Tag Archives: #auddev chat

#Auddev chat, June 28, 2013 at Noon ET – Twtr Symphony

#Auddev chat, June 28, 2013 at Noon ET – Twtr Symphony

A chat with Chip Michael, Artistic Director of the Twtr Symphony – an online symphony comprised of musicians from all over the world that connected on Twitter. This is one good example of how you can use social media to create for and with your audiences!

  1. Hello and welcome to #auddev chat. I’m your host, Shoshana from Audience Development Specialists.
  2. We will be chatting with @chipmichael the Artistic Director of the Twtr Symphony. Please use the hashtag #auddev to join the conversation!
  3. @chipmichael Good day to you, and thank you for chatting with us. Please do introduce yourself. #auddev
  4. I am a composer and Music Director for TwtrSymphony – an international orchestra made of people who’ve connected via twitter #auddev
  5. The concept of @TwtrSymphony started when a few of my twitter friends suggested I start an orchestra to help get my music performed #auddev
  6. @chipmichael Can you give us a basic history of the Twtr Symphony? How did you get the idea? How many musicians? Etc? #auddev
  7. However, the idea has grown to be much more than a vanity project for my music. We have over 100 musicians participating world wide #auddev
  8. The music has been listened to online thousands of times via our website twtrsymphony.instantencore.com or on Youtube #auddev
  9. Follow hashtag #auddev for a conversation about the Twtr Symphony. Using social media to create!
  10. We started @TwtrSymphony in March 2012 based a lark. I wanted a new composition performed but didn’t have an orchestra #auddev
  11. Can you fill us in on the process of building your Twitter Symphony? Twtr Symphony. #auddev
  12. By the end of March 2012 @TwtrSymphony had over 300 musicians wanting to audition. It was crazy (and exciting) #auddev
  13. @chipmichael So a group of twitter friends saying “let’s build a symphony!” #auddev
  14. The process of building the symphony was all about getting the word out on Twitter and inviting musicians to audition #auddev
  15. We are @twtrSymphony is a orchestra of musicians from around the world that play music together remotely #auddev @lynnekingsley
  16. Each musician gets their part and a click track, they record it, we put all the parts together 4 the final recording #auddev @lynnekingsley
  17. @chipmichael So there is no location where you all get together. You are putting together the piece with remote performances? #auddev
  18. If you’d like to hear some of our music (and see some of the musicians playing) 1st ‘symphony’ is here youtube.com/playlist?list=… #auddev
  19. Just clarifying for those people unfamiliar with this type of recording method. #auddev
  20. I’m curious, did you know these people before Twitter? #auddev
  21. That’s correct #auddev unlike most other orchestras, the musicians don’t physically meet. I’ve only met 3 of them in person.
  22. yet now, I consider many of them very good friends #auddev
  23. @chipmichael So you have built relationships with all of these people via Twitter and formed a symphony. Brilliant! #auddev
  24. I knew some of the musicians before we starterd, but the power of social media took it way beyond my ‘friend’ list #auddev
  25. @chipmichael Why did you decide to use Twitter versus any other method out there. #auddev
  26. Another aspect of TwtrSymphony is building these relationships and promoting what these musicians are doing outside TwtrSymphony #auddev
  27. @chipmichael Yes, it looks like a very supportive network for you and the musicians. #auddev
  28. One musician plays with @DetroitSymphony so we promote their dso.com/dsolive performances that include @garrettMcQueen #auddev
  29. Just a note to the normal symphony format – creating a supportive network for your musicians would be a great #auddev addition!
  30. We try to be supportive of music in general too, with a focus on what our musicians are doing #auddev
  31. I so agree! #auddev Other orchestras would find if they would promote their musicians, their musicians would reciprocate.
  32. @chipmichael So not only are you promoting the musicians, but also their regular gigs, which includes other symphonies. #auddev
  33. @chipmichael Have any orchestras approached you to collaborate directly? Do they know what you are doing to help them? #auddev
  34. Of course #auddev Music is not Me! Me! Me! – music is a shared experience. It needs musicians, but it needs an audience. They go handNHand
  35. By supporting our musicians (and other orchestras) we help promote music #auddev the more popular classical music is, the better for us too!
  36. Wondering if any musicians from @twtrsymphony are on Twitter right now to chat about what is like for them. #auddev
  37. We are ‘friends’ with numerous orchestras, and are supported (via tweets and promotion) by many, but no collaborations yet #auddev
  38. We are an orchestra of musicians spreading our music 140 secs at a time #auddev
  39. Twitter was the medium for @TwtrSymphony because of the ‘conversational’ nature of it #auddev
  40. @chipmichael Do you use other social media formats as well? Which ones? #auddev
  41. We wanted an orchestra connected like Twitter connects people – engaging around the world – interacting #auddev
  42. I agree how powerful Twitter can be if used in the social manner it was meant for. ;O) #auddev
  43. Yes – we are on Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr #auddev We have a website and eventually be on LinkedIn, Google … but managing an orchestra
  44. … takes time and energy as does each of these social media platforms and I only have so many hours in a day #auddev
  45. @chipmichael Very true. It does take time. Focusing on the format that works best for you is a good point. #auddev
  46. I really wish other orchestras understood the power of twitter. Some use it well, but most just hawk their performances. #auddev
  47. @chipmichael LOL at “hawk.” Speaking of interaction, what types of interaction do you have with your audiences? #auddev
  48. Exactly – to make social media work, you have to understand how it works and why it works to be effective. #auddev
  49. I’m also curious about who your audiences are and how you engage with them. #auddev
  50. Interaction with our audiences comes in tweets, comments and suggestions #auddev We try and respond to all comments personally…
