Tag Archives: National Arts Marketing Project Conference

Theatre audience report, upcoming events and a mess of thoughts

TGIF!  I hope you all have some enjoyable weekend arts events planned.  Today has been a whirlwind of activity for me, so I thought I would update you.

After recording, Howard Sherman tweeted at me that the report has 1,000 UK respondents, 200 US, 100 Ireland, 100 Australia, 50 Germany. This is an odd sample, but good to know more worldly. He also shared with me a link for his commentary stating that this Ticketmaster report “wrongly reduces the impact” of NEA and Americans for the Arts reports:
www.hesherman.com/2013/09/27/arts-…-builds-mr-data/

  • My thoughts today were about apathy in the arts, my new website, reports and their accuracy (or bias),  how I can make a difference, and whether or not I should release my $5 webinars for free since they are good sources of information, but no one has expressed interest yet.
  • For today’s Giving Program gift, do visit Howard Sherman’s blog, especially if you are a theatre person.  I have always found his entries to be insightful and intriguing about current events.  He has a viewpoint that is grounded yet reaching for the new, a very enlightening perspective.

Please feel free to share your mess of thoughts today, and have a super weekend!

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

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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

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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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50 Winning Tweets from the 2011 NAMPC (many about audience development)

There are still some tweets and such floating around after the National Arts Marketing Project Conference – Winning Audiences.  Today I saw another tweet about the 50 Winning Tweets from the 2011 NAMPC.  I not only enjoyed the collection of tweets, but the format via Issuu, a free online publication program, is worth the mention too.

Enjoy!

Click Here to view what I am talking about!

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

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#NAMPC National Arts Marketing Project Conference – Winning Audiences – Final Day

After practically no sleep, I was still excited about the last day.  This was the day I was scheduled to present!

8:45 Engaging Audiences through Collaboration and Innovation

I had a great team to work with.  Our moderator was Kory Kelly, Director of Marketing & Communications at Actors Theatre of Louisville.  Also presenting with me were Sam Read, Deputy director of Theatre Puget Sound in Seattle, Washington and Greg Fiedler, President and CEO of the Greater Flint Arts Council in Flint, Michigan.  We decided to tag team our presentations so one would lead into another.

I started off the morning of our Engage Audiences through Collaboration and Innovation with an overall look at the variety of collaborations you can achieve.  Each type of collaboration had a case study story to give an example – the case study pointed out how it engages with your audience.  This presentation was from the view point of one organization working with many other arts and community organizations.  This was a milestone presentation for me too since I vowed to never do another “PowerPoint” presentation ever again.  You can hold me to it!

My audience was a little sleepy during the beginning of my presentation, but I could see them waking up in the middle.  8:45 am?  Much too early, right?

Sam Read took the ball and presented Arts Crush.  This festival is full of creative ideas on how to get the different disciplines of the arts working together and working with the community.  Innovative programming, venues, and audience development can result when a community gets together to co-create an arts festival.  His presentation was exciting and the theme of collaboration and innovation was demonstrated perfectly.  One of my favorite quotes – Move beyond the butt!

Greg Fiedler had a video presentation that spoke about the Parade of Festivals that his Arts Council is responsible for.  The point of the presentation was to not only show how different and interesting festivals can work together to build audience, but also how the arts are changing the perception that surrounds Flint, Michigan.  Unfortunately, almost everyone raised their hands (before the video) when asked if they heard something negative about Flint.  Fortunately, everyone raised their hands when asked if the video gave them a more positive perception of Flint.  The arts are making a difference in Flint, and through collaboration (and innovation), the difference is noticed!

10:45 Closing Plenary with Sam Horn

This was an interesting move since this talk tied together all the elements of the conference – marketing, development, audience development.  We all seemed a bit brain dead and Sam Horn was speaking in codes, or rather acronyms.  The messages of her talk were extremely valuable. Some of her main points are as follows. When relating to people – don’t just tell them what you do – tell them an example of what you are doing.  Tell stories instead of relying completely on facts and figures.  Get them to raise their eyebrows by asking “Did You Know” questions and supply them with some of the most interesting details about your organization.  Lastly, relate your message to who you are speaking to.  Instead of a typical elevator speech that states your mission, which is the same for everyone, first find out who they are and then give them something to relate to about your organization. Even though I was dog tired and ready for lunch, I got the messages and agree wholeheartedly.

