Throughout the weekend of the National Arts Marketing Project Conference, several people tweeted about experiencing conference withdrawals, or unmarketing withdrawals, etc.
I didn’t experience this as I felt my head nearly exploding from all the information I was dutifully scribbling down as fast as arm could push my pen. Armed with page after page of notes and new, exciting ideas to share with my co-workers, I left NAMP feeling inspired and empowered.
The messages that resonated the loudest for me were:
1. Remarry your audience — A simple, albeit brilliant concept, don’t you think? Scott Stratten reminded us all that we must honor and respect our current audience. We must ask, “What can I start doing? What can I stop doing? What can I continue doing?” We must take the time to listen to our current audience member and long-standing supporters, because too often we unwittingly take advantage of them. We abuse their loyalty whether or not that is our intention. “Make new friends, but keep the old, for one is silver and the other gold.”
2. Engage the crowd — This is yet another simple, and perhaps obvious concept that unfortunately goes to the wayside far too often. We as arts organizations, rely too heavily on what has worked in the past. I feel that nonprofits are guilty of this, as many times they are trying to stay relevant and just survive with few resources and tight budgets. It’s time to throw out everything you think you know, and start over. Brian Reich reminded us that value is elastic and donors are investors. We must engage donors by sharing our stories and giving our organizations a face. Sam Horn shared beautiful examples of how these wonderful stories both engage the audience and speak to funders. She stressed the importance of clear, concise information that allows the individual to use their imagination.
These points, though simple, are effective.
I am excited to put these ideas into practice and wish you all good luck in your own endeavors.
I hope to see many of you (again) next year in Charlotte!