  51. Our audience is the world on the web so engaging means getting them to be aware of us and sharing what we’ve done with their friends #auddev
  52. But it also means listening to what they’re saying, answering their suggestions for new ideas #auddev We don’t take them all; we do respond
  53. Our videos are a good example of spreading the word. Our symphony has been watched 4k times #auddev & still popular on several channels
  54. @chipmichael With this new format, are you seeing people that are new to classical music become your audience members? #auddev
  55. If you’re listening to what your audience is saying (or not saying) #auddev UR able to glean what direction you need to take.
  56. If anyone else has questions, please tweet and use the #auddev hashtag.
  57. I don’t to suggest @twtrSymphony succeeds all the time. We don’t – but we’re always trying, looking at ways to innovate, grow #auddev
  58. We did a piece last Dec “Raise Your Voice” for the people of #Newtown in response to the shooting #auddev
  59. Being playing with MediaLabs @screensinthewild if you @broadwaycinema give it a glance. #auddev bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/graduate/scree…
  60. “Raise Your Voice” wasn’t an anti-gun piece, but rather a ‘power of music to heal’ piece #auddev It STILL hasn’t released…
  61. No, it is going to be released free to download with the score available for performances. The point was to show community spirit #auddev
  62. @chipmichael Which is a great point. We can use the arts to participate in and show support for our communities. #auddev
  63. The problem in getting the music out is partly due to our process and we’re working on fixing that. #auddev
  64. @chipmichael Have you ever done a “live concert” format for a live audience? #auddev
  65. Yes – Artists need to show their passion for music, but also for the communities they live in. #auddev
  66. By the very nature of @TwtrSymphony a ‘live concert” isn’t possible. Trying 2get 6 musicians streaming over the internet live is…#auddev
  67. … technically impossible right now. We have some companies working on options, but the lag time from the connections prevents it. #auddev
  68. @chipmichael I was thinking more along the lines of creating YouTubes that people could watch together live & chat in live time. #auddev
  69. @chipmichael I understand lag times. Technology has not caught up yet. #auddev
  70. We are working on doing more interactive ‘live’ communication between groups of musicians, but that still won’t be live perfromances #auddev
  71. Hmmmm a concept we hadn’t talked about yet – maybe we should chat more about this later 😀 #auddev
  72. @chipmichael Yes, challenging for an actual live concert so I used air quotes. LOL! #auddev
  73. @chipmichael So what’s in store for future projects? Do you have any upcoming ones to share with us? #auddev
  74. We did get approached by an orchestra about developing a multi-orchestra piece with three live feeds – but again technology hindered #auddev
  75. We did a Kickstarter last Jan-Feb but it didn’t get funded. We have 20 scores of other composers we’d like to record. That’s NEXT #auddev
  76. @chipmichael I can’t wait for the tech to catch up. I have seen live with a recording of the other artist, but not both live. #auddev
  77. Unfortunately, no one at TwtrSymphony is paid (anything) so we have to work around day jobs – and recently mine has been HECTIC #auddev
  78. Wow, 20 scores. This is a great use for the @twtrsymphony. Helping other composers get out there! #auddev
  79. Multiple live performances is definitely where the tech is headed – but not there yet #auddev
  80. That’s right, using @TwtrSymphony to help other composers get exposure – again, we’re about sharing music, promoting music #auddev
  81. We believe in the power of music to change lives. It certainly has for us! #auddev@twtrsymphony
  82. @chipmichael Hmmm…that is along the lines that artists will create without being paid, topic came up again at latest conference. #auddev
  83. @chipmichael Were there any other projects that inspired you to create Twtr Symphony? #auddev
  84. In TedTalk @AmandaPalmer said it right: don’t ask the audience to pay for music, let them. If we do this right, the money will come #auddev
  85. I have to say that I’m very impressed with the networking, sharing, and promoting aspects of @twtrsymphony #auddev
  86. .@TwtrSymphony still has a long ways to go but the dedication of the musicians makes it worth the effort on my part #auddev
  87. I am seeing more artists/orgs attempting to use social media to create for and with their audiences. A trend that will expand! #auddev
  88. Are there any questions for Chip before going to last thoughts? #auddev #askaway
  89. I hope so #auddev @AudienceDevSpec Art needs to engage and social media is a great way to do it!
  90. Please don’t be shy and ask, especially if you are thinking of starting a project of this nature. #auddev
  91. We have 4 min. left. Do you @chipmichael have any last thoughts to share? #auddev
  92. For people who consider starting any project, don’t be daunted by the size, or disappointed by failures. Every project has hiccups #auddev
  93. The ones that succeed work through the hiccups and keep trying. Commit to the long haul. #auddev If U don’t try, you automatically #fail
  94. @chipmichael Experiment and share! There are so many great ideas floating around that are not attempted due to fear of failure. #auddev
  95. I want to take this moment to thank @chipmichael for chatting with us about @twtrsymphony. Can you share your links again? #auddev
  96. Our next #auddev chat will be in July, but might need to be rescheduled. Stay tuned! #auddev
  97. If you’d like to hear some of what we’ve done, the videos of our debut symphony are here: youtube.com/playlist?list=… #Auddev
  98. A transcript of this chat will be provided within a week. #auddev
  99. You can read more about @twtrSymphony here: twtrsymphony.instantencore.com/web/home.aspx #auddev
  100. Of course, we’re always open to chatting on twitter @TwtrSymphony or on Facebook facebook.com/TwtrSymphony #auddev let us know what U think.
  101. Thanks again to @chipmichael and thank you to everyone who was watching today. I now return the hashtag #auddev to its regular schedule!
  102. @Chipmichael I really enjoyed the conversation about @twittersymphony thanks for sharing that with us. Keep bringing us music! #Auddev

