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We are not alone #CultureHive SmallScale

Kathryn Lambert from Span Arts attended the CultureHive Small-Scale Development Programme in October 2017 — here she shares her key takeaways and thoughts on the residential.

I applied for the Arts Council of Wales bursary to attend the Small-Scale Development Programme as I am fairly new in post running Span Arts and wish to re-energise the organisation. The organisation suffers from a wide range of challenges, coupled with the fact that it serves a rural area and I was in need of some inspiration.

Leicester, was a long way to go from deepest West Wales to find some kindred spirits and a shot of expertise and advise.  I was worried the journey wouldn’t be worth it, but as soon as I arrived at College Court, I felt inspired and that I had met a group of people who were all struggling with very similar challenges.

In fact, I instantly saw one delegate publishing on Hootsuite, whilst I chatted to another about all of the responsibilities she covered in her role and I knew I had found the right place.

The course tutors were an inspirational team of professional women who shared an inordinate amount of experience and expertise between them.  Each tutor had an almost uncanny knack of cutting through any waffle to get the most salient points of all of the topics covered.

I was particularly inspired by Mel Larsen’s session on vision, who asked the poignant questions about why our organisations exist and what the future would look like without them.  She told us to imagine what the world would look like if all things were possible and backed it up by sharing ambitious examples of others.  She spoke of Oxfam, who strive to achieve a ‘world without poverty’ and reminded us to articulate a vision that was aspirational rather than achievable.  This seemed like a brilliant idea to me. I also found my 121 with Jo Taylor a real boost. She told me to take it slow and that great things can still be achieved by stealth and with patience.

Throughout the 2 days I kept meeting like-minded, creative and courageous individuals. I was thrilled with the national remit of the group, and the fact that at one point you could sit next to someone who was a specialist in Italian baroque music and another time talk to someone about belly dancing.

Key things I’ve learnt:

  • We are not alone and the challenges we face are not all of our making!
  • That folk and contemporary dance are hard artforms to sell everywhere, not just in Pembrokeshire!
  • That we would benefit from using more creative ways to find out what people think and want.
  • That people who work in the arts sector are lovely people.

The course was intense and I absolutely loved the way that it was kept on schedule. It was really respectful of everyone’s busy lives and ensured that we didn’t waste a minute!

It’s very rare to access such high quality professional development in the arts from Pembrokeshire, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.  All I need to do now, is find the time to implement the lessons learned to help find a robust way forward for Span Arts.

Image of College Court, courtesy of Kathryn Lambert

Facebook and Instagram – engaging global and local communities

Image courtesy of Sadler’s Wells © Hugo Glendinning — Gravity Fatigue by Hussein Chalayan.

What is it about?

In this session Glenn will discuss the changing relationship with audiences and how to better harness the power of communities across social media platforms. Using recent case studies from Facebook and Instagram, the session will focus on how to create, grow, and engage with local and global communities.

What will I gain?

  • Insight from Facebook and Instagram
  • Tips on how to use Facebook and Instagram to engage audiences
  • Examples of brands and organisations who have done this successfully


Headshot of Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller

< Back to Digital Marketing Day 2017

Sponsored session: Canvas 121s

Image courtesy of Puppet Theatre Scotland, Andy Caitlin – Threads – Théâtre Incliné.

What is it about?

Canvas 121s provide the opportunity for organisations to book a time to meet two of the Canvas team to learn about how the Canvas network may be able to help them to increase and build upon their digital presence.

Canvas works with organisations, artists and performers to increase the amount and quality of arts-related video online, making it more discoverable and appealing, particularly to younger audiences. It does this through its own channels on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, and by helping individual arts organisations develop their own video offerings through content collaboration, strategic support and training.

Canvas is funded by Arts Council England.

What will I gain?

  • An insight into Canvas and how it works
  • Examples of how Canvas has worked with other organisations
  • Tips from the Canvas team about how Canvas could help to develop your digital presence


Headshot of Dan Watt-Smith

Dan Watt-Smith
Canvas Project Director at Brave Bison

Headshot of Susannah Simons

Susannah Simons
Director Arts and Outreach for Canvas

Sponsored session: Using AI to get your digital house in order

Image courtesy of National Museum Cardiff – National Museum Wales.

What is it about?

Valuable for marketers, communications executives and anyone dealing with large image libraries, this session will focus on how innovative technologies like Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) are adding value to DAM and what businesses are now able to do as a result.

What will I gain?

  • Optimise the way you use your digital assets
  • Use AI to ensure consistent processes and practice around your DAM
  • Use keywords to your biggest benefit against “digital asset hoarding”


Picture of Chris Stevens, Sales Engineer at Extensis.

