I was absolutely delighted to be offered a bursary position at this year’s AMA conference in Edinburgh. It gave me the opportunity not only to attend my first ever conference, but to really think about my role within my organisation, learn, meet new and inspiring people, and not to mention visit the wonderful city of Edinburgh once again.
A truly stand-out session for me was Accessibility – making your communications matter with Jo Verrent and Jen Tomkins from Unlimited. Both facilitators presented a truly engaging and inspiring presentation that informed us on the best ways to ensure that our organisations’ marketing is as accessible for all audiences as it can be.
It was exciting to hear about the work that Unlimited are doing in supporting disabled artists. I loved the passion with which Jo Verrent delivered her expertise and advice, and Jennifer Tomkins was a perfect partner for the session. Her tips for producing accessible marketing were so valuable. We heard case studies about disabled artists that are producing wonderful work and there was plenty of opportunity for discussion on the topic to hear from other organisations in the room and learn from each other.
I also loved the session delivered by David Reece at Baker Richards – How to create the perfect membership scheme (and more!). We heard about an interesting case study on how BFI made changes to enhance and expand their membership offering, and the process they explored with Baker Richards to do this. Case studies are such a useful way to learn from other organisations. I think that often we, as marketers, may have great ideas on how to improve the way we communicate with customers – but perhaps don’t always have the confidence to take steps to implement these ideas. Case studies help to eliminate risk and provide great insight we can all learn from.
A few immediate actions that I have taken away from this year’s conference is to ensure that all video content our organisation produces is captioned and to start an internal discussion about how we can improve our organisation’s membership offering for our customers.
The whole experience of the AMA conference, for me, was brilliant. From being able to hand pick sessions well in advance that I felt would be most useful for me, to the availability of plenty of information on the AMA website explaining what I could expect from the conference. Edinburgh as a location was fantastic, the Royal College of Surgeons paired with the Festival Theatre were both ideal locations, and the organisation of the event was wonderful. My favourite part of the conference was listening to the keynote speakers. Nina Simon and Meabh Quoirin were particularly stand-out for me, with Meabh Quoirin’s predictions for future trends being scarily futuristic! Oh, and I have to mention the brilliant walking tour ‘The Secrets of the Royal Mile’ – fascinating!
Image of Edinburgh Castle taken by Lucy during her time at conference.