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ADS Events for arts audience development!

I am very excited to tell you that our 2013 event calendar is now bursting with new opportunities to learn about and discuss audience development methods and ideas.  Here is what we have planned for this year:

  • A monthly #auddev chat on twitter with a different co-host and topic each time.  These are free and open to everyone that is interested in chatting about today’s hot topics.
  • Quarterly Webinars (March-June-September-December) with a few freebies throughout the year –  thought provoking presentations by some of the best audience development minds of our times. Our September slot is still open, but we hope to fill it soon.
  • G+ Hangout Brainstorm Groups – Monthly group sessions with plenty of “AHA” and “great idea!” moments.  This is an inexpensive way to work with me and other arts people around the globe for new ideas to build your audience.
  • Regional Workshops – We are planning 2-3 regional workshops for the year.  Check back at this link for details.

Also in the works are:

  • An Inspiration Page – a resource for current audience development inspiration
  • Mini-Podcast  – weekly mini-podcast on a current topic
  • Tip of the Day Capsules – A set of tips to get you in the audience development mindset
  • Stop the Tape – educational video segments to teach you the how of audience development
  • Two new books for 2013
  • Audience Development Projects – Regional/National Projects to help boost arts audiences
  • Other video and audio content – useful tools for audience building

Of course we will still have:

  • EMazing Newsletters to highlight the best in audience development ideas
  • Twitter ARTicles
  • ARTS Mag! updates
  • Weekly blog posts

As mentioned before, I intend to make 2013 the year of Content and Connections.  My goal is to provide you with a variety of educational and idea provoking tools to help you build the best audiences, happy and loyal ones!

Thank you, and I hope you will sign-up and participate this year!

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.***

My eBook

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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

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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Audience Development Specialists News!

I have a great deal of new adventures to share with you.  Next week I will be back to regular blogging, but I thought I would take a moment to update you.

  • I signed up for Soundcloud. I have not added that many tracks yet, but this will be the future location for my Audience Development Tip of the Day clips.  I also will be sharing tracks from my clients.
  • I have joined the board of the Boulder County Arts Alliance.  With many arts alliances and councils having a challenging time in this economy, I want to make a difference for our local organization.  There will be new projects that I will be able to share with you as I venture through my 3 year term.
  • For today only, you can get my book for 20% off the already ridiculously low price.  Use the code JEKYLL when you order.
  • Next week will include my Halloween YouTube post.  If you have a Halloween YouTube you would like to share, please contact me.
  • I am headed to the National Arts Marketing Project Conference, November 9-12.  Today is the last day to register for advanced discount rates.
  • ADS now has a LinkedIn Page!