Chris Stevens

Morning briefing: Building awareness and driving sales through content


Image courtesy of Sheffield Theatres © Johan-Persson

What is it about?

In this session Ben Portnoi will talk through how he uses video and editorial pieces to engage audiences. Ben will review how, when and where content fits into a marketing strategy and share his experience of how to simultaneously drive sales and build insights with a content first approach.

What will I gain?

  • An understanding of how a content first approach can fit into your marketing strategy
  • Practical tips for using video and editorial content
  • Examples of how content can be used to drive sales


Headshot of Ben Portnoi

Ben Portnoi

Sponsored session: The great (marketing) value of a customer moment

Photo Ellie Pinney

What is it about?

In this session we will explore the value of setting up special moments for special customers, and look at how a well executed customer moment can create a ripple effect both externally and internally, adding a low cost marketing tool to the toolbox. The session will cover both a theoretical and a how-to approach, aimed at arts organisations large and small.

What will I gain?

  • An introduction to the concept and value of customer moments
  • Concrete takeaway examples on how you can get going
  • Inspiration on how to set up special moments and build stronger relationships with key customers


Headshot of Martin Gammeloft

Martin Gammeloft
Activity Stream

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Sponsored session: From Digital Strategy to Audience Reality

Dance Umbrella – DU16 Secret Slowness of Movement. Photo Paul Blakemore.

…Getting actual results from your best laid digital plans

What is it about?

Digital specialist Katie Moffat will look at how to develop a meaningful digital strategy, how to integrate it with your wider business plan and where you can go for extra help. She is joined by Eileen Evans, Executive Director of Forced Entertainment, one of the leading contemporary theatre companies in the UK. Eileen will share their approach to digital, including how they decide what to prioritise and which activities bring them the greatest value.

What will I gain?

  • Insight into how to develop your digital strategy
  • Practical tips for implementing your strategy
  • Understanding of how digital strategy fits with wider business objectives


Katie Moffat
The Audience Agency

Headshot of Eileen Evans

Eileen Evans
Forced Entertainment

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Embracing Diverse Audiences — what you can expect

Ahead of our online workshop Embracing Diverse Audiences — embedding diversity across your organisation on 7 December, we asked speaker Mel Larsen a few questions about what attendees can expect from the session.

1) What does diversity mean to you?

  • an awareness and core value that leads to taking action on developing Inclusion and Equality 
  • respecting and valuing differences between us all such as culture, ethnicity, faith and identity
  • being aware of the 9 protected characteristics, socio-economic status and associated opportunities/challenges
  • being aware of intersectionality and associated opportunities/challenges

2) What challenges do arts organisations face when trying to reach a more diverse audience?

  • being aware of and honest about their own privilege and bias
  • making assumptions about new audiences
  • being worried about causing offence
  • wanting to make a difference but not having the authority
  • not knowing where to start, how to find and communicate effectively with certain target segments
  • making diversification of their audiences a priority

3)  How can arts organisations embed diversity in across their work?

  • Attendees will find out some of that on the workshop but in summary it’s about attitude, structures, planning and communication

4) What is the key thing you hope people will take away with them from your workshop?

  • Inspiration
  • Commitment: wanting to make a difference
  • Confidence: realising that it is something they can get started on and learn as they go
  • Tips: useful info that will help them get started

Embracing Diverse Audiences — embedding diversity across your organisation

Online | 7 December | 10.30am — 12.30pm

AMA members / Arts Council England NPO: £45 + VAT

Non-members: £115 + VAT

Another small step: The power of partnerships. #ADA

Carrie Blake, is Broadway’s Marketing and Outreach Assistant. As Carrie draws to the end of her time as a Fellow on the Audience Diversity Academy, she’s currently developing engagement activities for and with Children, Young people and Families in North Nottingham and Nottingham City, aiming to increase socio-economic diversity of participants engaging with Broadway’s creative learning programme.

Broadway has a 25 year history as an educational charity, so our reputation is established, right? Well not really, not to everyone that we’d like to reach and this takes time. So how do we challenge and change this?  Building trust is key, taking the time to build positive relationships with organisations and gatekeepers that already have the trust of communities has really helped, forming and maintaining good partnerships are invaluable.

Drawing in.  

Designing, developing and delivering and testing introduction to film primary school workshops along with one of community partners at Broadway. We continue to host groups of Yr 6 pupils from Nottingham City schools, with the possibility of repeating this workshop off site.

Sustaining links with young people engaged through this collaborative approach is crucial, and through our partnership’s we’ve provided fully subsidised places on our Filmmaking Summer School to some of their regular Year 10 students who have shown a creative talent and passion or film.

We are now exploring how we can expand this offer to more young people, to challenge and remove barriers to access.

It’s been a great experience being part of the ADA. Having the support of my mentor and encouragement and permission to explore and discover a fresh approaches has been liberating, however this hasn’t been without challenges.