My Final Tweets

Lunch

My last little session of hanging with some great people.  A group of us went to hotel sports bar and grill before we left in our cars, taxis and eventually our airplanes toward home.  It was a fantastic ending to the conference – down time with folks that understand you.

Overall Impression

I have to say that all in all, NAMPC was an amazing experience.  The people I met, the presentations, the building of relationships – all factors were well worth it.  I will also say that I am proud of myself for presenting in front of my peers (which can make you a Nervous Nelly).  I am also proud of all of us that attended (well most of us) for leaving our egos at the door and being able to share our good ideas with each other.

I look forward to keeping in touch with the many people I was honored to become associated with during the conference.  If asked again to be a part of this experience, of course, I would say yes!

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

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#NAMPC The National Arts Marketing Project Conference – Winning Audiences Day 2

Part 2 of the adventure unfolds!   Yesterday I felt like my head was still at NAMPC while my body was milling around Boulder, CO.  It was a very strange feeling.  This probably can be attributed to not being able to download the entire experience.  I may never be able to do this, but I will attempt to wrap up some of my thoughts and feelings for day 2 of my conference schedule.

Monday

I wanted to mention the breakfast networking opportunity here.  They provided us with a continental breakfast.  It wasn’t bad, but I was severely missing my protein.  However, the chance to have breakfast with a group of people was delightful!  I met some of the best people here.  It was a more relaxed atmosphere since I forced myself to get up to eat at 8AM (I am not a morning person).   Kudos to the conference for supplying these big tables for a more family style network breakfast session.  One of the people I met was Karin Hensley from the National Storytelling Network.  Since my mom is a storyteller, and we had been to the National Storytelling Festival, we had something to talk about!  You never know who you will meet at breakfast.

9:00 – Engage the Crowd to Do Important Things Like Change the World or Meet Your Revenue

This session hosted by Brian Reich was a little bit of a commercial for his upcoming book and for Kickstarter, but many valuable things were said. The main point is that technology has changed the way we function, and there are ways to embrace this new technology to invite our audiences to become more involved.  The perspective is to make sure you tell your story in a way that will spark interest, and to offer incentives that your audiences would enjoy. The funniest comment was, that if your mom doesn’t want to back your project, you are doing something majorly wrong.

Here are my tweets from this session.

10:30 – Winning Audiences on the Go: Maximizing Engagement through Mobile Apps

I really liked this session since David Dombrosky chose a talk show style format where he asked questions he wanted to know and then walked around the audience taking our questions.  The session became a little bit of a 101 since mobile apps are still new to most of us, but I really enjoyed the examples.  The main message was to make sure your website has a mobile version since more people are using their smartphones to access information – this means that you need to style the information down to a mobile format.  If you are squeezing and scrolling, your mobile site is all wrong.  Also, some apps are meant more for branding purposes than for information.  The Royal Opera House chose to do a game app called “The Show Must Go On.”  This app is a little educational to the backstage aspects of putting on a show, but mainly it is for entertainment and to get their brand out.

Here are my tweets from this session.

12:00 Plenary Lunch: Oliver Uberti

For me, this was the most incredible speech of the entire conference.  Oliver Uberti is a remarkable person with an incredible gift.  He is a curious individual that can’t help creating wonderful art, and he is inspired by the world of people around him.  He connects with people to make the impossible, possible.  The main message he gave us is to honor the people that are in your life and connect with them to help each other on your journeys.  He showed us his people connection chart, which completely blew me away that he took the time to figure all of it out.  The arts message was to make sure you can tell your story in as little as one image to bring your stories to life. He gave us several examples of the stories behind the final story photo so we can see that it takes time and effort to come up with excellence.  In his quiet way, he served as an example for all of us to reach for something better.  After his presentation, the room was very quiet for a few moments before the applause started.  It took a little while before someone had the courage to ask a question.  My new friend Greg Fiedler of the Greater Flint Arts Council asked about his spiritual background in order to understand how Oliver became Oliver.   It was the question that was on my mind as well.  How do you become such an amazing human being?

This was a presentation that my phone conked out so no tweets were tweeted.  I was very glad since I was able to absorb this speech the old fashioned way with my full attention.  Every moment was special and worth it!

You can view the presentation here: Livestream/NAMPC.