  • We sent out our Fall Issue of our E-Mazing ADS Newsletter!
  • We have 2 more #AUDDEV chats via Twitter this year.
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 – 2 pm ET on Twitter
    Dance, Reality Shows & Audiences
    Dan Meagher, Director of Marketing of Diablo Ballet will be joining us to discuss the new dance craze that is sweeping the world. Are all these reality shows and dance movies adding up to live audiences?

    Thursday, December 13, 2012 – Noon ET on Twitter
    Never Be Dark
    Co-host David J. Loehr, one of the founders of #2amt will bring his knowledge and guidance about how to set up a Never Be Dark theatre program and attitude.

There will be more exciting news from ADS in 2013.  Thank you again for following and have a great weekend!

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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Audience Development for the Arts Songs!

It’s Friday!  Yesterday as you know, we had an #auddev chat.  During the chat, one of our chatters, Becky Peters a.k.a. @bpeters99 tweeted a song title that stuck in my head: Love the One You’re With by Crosby, Stills and Nash.  Of course this was in reference to loving your current audience.

It had me thinking what other songs could be good for arts audience development.  Here’s a few I came up with:

Thank You – Natalie Merchant – Thank your supporters often!

Being for the Benefit of Mr.Kite – The Beatles  – Tell your story effectively so your audience can picture the show and get interested.

True Colors – Cyndi Lauper – Be yourself and show your true colors to attract the right audience.

Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman – Give your audience reasons to stay!

I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas – Make your event special in every way so your audience will have a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night!

Do you have a song for arts audience development?  Feel free to reply. Happy weekend to you!

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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#Auddev chat, Thursday, October 11 at Noon ET on Twitter for arts audience development

I wanted to make sure you were all invited to the #auddev chat we will be having this Thursday:

Audiences’ Preferred Connections
Co-host Cindy Marie Jenkins, L.A.’s own Storyteller/Outreach Nerd, and I will be conducting a chat about audiences and how they prefer to connect with us. So dig up your latest surveys and let’s chat about our findings!

We mainly will be discussing the various questions we tend to ask on surveys, and what information are we finding out about our audiences.  Are these the right questions to ask?  What do we need to know?

I feel many of our surveys do not find the answers we are most in need of, which is knowing how our audiences want to connect with us.  How are they finding their information now?  What drives them to buy a ticket?  How do they want to participate?  What makes them feel engaged?  What makes them want to come back?  What are the main reasons they may not come back?

It’s time to go beyond the general demographics and get to know our audiences’ preferences.  So, join us as we discuss these questions!  You’re invited!

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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My apologies to my email subscribers – #Auddev chat 9/27, Noon ET – Arts, Change & Audiences

I was using the Storify export function, and it wigged out. I apologize for the repeated bogus posts. Here is the actual chat transcript I was attempting to post:

[View the story “#Auddev chat, 9/27, Noon ET – Arts, Change & Audiences” on Storify]

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 management, arts marketing, Audience Development

ADS announcements and services – second half of 2012

Can you believe I have been posting since 2008?  It will be five years next February.  During this time, I have rarely posted announcements about ADS (Audience Development Specialists) aside from a few posts sharing some business growing pains.

I have decided that once in a while, I will post some ADS announcements so you can keep up-to-date with what is going on with the business.  I invite you to provide any feedback you wish.

Here are the latest ideas:

  • Q&A Blog posts – Twice a month I will answer your direct questions on audience development.  I will not be able to dive into specific solutions for your particular challenge, but I will be able to provide a general answer for everyone to consider.  If you have a question about audience development – how to build an audience, create diversify, outreach to your community, etc., please contact me with your question.  Again, I will choose 2 questions per month to answer on this blog.  The person with the question chosen will receive one link to their website or social media page.
  • Google+ Hangout Solution Groups – Starting in September, I would like to start a Google+ Hangout Group per month to meet once a week to share audience development challenges and solutions.  I am suggesting Fridays since it is a good day to download and share.   There will be room for 8 people per month.  Each person will receive some time to present their challenges and the group will brainstorm solutions.  I am asking for at least 4 people to commit to a majority of these meetings so we can all get to know each other better for brainstorming.   This group uses the mentality that if someone is there for you, it is nice to be there for them too.  I will be asking for a give what you can donation to cover some of my costs.  Suggested donation will be $5/session ($20-$25 for the month).  If you are interested, you can sign up here!
  • Webcasts – I am working on a series of webcasts for the remainder of the year.  Due to all the technological challenges I have been having, we are looking into a format that can be recorded, yet will still enable you to participate socially.  The good news is that you will be able to view these webcasts on your own schedule.   A fee of $5 per webcast will be asked before downloading and viewing.  Stay tuned for further details.
  • #Auddev chats – I will continue with audience development chats on Twitter and attempt to formalize them.  I usually have spontaneous conversations, but it will serve us all better if I set a schedule with topics in mind.  If you have a topic you would like to discuss or would like to co-host a discussion, feel free to contact me with your idea.  These discussions are free and available to anyone on Twitter.  Stay tuned.
  • Audience Development for the Arts Books – I am working on my second book, and I will be seeking to publish both books for print as well as in eBook format.
  • 3-Step Method – I will continue with my 3-Step Method sessions.  You can book with me 6-10 hours to set up your arts business for positive audience development results.  The cost is only $450 for 6 hours (basic plan) or $675 for 10 hours (you get 1 free hour). So for the cost of 1 advertisement, you can work with me to create a concrete plan for building your audiences.
  • Monthly Audience Development Support – I am starting a monthly program for artists and organizations that would like support on an ongoing basis.  You can sign up for 10 hours per month, minimum of 10 months for $550/month or for 10 hours per month, minimum of 6 months for $650/month.  I have slots available for only 5 artists/organizations.
  • More to come – I have a few other ideas brewing to be announced later this year.

