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Lowry’s portrait of a Facebook ticketing operation

Rob 2Rob Martin is the Digital Marketing Manager at The Lowry, Salford and was part of the small team who opened and launched The Lowry. He is also a professional photographer and has just had his first public exhibition. If you recognise him it might be that you have a) bought a ticket from him in the distant past b) met him at an AMA conference or c) seen him in an embarrassing slot on The One Show where a man tried to reveal his personality via the art on his wall…

In this blog, he shows how The Lowry's experience in using social media in their ticketing operation has reaped benefits for the venue.

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All together now

Chris Unitt smallChris Unitt is the Head of Social Media at Made Media, a digital agency that works with arts organisations and broadcasters. He’s also an arts blogger, a tech startup mentor and a theatre company board member. He’s @chrisunitt on Twitter and blogs at . You can email him at

In this post, the first in our lead up to the AMA Digital Marketing Day in London on 10th November, he shows why we should consider the benefits of working together online.

Collective efforts

I was at a roundtable discussion recently where the topic of arts organisations sharing resources came up. Someone said that their organisation is feeling the squeeze and that, as much as they’d like to, they’re not in a position to share anything with others.

If that’s true then it’s a shame, but I don’t think it should be the case.

The reason for this is that the Internet and a raft of online tools are making collaboration and resource-sharing quicker, easier and cheaper. In some cases, the tools make it as simple to share and collaborate as not, so when additional benefits accrue it becomes an absolute no brainer.

I’ve given some examples below and they come in all shapes and sizes…

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I presume so

During her session on financial sustainability at the conference [AMA members can read the conference report here], Clare Cooper from Mission Models Money talked about their research on new revenue streams for arts organisations. She argued that organisations could do this while staying consistent with their missions, using Live Theatre’s online script writing course as an example.

Boogie WonderlandSimilarly, Jonathan Harper spoke of his experiences at the Wales Millennium Centre and The Lowry. At The Lowry, for example, a box office staff member’s initiative to raise money as a ticket agency for other arts organisations in town had reaped dividends.

It reminded me of the early 1990s, during another recession and time of low public sector support for the arts when I was working at a venue in Cambridge called The Junction – a place that aimed to combine ‘high’ and ‘low’ art.
They were hard times. We needed cash, and we had to earn it.

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