and place newspaper ads and I’ll get a few bites. Traditional media isn’t dead. But when the artist making the art becomes involved, and perhaps makes a personal invitation, I think we’ll see a much more significant response.

As we work on our new audience initiative, I plan to involve as many musicians as I can (and who are willing) in the planning and implementation process. It can be so much more effective if I ask the musicians up front, “Hey, what kind of program should we create to attract a younger audience?” than it will if I say, “You’re doing this service on this date and time and wear this.” Get them involved in the planning by serving on task forces. Ask them to invite their yoga class or book club or softball team to a concert. Invite them to participate in pre- or post-concert discussions with patrons. The participating musicians may feel a sense of ownership if they helped create something from the ground up instead of just showing up for a performance without having any idea on how the audience got there. I have found that if you just ask the artists for input, you’ll hear back, “How can we help?” We all want more butts in seats. Let’s work together on finding effective ways to do it. [:O)]

Samantha Teter is an arts marketing professional with over six years of experience as Director of Marketing in the Symphony field and four years of experience as Director of Marketing and Events in a performing arts venue. She holds a BA in Radio-TV Broadcasting and an MBA with a marketing emphasis. She is also an actor and singer and a patron of the performing arts.

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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

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

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

My eBook

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

Random thoughts from fiscal cliffs and landfills to donation asks for arts audience development

What do fiscal cliffs and landfills have to do with audience development for the arts?  Quite a lot actually.  Allow me to explain.

The priorities in America and possibly the world are all mixed up these days.  When countries are being run by greed for power and money, what is really important in life is not being funded.  The arts, in my opinion, are important to our lives.  We would be living life in the dark without the arts.  There would be no color in our world, no design,creative sciences or inventiveness, no music, no plays, movies and television shows, no historical reference, no spark to our lives.  How am I certain that the arts are one of the vital ingredients for humanity?  Because of the Landfill Harmonic:

Landfill Harmonic film teaser from Landfill Harmonic on Vimeo.

A country that has no means, but has the human spirit to create is making instruments out of remnants from the landfill.  The arts are a basic need, a basic desire that has to be filled.  This video showcases that the arts are a priority in our lives.

If the arts were to be a part of the fall off due to the fiscal cliff, we would still find a way to create and perform.  However, think about what we could do if we finally got our priorities in life straight.  What would the world look like if the greed for power and money were gone?  There wouldn’t be a fiscal cliff and there probably would be the means for funding of the arts more fully.  We as a human race tend to take the arts for granted.  It’s only when the arts are gone from our lives that we find that we need to sift through the rubble, the garbage, to find a way to express ourselves again.

This taking the arts for granted can be flipped on its head too.  We as artists tend to take our audiences for granted.  I hope non-profits of all kinds will take a moment to ponder this point too.

We are taking our audiences for granted.  We assume that if we create, the audiences will be there.  You can call this the Field of Dreams Syndrome.  We take it for granted that the right people will show up and start to support us, and then we fall flat with doing the work to build the relationships to create the support that we need.

For example, I receive donation asks from a variety of organizations.  I might have given in the past, I might not have.  The organizations that are targeting me based on who I have given to in the past have not started a relationship with me.  They are asking without knowing who I really am as a person.  I rarely give to these random asks.  The ones I have given to the past are organizations that caught my attention through a variety of avenues, such as tabling at an outreach event.  I have at least spoken to a representative, gone to a show, or volunteered for their cause.  I gave to these organizations since a relation has been established.

I only choose to continue to give if the relationship continues.  Many organizations at this point will take me for granted and continue to ask without any personal contact with me.  The only organizations I continue to give to at this point are the ones that treat me like an individual person and not just a number on their mailing list.  They make sure to thank me and contact me to keep me in the loop before asking for another donation.  They send me updates on how my money is being used.  They may call me to thank me personally.  I did receive a call from a board member on one of these organizations.  I only gave $25 that year too. Wow!

To tie this random post up into a nice gift with a big red bow for the holidays, you can trace back to the initial thought.  We have our priorities mixed up.  Instead of taking the road of hard work and thoughtfulness for others, we are taking the path of laziness and greed for money and power.  People will not see the value of our art and organizations until we start valuing people as individuals.  The world will not see the arts as a priority until they see the arts become more a part of the world in ways that are helpful and supportive to their communities.  Perhaps if we started acting as individuals and support the people in our lives through solid two-way relationships, we can start adding a positive voice to the collective for a better, common sensed, prioritized world.

If you ever wondered why getting the arts funded has been so darn challenging, now you know.