Thank you again for supporting ADS, and I look forward to an amazing second half of 2012!

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

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

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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

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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.

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Audience development for the arts – #Auddev chat 3/23 – Professional/Amateur audience perceptions

For our Monday Moment, take a moment to look at the #auddev chat we had on Friday, 3/23.  We were having a discussion about professional/amateur audience perceptions.  Do audiences perceive the differences?  Are they willing to pay more for “professional?”  How do we define “professional” vs. “amateur” anyway?  Why are some amateur companies funded as well as professional groups?  If “professional” means being paid, how do we factor in “guest artists” into the equation?  There were other questions and issues that came up as well.  One of the questions that didn’t come up is why are some “amateur” groups doing better than “professional” groups in terms of audience and funding? and Why are they considered in the same pool for various grants?  Should they be separately funded?  They are all “non-profits” despite “professional” or “amateur.”

What is your stance on these issues?  Please feel free to comment in the reply box below!

From User Tweet
AudienceDevSpec Welcome to #auddev chat! Today I am here with @maricarjagger events organisation and marketing professional out of Portsmouth, UK.
AudienceDevSpec Hi @maricarjagger #auddev
AudienceDevSpec Please use the hashtag #auddev to chat with us.
RachealMc MT @audiencedevspec: Welcome to #auddev chat! I’m here with @maricarjagger events organisation & marketing profess. out of Portsmouth, UK.
AudienceDevSpec The main question is: Do people differentiate going to professional vs amateur performances? #auddev
RachealMc RT @audiencedevspec: Please use the hashtag #auddev to chat with us.
AudienceDevSpec RT @maricarjagger: Yes. The question is whether we should differentiate between amateur and professional events through pricing. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger So, meaning that the price of professional should reflect a higher price? #auddev
RachealMc RT @audiencedevspec: The main question is: Do people differentiate going to professional vs amateur performances? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec Right now I think there is all sorts of murky blur lines happening between “professional” and “amateur”. #auddev
THEATREtc RT @RachealMc: RT @audiencedevspec: The main question is: Do people differentiate going to professional vs amateur performances? #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec That’s recently come up here in Toronto with a vengeance. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc Can you give me an example? #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec Our Actor’s Assn attempted a protest of one of our largest production companies over bringing in a non-union tour #auddev
Silagh Yes, audiences do have different perceptions between professional and amateur productions. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc Yes, the Union issue comes into play in this discussion. Were they charging the same ticket price too? #auddev
maricarjagger RT @AudienceDevSpec: Please use the hashtag #auddev to chat with us.
AudienceDevSpec What also gets blurry is who is to define who is professional and who is amateur. #auddev
RachealMc @silagh they do have different perceptions, but the question is what classifies amateur vs. professional? #Auddev
JessieRelephant RT @AudienceDevSpec: The main question is: Do people differentiate going to professional vs amateur performances? #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc I didn’t event think of the Union as part of the equation! Interesting #auddev
AudienceDevSpec There are companies that say they are professional, but the quality may not be. Will the audiences know the difference? #auddev
Silagh Some audiences expect lots of parents with video cameras at amateur performances. Even if not kids in show. #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec In the US being non-union does not automatically mean amateur, but it does here and the stigma’s huge. #auddev
RachealMc Absolutely. RT @maricarjagger: @AudienceDevSpec Should we price a professional show more than an amateur show? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc Wow, so in Canada there actually is a standard based on “Union”? #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec 100%. #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc We were discussing recently whether a ‘professional musician’ necessarily one who has a degree in music #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc The lines completely blur in the US. I have been to amateur performances in one city that are professional in others #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec Yes, they were charging a comparable ticket price. #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec It becomes trickier because it was originally a US union tour & got downgraded before it arrived here. #Auddev
AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc How does one get into the Union then? Are there quality standards or just a fee to pay? #auddev
RachealMc @maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc some of the most gifted & skilled musicians I know don’t. #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc I suppose there lies the difficulty with pricing! #auddev
AudienceDevSpec Will an audience member choose a higher price ticket for the perceived extra quality? #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec When I lived in Miami it was like that, same for my experience in Houston. #Auddev
AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger @RachealMc I have seen the same pricing for amateur/professional. #auddev