Before the presentation, I chatted with Bill Nix from the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.  Florida was definitely represented at this conference (Minnesota too).  Bill was gracious to tell me about his collaborative projects.  I hope to get more information in the near future since we traded business cards.

1:45 The New Customer Service: Customizing Arts Experiences for Your Audiences

This session had a challenge of rising up after the Uberti presentation.  They did a fairly good job.  Katryn Geane from Jacob’s Pillow Dance really knows how to engage her audience.  It was refreshing to laugh several times during this session.  It was a well put together presentation with a strong message that you need to go the extra mile for your audiences.  To me, this message is a no brainer, but it is a message that constantly needs to be repeated.  Sometimes we tend to get lazy.  With the new technologies of the day, we really don’t have an excuse.

Here are my tweets from this session (a few are about the plenary after my phone recovered).

3:30 One-to-One Coaching Sessions

I was one of the coaches at these sessions, and I was delighted to speak with four people from very different organizations.  Each situation was unique, but the overall impression I wanted each of them to carry away with is: get to know your audiences to lead you to your audience development programs.  It is time to have focus groups again, social opportunities to meet them in person, customer service that follows up with them, branding that will attract them and databases that capture valuable profile information to cater your marketing specifically to them. It is also time to start outreach efforts so you can meet your potential audiences.  The advice for audience relations programs were different for each person who came to see me, but the bottom line messages I just shared were the same.

5:15 Lightening Rounds of Research

I must say that I was completely brain dead after giving my all to my coaching sessions.  I spent about 5 minutes in this presentation, and I realized I had plenty already to think about.  Plus, this session was not particularly engaging since they were mainly spouting off their research numbers.  I left and found someone interesting to talk to, Drew McManus.  Drew was someone I wanted to meet, and this conference made it possible.  We had a pretty in-depth conversation about the orchestra industry.  Finding out that he is from my hometown area, I’m sure I will meet up with him again for many more enlightening discussions.  The conference proved that it really is a small world.  He knew some of the same people even though I moved from the area during the time he moved in.  My roommate’s cousin-in-law happens to work with my sister.  Strange coincidences, but fascinating to feel connected.

There were Dine-Around opportunities, but I opted for a quiet dinner with my roommate.  We were both utterly exhausted.  Watching some television helped me to unwind a bit too.  I couldn’t think another marketing thought if I tried.  Well, at least until I attempted to get some sleep.   Tomorrow morning was my presentation, and it was playing around in my head all night long.

The next blog will be my last day and final impressions.  Stay tuned for the final day!

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

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#NAMPC The National Arts Marketing Project Conference – Winning Audiences Day 1/2 and a 1

I recently attended the NAMPC from November 12-15.  I returned last night with a brain full of exciting memories, valuable information, and an upbeat attitude.  I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to get out of this conference.  I was happy to see that it had a focus – winning audiences – for the entire conference.  I was also delighted that it was a lighter atmosphere than most conferences and that our strong marketing personalities were happy to share with each other our best ideas.  I did not feel a competitive spirit, but rather a collaborative one.

If you had to miss it, click here for all the tweets about our experiences.

Personally, it felt a great deal like camp.  I found my people – others who look at the world similarly to me.  While waiting in the airport security line, a few of us happened to be in the same spot at the same time looking at an advertisement on the wall.  Each of us were dissecting it to figure out what it was all about.  Let me tell you, people look at me strange when I do this in regular conversations, but we were all of like mind and had a great time during our long wait through the line.  This type of scenario happened time and time again throughout my conference experience.  I can’t wait to go back to camp next year if funds allow.

I went to as many sessions as my brain and schedule could allow.  Here is the listing of my schedule for Saturday night through Sunday:

Saturday night – Dine-Around: Engage! Turning online flirtations into offline relationships.

I co-hosted this dine-around with my conference roommate Maureen Carruthers.  We had a great time!  I believe we only went off topic a few times, but ideas to help particular situations were discussed. The overall take away, besides a nice meal and company, was the idea that building a relationship online can be taken to the next levels: email, tweetups, coffee, a shared meal.  This is a natural progression worth implementing.   Maureen and I met via Twitter, and I have also met some other wonderful people via social media.  I have taken the risks of taking my social media engagement to the next levels, and oh boy, I have been enriched with new and amazing people in my life that I will keep contact with.  Projects are being built with these new people, and I am finding getting together with my new friends during my travels are an added bonus to my travel experiences.

