Rebecca Butcher, Marketing Assistant at Hertford Theatre, was one of over thirty lucky AMA conference 2017 bursary recipients. In this blog post she talks about her experience at AMA conference 2017 in Belfast.
When I saw there was an AMA conference bursary available from Ticketsolve for that I qualified for, I applied for it. Having worked in arts marketing for nearly 5 years, I felt like attending the AMA conference would be a great way to gain some much needed invigoration!
I travelled from East of England to Belfast. I had been feeling a bit nervous about attending the conference, so the idea of the first-timer drinks was a great idea. I soon found like-minded people and we’ve since exchanged emails. I enjoyed the sense of making new friends as well as learning from each other.
The keynote speakers were engaging but what I really enjoyed was the breakout sessions. With enthusiastic presenters who knew their stuff, I was keen to learn! My favourite was “How to be a Marketing Superhero” with Sarah Ogle from Everyman Playhouse, Liverpool. It sounds slightly cringy, but this session really made me fall back in love with my job. And isn’t that a fantastic thing to take away from a conference?
A lot of venues face the same problems as my organisation, but others are removed from these issues. I came away thinking about the pros and cons and that maybe some of the challenges I face aren’t so bad.
I really enjoyed listening to Jane Cordell speak. When she signed a whole section of her talk to the audience and then said “You all got that right?” I think everyone empathised that this is how deaf audiences must feel when watching music or performances and their needs have not been considered.
My advice for someone attending for the first time, especially if they get a bit anxious like me is to go to first time drinks, you’ll quickly find your “crowd” (for me, it was spotting a lady with green hair and thinking, “yep, I’ll be ok talking to you!” Be yourself and view everything with open eyes so you return to work raring to go and ready to make changes!