RachealMc Great question. RT @audiencedevspec: Will an audience member choose a higher price ticket for the perceived extra quality? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec This also relates to grants and other funding as well. #auddev
clydefitch Pivots on what “extra quality” is, no? MT @audiencedevspec: Will audiences choose higher price tickets for perceived extra quality? #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec It’s much easier to get into CAEA than AEA. I got in with a letter. Many ADs won’t even look at a non Eq resume. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch So defining quality is an issue as well. #auddev
RRCreative RT @AudienceDevSpec: Will an audience member choose a higher price ticket for the perceived extra quality? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc Union is a matter of having a company claim they are professional? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec I do feel a professional company has the choice of pricing higher than their local amateur company. We pay more in other industries. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec It gets tricky when amateur companies price on the higher side, then the professional company may be pricing too high for audience. #auddev
maricarjagger RT @AudienceDevSpec: Will an audience member choose a higher price ticket for the perceived extra quality? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec I know that professional companies that I consider professional get frustrated when amateurs call themselves professional. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec RT @maricarjagger: A concert by a world renowned chamber group £15 & last week a local piano teacher charges £15 for her concert. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger Was the chamber group upset by this? #auddev
maricarjagger A concert by a world renowned chamber group is £15 here and last week a local piano teacher charges £15 for her concert. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec Some Unions require an audition to get in, but some are fee based from what I am seeing/hearing. #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec As a promoter, I was! We were careful to make sure the prices are affordable, but what is affordable? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger Most reports point out that $25 or under is “affordable”. People will pay more for what they want. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec What is also interesting is sometimes the amateur groups get more of an audience than the professional ones. #auddev
RachealMc MT @maricarjagger: @AudienceDevSpec …We were careful to make sure the prices are affordable, but what is affordable? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch An amateur group can have a star show up too. #auddev
clydefitch @audiencedevspec Also, wouldn’t you agree “extra value” varies (or differs) by genre, setting, time of year, magnitude? #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec That begs the question whether less people will want it if the event is more expensive? #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec @maricarjagger That is a key question. #auddev
RachealMc @maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec I’ve worked with companies where the gross over spending & wastage is sickening. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger That is a major question to consider. People will spend money on what they value. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec I think it is about asking your audience for their perceptions before you price. What is worth it to them? #auddev
RachealMc @maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec The costs are then passed on to the audience & they wonder why people complain of high prices. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc @maricarjagger So some professional companies don’t have to price as high if not wasteful. Good point! #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec I’m sure they will value something they know well and that means ‘touring’ artists cannot win #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger Great point, which is why #auddev is so important so they get to know!
maricarjagger In the case of the local pianist I do realise there’s an element of ‘who you know’ determining attendance. #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec @RachealMc @maricarjagger I think we all need to be realistic about the economy & spending patterns. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec So the audience needs to perceive as valuable to them and see the value in the extra cost of the ticket. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec I do wish there were more standards for “professional” “amateur”. Being subjective, it may never happen. #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec Are we saying that cultural offering need some longevity to afford time for audience development? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger I’m not sure I completely understand your question. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec Join us for #auddev chat!
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec Audience development needs time, right? #auddev
dloehr @AudienceDevSpec The reason my theatre co. uses “professional” is simply to distinguish between hobby & vocation. We also tour. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @melissaimpact Interesting, so now we have more labels in the mix. LOL! #auddev
RachealMc RT @audiencedevspec: I do wish there were more standards for “professional” “amateur”. Being subjective, it may never happen. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @dloehr Do we have a list to define professional vs. amateur though. Couldn’t an amateur company tour. If they get a little pay…#auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec While not a fan of over-labeling, I think this one fills a definite need & eliminates some confusion. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec I see some professional companies say they are community oriented, which also gets a little tricky. #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec @dloehr So your definition is if this is your job (not hobby) then you are a professional? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @melissaimpact Semi-pro is a label in the music world that is similar. #auddev
