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12th March 2018 Verity Sanderson

AMA team in Amsterdam

On Friday 2 March, five of the AMA team attended the first ever Arts Marketing Europe conference in Amsterdam. Here’s how Verity, Lucy, Amy, Fiona and Rebecca got on…

Flying out on Thursday 1 March meant our trip started with a few delays due to the Beast from the East causing snow havoc in the UK. However, we all managed to catch our flights and made it to Amsterdam — even if it was a little later than planned.

Friday morning in Amsterdam was cold but a short walk and coffee on arrival set us in good stead for the Arts Marketing Europe conference. We were keen to start meeting other delegates and wanted to chat to as many people as possible, to find out who was there, learn about their work, discover their challenges and question the differences between arts marketing in Europe and the UK. Each of us had some interesting conversations with people from all over Europe and found there was a general consensus that lots of people look to the UK for latest trends and best practice in our sector. A nice feeling!

There were some interesting sessions at the conference and it was particularly lovely to see AMA member, Chris Condron, Head of Campaigns at Tate, delivering a session on his learning from some of their most recent campaigns. Other speakers came from organisations including Penguin Press, Dutch Design Week and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.


After a day of listening to speakers and chatting to other delegates we hosted some drinks in a nearby bar. Nearly all the delegates came along for a drink! It was great to see so many people there, lots of the European delegates were keen to find out more about the AMA and plenty of the conversations carried on into the evening.


A cancelled flight meant an unexpected extra night in Amsterdam but it gave us time to reflect as a team and chat through what we took away from the day.

Our key takeaways included:

Lucy, Head of Programme:
“Going to the inaugural Arts Marketing Europe conference in Amsterdam was a great experience. I particularly loved hearing about the publicity campaign for Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. I bought the book for my mum for Christmas, because you’re never too old to be a Rebel Girl.”

Amy, Head of Marketing — Membership:
“It was certainly a lesson learned about always bringing more spare clothes when travelling! More seriously, it was really interesting to hear from so many delegates how the UK is looked to as a leader in arts and culture, in how we are approaching and tackling issues across the sector.”

Verity, Head of Marketing — Events:
“I loved speaking to other delegates from different countries and learning about their challenges. In terms of diversifying audiences, it definitely felt like UK organisations were doing more in this area.”

The snow melted (a little) and our Amsterdam adventure came to an end on Saturday morning. Back to Britain armed with lots of ideas and some great new connections.


Fancy going to an arts marketing conference yourself? Remember to book your place for this year’s AMA conference — The Power of Play which will be in Liverpool from 24 – 26 July 2018.