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1st August 2013 Sara Lock

Sheffield or bust

In the first of three blog posts, Taras Young, Digital Content Manager at the AMA, takes a look at our 2013 annual conference through the words and pictures of the people who were there.

I really enjoyed meeting people in an informal environment who were from a range of arts organisations and who face similar challenges with arts marketing. It was great building relationships with different organisations and hearing about their campaigns.

Rita Chowdhury, Communications Assistant, The Place

This year’s AMA conference was held in Sheffield on 16-18 June 2013. Over the next three blog posts, we’re going to look at the three days of conference through the eyes of delegates – using tweets, photos, and experiences sent to us after the dust had settled.

Welcome to Sheffield

Arts marketers began arriving on Tuesday to a Sheffield basking in the summer sun. Many found themselves greeted at the city’s railway station by the welcoming sight of an open square with cool fountains.



In the early evening, delegates started to arrive at the prestigious Cutlers’ Hall for the opening night social event. After registration, there was a chance to meet other delegates ahead of dinner. In fact, the opening night social was a bonanza of networking opportunities, with a ‘sticker networking’ competition before dinner, in which conference-goers had to meet others in order to collect five different stickers (with the promise of a sweetie hamper for the fastest mover). The evening also saw the return of our famous speed networking, which went on well into the night.

I had previously thought that networking wasn’t something I was very good at, but after the speed networking (and the conference) I certainly feel a lot more confident, and it was great fun.

Sarah Moreby, Marketing Officer, Compton Verney

Dinner was held in the Main Hall, with banqueting-style seating at long rows of tables. The hall buzzed with chatter as the meals were served. AMA chair Jo Taylor welcomed everyone to conference, and we also heard from headline sponsors Impact and Spektrix.

Diners at Cutlers' Hall
Cutlers’ Hall – Photo by AMA member Kealy Cozens

I appreciated the opportunity to sit with new people at the opening dinner on the first night. I met three people from different parts of the country and talked in some depth about their time in the industry, past and present. It was a great way to ease us into the conference.

Adele Curtis, Senior Marketing Officer, Royal & Derngate Northampton

After dinner, the evening continued with more networking opportunities – both organised ones, and more informal networking in the bar. While, at the registration desk, the AMA’s Helen and Jacqueline found a fine example of Sheffield stainless steel…

This is the first of three blog posts about our 2013 conference. Continue to part 2…

Let us know your experience of this year’s conference, either in the comments below, or on Twitter using the #amaconf hashtag.

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