dloehr @AudienceDevSpec We tour outside of the region, though. Our community group is largely shop owners, people with day jobs… #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec The trickiness lies in the polyvalence of the word “community,” here used in a diff way than “community thtr” #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger @dloehr Right now, people piece together their income, so if they are paid, could be one of their jobs. #auddev
dloehr @AudienceDevSpec …who can’t afford to take the time away from those jobs. #auddev
RachealMc RT @dloehr: @AudienceDevSpec The reason my theatre co. uses “professional” is simply to distinguish between hobby & vocation… #auddev
melissaimpact @dloehr @AudienceDevSpec Other issue is that many working at small thtrs of our own for no/low pay are pros working at larger thtrs #auddev
AudienceDevSpec MT @clydefitch: Often I feel amateur vs. professional = issue for professionals, not amateurs. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch Really great point! #auddev
dloehr @AudienceDevSpec But we try to work with them whenever possible; there’s no class warfare here, just different goals. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @dloehr I know professionals that can’t afford it either. LOL! #auddev
melissaimpact @dloehr @AudienceDevSpec “Amateur” and “professional” are inaccurate when tied only to pay grade in the arts #auddev
AudienceDevSpec Here’s a monkey wrench, a professional could (and does sometimes) work for an “amateur” company. #auddev
dloehr @AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger I’m only talking about my town’s community group in terms of touring, btw. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch You can use the #auddev hashtag. You have great points for everyone!
dloehr @melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec Right. #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch It’s money and income, it’s close to everyone’s heart! #auddev
RachealMc RT @melissaimpact: @dloehr @AudienceDevSpec “Amateur” and “professional” are inaccurate when tied only to pay grade in the arts #auddev
AudienceDevSpec RT @clydefitch Also, what defines amateur/professional? Most professional actors don’t live off their work but never ID as amateur. #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch If you trained for years and pay lots of money for college, do you want to earn less that the hobbyist? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec There are some groups in my town that claim to be pro, but quality wise, they really are not in MHO. #auddev
dloehr @melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec Tho I didn’t–and don’t–use the term “amateur.” #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec I this case I have no quibble with them if they charge less for tix #auddev
AudienceDevSpec I think it is some of our perception that amateur are “stealing away” from professional that is the basis. Am I right? #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec Not sure you can tie “professional” to quality-All it covers is whether this is your career as opposed to a hobby #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger We would need to first establish who is pro and am and then figure out pricing as an industry. #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec as “Guest Artists” I would say almost all performers have done it here. #auddev
clydefitch @maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec Obviously not. I’m not celebrating the amateur vs. professional divide, I’m acknowledging it exists. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @melissaimpact However, there are “amateurs” that can produce professional work. #auddev
melissaimpact @dloehr @AudienceDevSpec Me neither–I think most thtr pros do not. It’s “professional,” “professionally-oriented,” and “community” #auddev
RachealMc @maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch When I interviewed Brian Dennehy, he said theatre school was… #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @melissaimpact I have performed in some “community” groups that were as good if not better than “professional” #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec and that is difficult to establish and also regulate #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @melissaimpact Don’t they deserve to charge more then? #auddev
dloehr @melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec Yup. #auddev
RachealMc @maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch … the absolute worst thing an actor could do. #Auddev
AudienceDevSpec @melissaimpact Oh I agree about the label, but they could charge more because they are awesome! ;O) #auddev
maricarjagger @RachealMc @AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch In a sense you’re right, going to school doesn’t prove you have talents…#auddev
AudienceDevSpec @melissaimpact We were talking about ticket pricing in all this as well though. #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec Pricing isn’t just abt quality or value–often we price low b/c we’re trying to remain accessible. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @RachealMc So the price of that “guest artist” ticket for the amateur group would go up. #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec Pricing is about accessibility more than quality for most of us, I think #auddev
AudienceDevSpec RT @melissaimpact: @AudienceDevSpec Pricing is about accessibility more than quality for most of us, I think #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec Big pro thtrs make a minority of income as earned, majority as contributed #auddev