PS  These thoughts are my own humble opinion.  Feel free to challenge, add, and consider your own thoughts and post as a reply!

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.

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

My eBook

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Filed under Arts, arts advocacy, arts management, Audience Development, fund raising, Fundraising

A sick cat and audience development for the arts

CharliSome of you may know that one of my cats is very ill.  I have been back and forth to the vet many times in the past two weeks.  Both me and my cat are tired of the whole thing.  During the process, I realized that I am incorporating much of the advice I give to my clients for the 4th C of audience development, or the Care element of their plans.

  • I want to make my cat as comfortable as possible during this time.  I put an extra special soft blanket in her carrier to make the travels a little bit better for her.
    What are you doing to make your patrons more comfortable during their experience with you?
  • Her problem right now is not being able to keep food down. I am buying medicines and foods to help calm her stomach.
    What changes are you making to solve any problems your patrons are “ailing” from?
  • At the vet she sat in the corner, tired from the entire ordeal.  Today, I am “hearing” that she needs a little bit of time before another round of medications begin.
    Are you listening to what your audiences prefer?  What are you doing to accommodate their schedule, their needs? 
  • I was rewarded this morning when she began to eat a good breakfast.  After weeks of not being able to keep her food down, she seems to be doing a little better.  She purred when I pet her too.
    Caring for your audiences will have their rewards.  They will want to give back if you cater and care for them. 
  • I know that I will have to make decisions that will benefit her even if she doesn’t take to it from the start.  What makes this easier is her trust in me.
    If you care for your audiences, over time, they will start to trust your judgement even if they don’t completely agree with you. 
  • My cat has been with me for 14 years.  I couldn’t imagine my life without her.
    Just like a relationship with a pet, your relationships with your audiences can be loyal and long lasting if you keep caring for them throughout the relationship. 

Which brings me to the moral of this little cat tale (and tail).  If you care for your audiences through every experience with them, they will become happy and loyal audience members.  They will want to support you since they now know that you care for them too.  In the end, you can’t imagine your life without an audience, and when you care enough, they will not be able to imagine a life without you and your art.

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.

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

My eBook

Leave a comment

Filed under arts management, Audience Development, Fundraising

Top 5 FUNdraising campaign tips for audience development for the arts

As reiterated at NAMPC, putting fun back into your audience development and marketing is important.  It is also a great way to run a fundraising campaign.  Is it simply a coincidence that “fun” is a big part of the word “fundraising?”  I often have wondered about this.

Since it is the time for the majority of our end of the year asks, I thought I would give you a few of my fundraising pointers:

1. Establish a campaign that is branded for fun and purpose – If your campaign is dulls-ville and does not express your purpose for the funds in easy to understand terms, people will also lack the energy to give.  Don’t forget to add a thank you program that is also fun for your funders.

2. Set an obtainable goal – Funders want to know that their money is going towards a winning campaign. Setting a reasonable goal is part of the strategy.

3. Get one or more of your main supporters to do a match program – Matched fundraisers are often successful since every dollar counts more.

4. Add visuals and video to capture the true value of your art and ask – Make your ask visually appealing to add energy and fun to the campaign.  Allow people to discover the joy of your art and why investing in it will be worth their time and money.

5. Sign-up for a service that allows you to create an online base for the ask and ask others to join in! – Audience development is about getting your audience more involved.  Believe it or not, some people have fun asking for money, especially when it comes to supporting a cause near and dear to their hearts.  Find a service that has a central online location for your campaign and allows others to share and create fundraising pages for your cause as well!  The more people you have out there asking, the better off your chances are for reaching your goals.  In Colorado, we have Givingfirst.org.

Do you have a FUNdraising tip for our readers? Has a particular idea worked really well for you to raise money for your art/organization?  Please reply in our comment box to keep the conversation going!

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.

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

My eBook

2 Comments

Filed under arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development, fund raising, Fundraising

Takeaways from the #NAMPC Conference

I wanted to start out by giving you the link to my Storify – My #NAMPC experience via Twitter.  I ended up winning the Most Tweets Award, and I received this fun t-shirt!  I also won by connecting with more people on Twitter and getting to meet some of these people during the conference.  It has been a fun and educational experience for me.  If you had to miss the conference they promised to archive the live keynote presentations soon.