When I got back, I hung out a little with the #2amt crowd.  I finally was able to meet David Loehr (one of the founders of 2amt) in person.  Amazing!  After many twitter, phone and Skype conversations – this conference made it possible!  I also tried Kentucky Bourbon Ale for the first time.  Oh my goodness – wow!

Sunday – Keynote – Scott Stratten – UnMarketing

We termed him the “cheerleader” keynote speaker. He was definitely rah-rahing about fantastic customer service and how to use social media effectively that fits your needs and your customers needs.  I agree with how he thinks and the statistics he provided were eye opening.  There were many tweets flying around with his catch phrases as well as tweets on how much people were crushing on him (yes, he wasn’t bad looking – :O) ).  The main message – Be Awesome – people follow awesome, not meh.  Be awesome in all you do! 

You can find his speech here on Livestream.

Tweets around this session time.

10:45 – New Audiences that Stick: Keys to finding first timers who’ll return again and again. 

The panel was knowledgeable and did research to find out the facts and figures about why people attend and why they will come back. The word “churn” was used a ton and would have made a great drinking game.  The main messages of this presentation were to present quality programming that your audiences will enjoy and to build relationships with the people that are attending your core programming.  Using “Killer Offers” to get new people is costly and does not guarantee that people will return.  Focus on the overall quality experiences and follow up with the people that are buying the full price tickets.  Also, improve the overall satisfaction for all patrons.

I was interested in this session due to seeing the report Turning First-Timers into Life-Timers Addressing the true drivers of churn.  This report came to the same conclusions, but stated we need to do the Killer Offers as the main solution.  The group of panelists at this session showed us that although Killer Offers do get people in the doors and did sell more tickets, ROI is higher if you invest in your main audiences.   I agree big time with this and use it as a main audience development tool myself.

My tweets from this session.

12:15 Networking Luncheon with dessert buffet

They had tables with topics and regions spread throughout the ballroom.  I ended up at the least popular table with only 3 other people – Audience Diversity.  Were people scared of this topic?  Seems to me diversity is a big issue for all of us.  The fact that we only had 4 people was a blessing in disguise.  I built good relationships with these people in the short amount of time we had, and we were able to focus on the topic very nicely.  Too bad you weren’t there!

2:15 Hidden in Plain Sight: New Revenue from Existing Audiences

Well, this wasn’t my favorite session, but some good ideas did come from it.  I loved the concept behind the program Duets from the Gallo Center for the Arts (I think) where they matched a senior with another senior to combat the “I don’t want to go alone” factor.  I enjoyed the “get to know you” activities that were a part of this program. The National Steinbeck Center presentation pointed out that collaborating with diverse groups can bring some interesting projects and community pride.  The Ojai Music Festival gave us a peek at how people were purchasing in advance based on the music director (the position rotates consistently), very interesting.  Offering “things to do” for your day pass programs in conjunction with the festival gives your audiences a well rounded experience (ie: hikes, restaurants, etc).  This group also mentioned to focus on return visitors and not just the new.  Another main point of the conference was taking shape.

3:30 was our networking break.

I ended up speaking with Robert Friend of Choice Ticketing to view his new program.  I really liked it.  Yes, sales alert, but if you want ticketing and donation information at a touch of a button combined with easy profiling of your patrons, this is a great choice.

4:00 Making the Market: A New Lens on Cultural Engagement

This was one of the most valuable sessions with a bunch of statistical research from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s Cultural Engagement Index (CEI) report.

“This research suggests multiple avenues for increasing cultural participation,” emphasized principal researcher Alan Brown.  “Specific patterns of cultural activity revealed in the CEI, including respondents personal practice activities, can be studied by cultural groups to more effectively engage current and potential audiences.”

Here are my tweets from this session – not much, but a few are worth it. 

6:30 Reception

I had a great time talking with people.  Made friends with Colonel Sanders too!  I will post a pic once my phone has charged.  I wasn’t too thrilled with KFC and Pizza Hut as the food (not too classy), but the music and company were fun.  I ended up going out afterwards with a group and ended up the evening speaking with two playwrights and getting their perspectives – only at NAMPC!

Stay tuned for Day 2 …

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

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