Keeping an agile approach.

I like to keep hold of my ideas until I feel their fully formed and ready to share, which can be a killer of creativity and is the antithesis of all things agile. It might not be your best contribution or it might be the best brainwave you ever had, how are you going to know if you don’t put it out there and share it with others?

Be willing and open to input and collaboration, otherwise nothing will flourish. I’ll admit at times it’s been difficult getting knocked off course.

Of course, working in an agile way means that this will inevitably happen; you’ll come up against the unexpected and have to shift direction.  Being open and adaptable to rapid change isn’t always easy, try to embrace it and be willing to reassess, and if necessary rip it up and start all over, this is the nature of experimentation.

Seeking permission.

We all need organisational buy in. However sometimes not receiving the desired level of input can be a convenient excuse for not pursuing what may be a daunting challenge.  Organisational strategy, hierarchical structures and workplace politics can make moving forward quite difficult at times. However part of this process is to test ideas, nothing is fixed or formed.  So if I have been put forward for the ADA by my organisation, then there needs to be some acceptance that this is all about quick paced experiments, and I’ll need to move forward with them! Thanks to Monica Montgomery my wonderful mentor for giving me a gentle nudge in this direction 😉

Finding strategies for negotiation always helps and I found the Managing Up online workshop with Auriel Majumdar was really useful! Presenting your experiment in the same terms as the organisations strategy, using the same language/approach to articulate what you are doing, to show that this aligns.

Being bold, being brave, embracing change and the challenges that come with this, is not easy, however small shifts and changes are not to be underestimated, they all add up.

Speaker Q&A #AMAKnowingYou

Ahead of our Digital Marketing Day we caught up with speakers Will Saunders, Jo Hunter, Selma Willcocks, Cherelle Cunningham and Kate Carter to ask them what they’re looking forward to and pick their brains for top tips, their must-have tools and what’s going to be the next big thing in digital…

What are you most looking forward to about Digital Marketing Day?

Headshot of Cherelle CunninghamBeing around fellow arts marketing professionals and hearing of some new innovative marketing practices.
Cherelle Cunningham

Headshot of Selma WillcocksFeeling re-energised by conversation & meeting interesting folk.
Selma Willcocks

Headshot of Kate CarterSharing the work of my team at the British Museum, which I am super proud of, and being inspired by others.
Kate Carter

Headshot of Jo HunterLoads of inspiring conversations.
Jo Hunter

What one piece of advice would you give organisations trying to get to know their audiences better?

Headshot of Cherelle CunninghamIf you are trying to know audiences, get serious about consistent community consultation (also ask your staff how they feel the site / organisation / gallery reflects them – this is a great way to establish how visitors see the site).
Cherelle Cunningham

Headshot of Jo HunterRemember they are people just like you… don’t think of them as ‘audiences’.
Jo Hunter

Headshot of Kate CarterBring together qualitative and quantitative insights. Quoting directly from visitors’ comments & reviews in internal reporting helps bring their voices to life.
Kate Carter

Headshot of Will SaundersJoin existing conversations, don’t try to start any.
Will Saunders

What (digital) tool could you not do without in your work?

Headshot of Jo HunterTrello all the way.
Jo Hunter

Headshot of Selma WillcocksSlack!
Selma Willcocks

Headshot of Kate CarterSlack for me too. Also WhatsApp and Hootsuite.
Kate Carter

Headshot of Will SaundersTwitter.
Will Saunders

What’s going to be the next big thing in digital?

Headshot of Jo HunterI hope online decision making tools like Loomio will help people engage people in decision making, not just consulting.
Jo Hunter

Headshot of Selma WillcocksDigital detoxing…
Selma Willcocks

Headshot of Kate CarterI’m very biased, but I’m going to say digital customer service (and the combination of human teams, chatbots & AI).
Kate Carter

Headshot of Will SaundersChina.
Will Saunders

And finally, what gets you through the day?

Headshot of Cherelle CunninghamTwitter and Instagram stories.
Cherelle Cunningham

Headshot of Selma WillcocksOur office dog Simba.
Selma Willcocks

Headshot of Kate CarterMy colleagues and our shared passion / sense of humour for what we do.
Kate Carter

Headshot of Will SaundersWunderlist & Skittles.
Will Saunders

Headshot of Jo HunterLove of course!
Jo Hunter

Our 11th Digital Marketing Day, #AMAKnowingYou takes place on 1 December at Barbican Centre, London.

Find out more about the programme and speakers and book your place.


Digital Marketing Day 2017; Getting To Know You is supported by:

Logo for Tessitura, networking sponsorLogo for Extensis, brand sponsorRed 61 logo - Digital partner

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