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AMA 25 year timeline

#25AMA’s 25-year timeline

On 22 October 2018 the AMA celebrated its 25th Birthday — the following timeline showcases some of the key milestones in the AMA’s 25-year journey.


On the 22 October 1993 the Arts Marketing Association is registered as a limited company and the AMA is officially born. Although the World Wide Web had been made publicly available in 1991, the internet was still in its infancy and email was known as electronic mail. There was also no Lottery funding — the first National Lottery draw didn’t take place until November 1994.


There are 240 members and the first AMA conference takes place at the Manchester Business School with 180 delegates. We have our first AGM. An online marketplace for books is launched — it’s called Amazon.

AMA Arts Marketing Association logo from 19951995

The AMA has 465 members and it appoints its first manager. A monthly paper newsletter is launched and the first programme of events takes place. In the same year Internet Explorer is launched.


AMA membership reaches 630 members and the BBC launches its website


The AMA appoints its first Director and recruits an Events and Conference Manager. There are now 700 members. A new search engine is launched — it’s called Google.


The first AMA website goes live and membership has grown to 950 members.


With the dawning of a new millennium AMA membership reaches 1,100 members. The AMA Mentoring Scheme is also launched.

Front cover of JAM issue 1.2001

In April 2001 the AMA launches JAM — the journal of arts marketing — with the first issue’s theme on Segmentation. There have since been 73 issues of JAM over the past 25 years. The monthly paper newsletter is replaced by a monthly email bulletin, which continues to be sent out on the first Friday of each month.


Regional network meetings are first introduced giving members the opportunity to meet and network in their local region. The AMA organises its first Museums and Galleries Marketing Day and the AMA website is relaunched.


The AMA celebrates its 10th Birthday, membership has reached 1,700 members and the first edition of Thinking Big! the AMA’s guide to strategic marketing planning for arts organisations is published.


Facebook is launched.

AMA Arts Marketing Association logo 20052005

The AMA’s brand has a makeover — the logo is re-designed and the brand identity is updated to be more in keeping with the organisation’s core brand values.

The AMA launches its Member Rep scheme. Member Reps host annual regional meetings to encourage interaction and involvement of all AMA members in the area and act as the ‘local face’ of the AMA. Today we have member reps covering all regional areas of England and also member reps in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

YouTube is launched.


Twitter is launched.


The AMA publishes This Way Up — a flat-pack print guide to marketing the Arts. Apple launches the first iPhone.



The first AMA Digital Marketing Day takes places. It’s also the first time that the AGM is held at Digital Marketing Day.


The AMA launches Retreats 1, 2 and 3 — these are residential and intensive marketing leadership programmes for members to further their skills as a marketer and leader. An updated and second edition of Thinking Big! is published. Apple launches the first iPad and Instagram is launched.


The AMA organises its first Press and PR Summit one-day conference for press and PR arts professionals. Snapchat is launched.


The AMA’s online learning offer is launched at the AMA conference in Brighton with the first training video on Facebook Insights. The AMA’s first Mentoring online training session takes place.


The AMA’s first online workshop (webinar) takes place — the topic is Online Analytics. On 23 April the AMA launches the CultureHive website with free articles, guides and case studies from across the sector showcasing best practice and latest thinking.


The Small-Scale Development Programme is launched for leaders of organisations with 10 or fewer staff. The programme is formed of a two and a quarter day residential, with follow-up online coaching sessions.

The Digital Marketing Academy is also launched to help transform digital practice through intensive mentoring, workshops, and peer support — all taking place online. Fellows are matched with an international specialist who mentors their work-based experiments, supporting an agile approach to their digital work.


The pilot programme of Future Proof Museums takes place. This intensive programme helped participating museums to be more resilient — to change, adapt, influence and remain relevant to an ever-changing external environment.

We also launched AMA Bespoke to create impactful training tailored to meet the specific needs of organisations, from in-house training, mentoring, executive coaching, one-to-one surgeries, online resources and much more.

AMA logo2016

The AMA publishes its 360 degree diversity strategy and launches the Audience Diversity Academy (ADA) an online programme that encourages its Fellows to work in an agile way and explore ways of engaging new and diverse audiences by delivering work-based experiments to help drive organisational change.

Building Resilience three online modules the AMA created in collaboration with Wolff Olins are launched. Developed for decision-makers and leaders the modules were designed to help arts organisations build and maintain resilience.

The AMA’s first Copywriting Day — Every Word Counts — takes place in March at the Southbank Centre and in April, following an organisational brand refresh, the AMA launched its new-look website.


The Shared Ambition — fundraising and marketing together programme is launched and considers the question: what would happen if your organisation brought its marketing and fundraising functions closer together? The programme involves an initial review followed by a residential and two online coaching sessions with one of the facilitators from the programme.


AMA becomes an Arts Council England Sector Support Organisation (SSO). SSOs play a vital role in supporting the cultural sector.

The AMA Membership team launch the Small Organisation Membership and the Freelance Membership the AMA’s Freelance Directory listing AMA members who offer freelance services is also established. The Digital Marketing Academy is renamed as the Digital Lab and our In-a-day workshops are launched to bring peer learning across the four nations.

AMA’s membership reaches over 2,000 members.


We celebrate the AMA’s 25th Birthday with a series of AMA25 stories, including this one, and an exhibition of 25 Years of #AMAconf at the AMA conference 2019 in Newcastle/Gateshead.

The results of the first AMA Members Benchmarking Survey are published and the Inclusivity and Audience Symposium takes place in February leading to the first Inclusivity and Audience Day in November.

We also publish our draft Accessibility Pledge as the AMA commits to being as accessible as possible for people to work for and work with — this Pledge sets out our commitment to making that happen. We’re seeking feedback on the draft version of this Pledge to make sure we are including the accessibility needs of as wide a range of people as possible.