Header Image


Choosing Sides: Defining a Role for the Arts (and Making it Work) in “Interesting" Times

Last November's election was a shock to many arts organizations. After years of preaching inclusivity and diversity, it's clear these messages haven't resonated with significant portions of our communities. So what now is the role of artists and arts organizations? Particularly after the case to donors and funders for the arts in recent years has increasingly moved toward "arts and..." arguments, yoking measurable social goods to art.

So maybe an opportunity? Non-profits across the country report being inundated with volunteers and donations, people wanting to do things meaningful to them, things where they can make a difference. How to harness this new energy AND broaden your community in a politically fractious environment? Making America great again is an appeal to values, so what are the compelling values arguments for the arts? We'll look at how America's creative community is making the case.
Douglas McLennan
Editor ArtsJournal



Build Your Patron Journey by Creating a Unique Map to Greater Engagement

What distinguishes arts and cultural events from the hundreds of other entertainment or enrichment activities available to us? For starters, they don’t happen on your couch and they don’t happen alone. We strive to produce programming that sends our audience on an emotional and intellectual journey, but there’s another journey taking place: the path to greater engagement with your art and your organization, a Patron Journey.

In the age of “streaming everything,” what separates us from the competition is the emotional attachment we have to the people and places that share the arts and culture experience with us. If we believe this is true, then the single most important part of our mission, aside from our programming, are the interactions we have with these patrons. Where are they in their journey? How can we enrich their appreciation of the works we present? How can we move them along the path from single ticket buyer to lifetime benefactor? How can they advocate for us to the patrons we’ve yet to meet? You’re the guide; where will you lead them?

In this two-hour workshop, you’ll create a Patron Journey that’s unique to your organization, based on its size, available resources, and its position in your local arts and culture market. We'll discuss what successful organizations around the world are doing, and we’ll show you how to replicate their strategies to identify and manage patrons who are ready to take the next step.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Find your unique strengths and adapt to peer offerings in the marketplace
  • Evaluate and allocate resources: finance, technology, content, staffing
  • Use your data systems to build reports that matter
  • Identify segments and craft messaging and programming that works
  • Create Random Acts of Kindness to build loyalty
  • Automate aspects of the journey to save staff time and get better results
  • Measure your success and refine your plan to optimize results and return on investment
Working in small groups throughout this Intensive, you'll leave with a journey map that you can put in action in your organization right away, plus you’ll have all the motivation and information you need to sell that plan to your Board and other stakeholders. Don’t miss this!
Paul Miller
VP Sales & Marketing PatronManager



Developing Effective Audience Building Strategies and Tactics

Research shows that there’s no magic to building a following with a new audience. Instead, success comes by carefully considering the barriers keeping audiences from attending, and then identifying intersection points between the work an organization presents on one hand, and a target audience’s interests, attitudes, and lifestyles on the other. This session will examine how several arts organizations found success by following these steps—methodically thinking through the barriers facing a target audience and then developing multifaceted strategies grounded in sometimes newly discovered alignments between what audiences are looking for and what their organizations present. Group exercises will facilitate thinking through which barriers to tackle, and then how to craft an audience development strategy and tactics that align with both the artistic mission and what a target audience is looking for.
Bob Harlow
Marketing and Research Consultant Sponsored by The Wallace Foundation



Can 100% Digital Marketing Work for Your Organization?

The Phoenix Symphony, is allocating 100% of their single ticket advertising budget to digital for the 2017-2018 season. In this session, you’ll learn about the company’s digital evolution, and see how the Symphony used data and experimentation to arrive at this progressive budget. Discover how this real live case study is playing out with $4,000,000 in annual ticket sales on the line—hint: record breaking results.

After this session, you’ll be able to:

  • Implement an iterative and strategic approach to increasing your digital advertising
  • Evaluate how to set, measure and implement key KPI’s to prove, justify and communicate your progress
  • Double down what marketing efforts are working and discontinue or cut back efforts that are not
  • Prove or disprove paradigms in your industry using data (e.g. older audiences don’t use social media)
Todd Vigil
Chief Marketing Officer Phoenix Symphony


Create a Comprehensive Development Plan and Put It Into Action

Having an over-arching development plan can significantly increase the amount of funds raised per year. Join ACG Vice President Shawn Ingram for a skill-building workshop that will show development professionals how to create an annual plan for all cultivation, solicitation and stewardship fundraising activity and address donor prioritization through wealth screening. The workshop will also include how to use the plan to help staff and Board colleagues understand the comprehensive nature of relationship management and better support fundraising in your organization.
Shawn Ingram
Vice President Arts Consulting Group


Use Data to Drive Fundraising Success

For many years now, arts marketers have relied on data to make key decisions about how to allocate their advertising dollars, which audience segments to target, and what messages and mediums to use for the greatest revenue increases and return on investment. While this has not always been the case with our fundraising teams, new technologies and processes are making it possible to achieve the same kind of data-driven success in annual fund appeals, membership drives, and moves management strategies.