The NAMPC  (National Arts Marketing Project Conference) had its ups and downs, but mostly ups.  However, through the entire conference, this year, like last year, there were some common themes running through most of the presentations.  Instead of a complete play by play like I did last year, I would like to leave you with the my most impressionable takeaways and some of my own thoughts (in no particular order):

  • You gotta have passion – if you don’t, people will not be attracted to your mission, cause, project, program… Without passion, what is the point.
  • Be weird and silly – or in other terms, be true to your own particular self.  It’s not about being similar – it’s about standing out.
  • Adding your own personality will increase your likeability.
  • Have fun!  What makes people want to join?  Fun!  If it is not enjoyable to you, it probably won’t be to your audiences.
  • Everyone is diverse in one way or another.  These are my personal thoughts:  We can learn to reach out to others after we discover our own sense of diversity and understand personally what it feels like to be stereotyped and discounted.
  • Keep ego out of the organization.
  • Visual impact is necessary!  There is so much blah, blah, blah, and not enough “language” of our arts.  If you are a music organization, it would be good to have clips and videos of performances and music.  If you are an artist, make viewing your art an experience.  If you are theatre and dance, videos are a must.  How can people figure out if your art is for them if they can’t “see” it and feel it.
  • The arts are powerful.  The creative arts can differentiate a brand from a competitor.  Unleash the power of the arts and start asking people, “what can arts do for you?”
  • Start studying the psychology behind a purchase.  We are humans with quirky human behavior, and the findings of this type of research can help steer us in the right direction.
  • Give people the opportunity to share and create content that is extra fun to increase shareability.
  • Create programs where the community buys into your art/organization.  They may not know you exist because there is nothing in it for them personally.
  • You can turn your customers into advocates.  Make your mission and passions meaningful for them, and it is more likely they will automatically share with others.
  • There is a paradox: Tension exists – how to relieve the tension?  Find the common enemies, our monsters, and figure out how to solve the problems.
  • If you do not have a social mission, there isn’t a point to social media.
  • Content on social media can be attended to like a magazine – create information that people are interested in and analyze to see what content is relevant to your followers or not.
  • “We are in this together – that’s what arts do – they bring us back to humanity.”  – Eric Ryan, author of The Method Method
  • Get rid of “Yes, but” and instead use “Yes, and!”
  • There is a difference between business thinking and design thinking.  Personally, we need both.
  • What would MacGyver do?
  • Sometimes it is better to present the dessert instead of trying to spoon feed the veggies.
  • Does your audience make up reflect who you are?
  • Have more conversations with different people!
  • Sometimes too many choices make people want to give up.
  • A tangible voucher does better than an emailed discount.  Direct mail can make this work!
  • Giving choices subsequently instead of simultaneously can help people to slow down and make a better choice.  This will turn into higher loyalty.
  • On the flip side though, a quick choice can lead to spontaneous happiness such as the simultaneous choice between carrots and chocolate.  Most people choose the chocolate and enjoy the chocolate.
  • Big gaps between lower and higher ticket prices = more tickets purchased at lower price.
  • Anchor and decoy pricing can lead the consumer to purchase the ticket price you desire.
  • We have a primary error of choosing based on comparing the first item we see.  Use this relational comparison wisely!
  • If only one choice is offered, that also could lower purchases – use joint evaluation by adding at least one more choice.
  • Customers also compare prices with their own experiences and memories of pricing.
  • Rewards are better than punishment.  Reward for purchasing early instead of punishing for purchasing later.
  • Praise is considered a reward.
  • “Benchmark before moving the needle.” – Ron Evans
  • It takes 5 things of right to make up for 1 wrong.
  • The build up stage before an event is super duper important!!!
  • People interact in a variety of ways.  Be sure to provide different avenues of engagement to accommodate.
  • Be relevant to your community, the times, and the people you serve. – Cat video festival was a huge success!
    “Our goal is to focus on the relevance part & the marketing part will take care of itself.”- David Tang Firebird AA
  • Use a team based approach.
  • Outrageous discounts do not increase revenue or loyalty.
  • Have fun with marketing and experiment!
  • Be sure to have objects of social interaction – “Ever notice how dogs attract people to converse with each other? ” – Nina Simon
  • Dogs and cats rule!
  • Funny-arts is a risky business. The arts risk every time art is created. Why are we not taking risks too?
  • We all would do better if we get in touch with our inner artist and create marketing and audience development programs like an artist!
  • Arts presentations need to be more artsy.
  • You need to do more than just satisfy.
  • Product may not be the most important factor – think of Beta vs VHS.  Beta was the better product, but VHS won the competition.
  • Be your quirky self and tell the truth by sharing your outtakes.
  • Bottom line, we need to learn to take risks and then share with others.
  • Personal last comment – share the passion and joy of the arts again and incorporate into all that you do.  People will be able to relate to this.

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.

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

My eBook

2 Comments

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