After attending my first NAMP conference, I realize the landscape of arts marketing has changed immeasurably over the last five years, primarily due to the economy and technological advances. It’s been rough for many of us. However, over the course of the conference, I’ve learned about the many ways arts organizations have cleverly responded, while becoming more nimble, thoughtful, and artistically richer as a result. These strategies revolve around: new technology, collaboration, and more hard work.
Although this fact is quite obvious to anyone in the arts marketing world, it’s still worth noting that new technology has changed the way we engage, learn, and reach out to our audiences. Customer relationship management technology, social media and other web based forms of communication are examples of this. As arts marketers, if we did not initially embrace these advances, we have since been nudged to adopt them for our own survival.
Collaborations are not uncommon among artists. For arts organizations, they have become more important than ever. One of the lessons I heard repeatedly over the course of the last few days is that companies must involve all departments within their organization to adeptly incorporate and benefit from new technologies. During lean times, when everyone is doing more, it’s especially crucial to involve all parties. In the end, working outside one’s comfort zone and boundaries together makes the organization stronger as a team. Collaboration has always been a part of our culture, but new technology and leaner budgets encourage us to seek new joint ventures and ways to work with each other.
We all know that working in the arts has never been a cakewalk. We are accustomed to struggle. We know that this will never change. It takes time to learn new technology, and can get frustrating just when you had the last thing figured out. It’s not easy to work with new people. Not to mention all the day-to-day fundraising it takes to keep our organizations afloat. Who better to adapt to these rapid changes than us?
I believe that the art we promote and the value it brings to our communities is entirely worth it.
Bring it on!