In this session, you’ll learn what fundraising data points are actually worth tracking, how to look at the data and perform the calculations, where to focus your time for optimal results, and how to apply segmentation and targeting strategies used by successful organizations around the country. Bring questions and stories about what has worked for you and your organization.
Paul Miller
VP Sales & Marketing PatronManager


Part Of The Digital Marketing Track:

Smart Digital Marketing on a Budget

While there are many forms of digital marketing, for optimal results your selection must be aligned with your budget and goals. We’ll go over the spectrum of options as well as what are effective matches. PPC, SEO, Email, SMO, Retargeting --- we’ll sort out the acronyms and provide examples.  
Behnam Ataee
CTO Dream Warrior Group / ARTdynamix

LaMae Weber
CEO Dream Warrior Group / ARTdynamix


Expert Eye for Design

Let's go beyond abstract-sounding principles, best practices and rules of thumb to look at real world examples of brochures, websites, postcards and e-blasts that needed some design help to communicate more effectively and therefore sell more tickets -- before and after an outside expert looked them over with an eye for design. Want feedback on your marketing materials? Join the conversation by sending whatever you would like to have reviewed to arts@ruddle.com no later than May 1. Not all submissions will be included in the presentation, but all will receive some expert insights privately.
Henry Ruddle
President Ruddle Consulting


How Does Your Organization Measure Up? -- Arts Industry Benchmark Data

Using data from 300+ performing arts organizations, this session will provide industry benchmarks for how you compare to your peers in key metrics such as re-attendance, proportion of sales online, click-through rates, donation add-ons and many more. In each area we’ll discuss not only the benchmark average but also identify organizations with exceptionally high success rates and break down what contributes to their success. Expect to walk away from this session with highly tangible take-aways that you can immediately implement at your organization.
Kenneth Foster
Account Executive Spektrix


Increasing Patron Loyalty with Memberships that Benefit!

Research shows it costs five times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing ones. Existing patrons are more likely to step into deeper levels of commitment than brand new customers and developing these relationships can help these patrons become brand ambassadors in your community, encouraging their friends and family to join them in their next visit, posting about their experiences on social media, and even becoming donors or sponsors.

One of the easiest ways to build strong relationships with your customers is to offer memberships with benefits. By becoming a member of your organization, customers can have access to special perks and incentives that deliver increased value compared to a standard ticket purchase. For some patrons, it also helps develop a sense of community, affiliation, and identity. The benefits to your organization are also strong, as memberships build customer loyalty and create both immediate and long-term revenue streams for your organization. A recent study suggests that fully-engaged customers will deliver a 23% premium over your average customer! Join us to explore how nurturing patron relationships with memberships can positively impact both your organization and the patrons you serve.
Wendi Yanez
Sales Director accesso ShoWare


Working With the Soft Side of the House in the Digital Age

While younger audiences and potential donors are looking for increasingly streamlined marketing and stewardship, we know that more than half of those we reach through programming and marketing are over 50 and, while they may also be looking for digital streamlining, they are very responsive to the softer strategies of outreach, high touch stewardship and moves management engagement. Kay Sprinkel Grace, who works with orchestras, opera companies and theaters as well as non-arts organizations, will provide a strategy for balancing your outreach and patron/donor relations in this highly transitional time.
Kay Sprinkel Grace
Board President Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale


(program and speakers subject to change)

Stay Tuned For Many More Sessions To Be Added, Including:

Increasing Revenue While Lowering Costs 
Attracting Younger Audiences
Google Analytics 
Strategies To Boost Advance Sales 
Optimal Pricing 
Digital And Traditional Marketing Mix 
Social Media As Audience-Building Tool 
And More!

Our Sponsors

  • Images

    PatronManager’s mission is to revolutionize the ticketing industry by providing arts, culture, and live entertainment organizations with integrated world-class customer relationship management, box office ticketing, fundraising, and marketing solutions, built entirely on the world’s most advanced cloud-based CRM platform – Salesforce.

    Since launching in 2010, PatronManager has been the fastest growing platform for arts & culture organizations in the U.S. Over 700 organizations use PatronManager, primarily symphony orchestras, theatres, opera companies, dance companies, university performing arts centers, and museums.

    Founded in 2001, Patron Technology became the leader in e-marketing technology for arts non-profits with its first product, PatronMail. 

    More Info
  • Images

    Dream Warrior Group provides graceful yet technologically savvy solutions for Arts organizations. The goal-driven services focus on audience and action. As your technology advocate, we will be your ally and can manage and fully implement your online presence. Our services (ala carte or contracted) include: Web site design and development, e-marketing, e-promotion, social media management and optimization. We implement your message in a digital environment

    More Info
  • Images

    Theatre Manager™ software is used at Theatres, Festivals, Arenas, Performing Arts Centers, Symphony Orchestras, Museums, Educational Institutions, Municipalities, Non-profit and For-profit organizations.

    Key functionalities:
    - Patron & Household CRM
    - Box Office & Internet Sales
    - without 3rd party fees
    - Development & Donation Management
    - Marketing - including email blasts
    - Artist, Staff & Volunteer Management
    - Financial Controls
    - Facility & Project Management

    Since 1985, our experience has been drawn from 100s of venues, with 1000s of users who use Theatre Manager softwae to track approximately 3/4 of a billion dollars in annual revenue.

    More Info

Conference Schedule

May 15, 2018:
Morning Intensive (Program starts at 9:00 a.m.)
Lunch on Your Own
Opening Reception with one-on-ones

May 16, 2018:
Networking Reception with one-on-ones
Lunch with the Experts
Afternoon Intensive
Breakouts (Conference end at 5:00 p.m.)

Program and speakers subject to change.

Among other benefits, Arts Reach Members receive significant discounts on conference registration. Join NOW!