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10th August 2015 Verity Sanderson

4. What did you think? #amaconf

Rosie Hamilton
Continuing our series of post-conference delegate blog posts Rosie Hamilton, Marketing and Fundraising Officer at Artrix, gives us a run down of her highlights

Very kind of the AMA to hold their conference in Birmingham which is only 20 minutes away by train! As I’m here with two hats on I’ve picked a mixture of marketing and fundraising sessions and the next two days flash by.

On Day 1 the breakfast briefing from AudienceViewThe World’s Best Fundraising Strategies, reveals that in the USA philanthropy is a social institution and there’s loads of helpful case studies. Then, after the keynote, there’s a session on Adapting your message to reach different target groups with Laraine Pearson at Northern Ballet. I particularly like the way they shifted their brand towards emotional engagement in response to their research findings and their photos are amazing.

Over lunch I realise how incredibly chatty and friendly everyone is and I catch up with the lovely team from Wolverhampton Grand before speed-dating with the social media experts in the Digital Hub a fast and fascinating hour. Sadly, thanks to my last train leaving at 10pm, I miss out on most of the social sessions (boo-hoo!) but I have time to catch up with the PatronBase gang at the Island Bar before heading home.

Day 2 and the stand-out session for me is Lisa Baxter’s How to Have Productive Conversations with Your Audience. I’m partnered with Georgina from the National Centre for Circus Arts and we probe each other for more details during a fun conversation on beaches, prescription sunglasses and circuses! Top takeaways are to never take an adjective at face value and don’t ask leading questions. In Innovative Storytelling to inspire Potential Donors with the Ministry of Stories, an inspirational organisation which encourages children to write stories, we hear about the difference they make to children’s lives and how good they are at engaging donors. We end up co-writing a story about a pineapple-eating time-travelling bear and giggling!

Two weeks on and I’m staying curious. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Edinburgh next year. What a great couple of days, thank you AMA!

Rosie Hamilton is Marketing and Fundraising Officer at Artrix. Follow them @ArtrixArts

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