RaymondMcNeel @clydefitch @AudienceDevSpec Per the Latin, an amateur does something for “the love”. (Oh, and Charlie Sheen is a professional.) #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec generally, the prices would be the same. The company would budget for the extra costs. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger @melissaimpact So true! But then, this could make the ticket price equal to the amateur price. #auddev
maricarjagger @melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec Our prof concerts are accessible by ticket price, but not covering the full cost of the musicians #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger Pricing more abt marketing than abt income for nonprofit thtrs–majority of their $ is contributed #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch @rachealmc @maricarjagger Plus, amateur companies can be non-profit too. #auddev
melissaimpact @maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec That’s the case for almost every 501c3 arts org in the country. High price isn’t a marker of quality #auddev
melissaimpact @maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec Low price isn’t marker of amateur. Big co.s use a plethora of price pts, some very low for outreach #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec @clydefitch @maricarjagger As can professional companies up here. #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger Big LORTs use lprice pts equal to smaller co.s as part of various outreach efforts all the time #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @melissaimpact @maricarjagger So if the price isn’t an indication, which we have established, will the audience get it? LOL! #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger Will they get what? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @melissaimpact @maricarjagger The price is the same for both pro and ama. So, will they understand who is who? #auddev
clydefitch @rachealmc @AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger Curiously, it’s theatre that forever thrashes these issues. Er, amateur folk art, anyone? #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @melissaimpact @maricarjagger We may not see price as a distinguishing value, but our audiences might. #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger I think that’s true to a certain extent, depending on the marketing & culture of the producing org #auddev
RachealMc RT @audiencedevspec: @melissaimpact @maricarjagger We may not see price as a distinguishing value, but our audiences might. #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger Big co.s offer luxury exp at high price pt- better seats, etc– outreach at lower price pts. I think #auddev
Becca_E_Smith @RaymondMcNeel @clydefitch @AudienceDevSpec love that, but what abt pros? Is a pro in it for the $ or just some1 who gets paid? #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger the marketing of the experience is key. Are you there for a luxury exp? Or are you there to #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @Becca_E_Smith @RaymondMcNeel @clydefitch That’s a new kettle of fish there! #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch @rachealmc Ego aside I think the important issue here is whether a pro can compete in the marketplace #auddev
clydefitch @audiencedevspec @RachealMc @maricarjagger No more than boiling complex, nuanced socioeconomic trends to 140-word tweets. #auddev
RachealMc @audiencedevspec @clydefitch @maricarjagger @clydefitch I think ego plays in any industry. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger I think you just rang the ding, ding, ding bell with that one! #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger see something cool you can share w/friends? The same big co can offer varying experiences #auddev
clydefitch @audiencedevspec @RachealMc @maricarjagger More seriously, for some it’s totally tied to ego. Others don’t fret about labels. #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger A GREAT example of this kind of varied experience/varied price point is @berkeleyrep #auddev
melissaimpact @AudienceDevSpec @maricarjagger This convo is so interesting, but I have to go teach! Loathe to leave you brilliant ppl. Thank you! #auddev
AudienceDevSpec I think @clydefitch is right. All labels aside, it is going to come down to what is great & what is good. #auddev
clydefitch @becca_e_smith @RaymondMcNeel @AudienceDevSpec I don’t think pro = monolithic mindset. Tho most people don’t turn down $, generally. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec It’s been a quick, intense and interesting hour at #auddev chat.
AudienceDevSpec Thank you to: @clydefitch @melissaimpact @RachealMc @maricarjagger @Becca_E_Smith @RaymondMcNeel @dloehr for stopping by! #auddev
maricarjagger @melissaimpact We can reconvene the conversation another time with @AudienceDevSpec #auddev
AudienceDevSpec Feel free to keep chatting at #auddev
AudienceDevSpec I will have a transcript of this conversation on my blog Monday morning. #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec @clydefitch @melissaimpact @RachealMc @Becca_E_Smith @RaymondMcNeel @dloehr Thank you all for the eye-opener on #auddev
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec Thanks for hosting! #auddev
Becca_E_Smith @AudienceDevSpec thanks for hosting! #auddev
AudienceDevSpec We know that professional and amateur are clearly challenging to define. Price is not the indicative factor either. #auddev
AudienceDevSpec What will ring true is not the labels, but the quality of the work. Everything else is merely technicality in MHO. #auddev ;O)
RachealMc @audiencedevspec @clydefitch @melissaimpact @RachealMc @maricarjagger @Becca_E_Smith @RaymondMcNeel @dloehr Thank you all! #auddev
AudienceDevSpec Whew! That was a fantastic conversation. We now return to our normal #auddev hashtag.
AudienceDevSpec .@maricarjagger Thank you for the topic! #auddev
AudienceDevSpec If you have a topic for #auddev chat, please contact me.
clydefitch Thanks to: @AudienceDevSpec @melissaimpact @RachealMc @maricarjagger @Becca_E_Smith @RaymondMcNeel #auddev #FF
maricarjagger @AudienceDevSpec Fascinating subject and I look forward to more #auddev sessions

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.

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