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Creating a digital magazine for Instagram #digilab

Jade Joseph, from Ideas Test, has put together a fantastic video about her experiments with Instagram for the Digital Lab. Great inspiration for any experiments you would like to do on the platform.

A personalised message with cultural relevance #ADA


“Multicultural groups are becoming immune to blanket messages. They desire a personalised message with cultural relevance.” — Media Reach Advertising


Town Hall Symphony Hall’s recent work in Handsworth has been possible through collaboration. A partnership with Soho Road BID has resulted in poster campaigns along the high street, showcasing the artists from that area performing at the venues, and a partnership with Holyhead School has resulted in those same local artists delivering education workshops – one of which was featured on BBC Midlands today. As a result of these partnerships, conversations with other groups and individuals from the area are now beginning and an ambition to deliver a long-term provision.

Image and video courtesy of Richard Loftus, Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham

What would you dig up?

At the Inclusivity and Audiences Symposium, we are asking delegates to become co-curators of a one-off installation called Come Dig with Me.

The installation will be made of words, images and items brought by delegates, that represent their organisation’s current position or thinking about the themes of the Symposium.

We want delegates to stretch their imaginations and use their critical thinking skills, so we asked the event speakers and AMA team what they would bring, to give you some ideas:

Karena Johnson | Keynote Speaker


I would bring this image from our latest season, as I think it represents our vision perfectly. (extra spacing needed here)

Cath Hume | CEO | AMA


I would bring a set of keys, to represent the idea that everyone should be able to ‘unlock’ our organisation.

Lucy Jamieson |  Head of Programme | AMA


I would bring a compass (or an image of one if I can’t find an actual compass) to show that we are heading in the right direction.

Raksha Dave |  Symposium Chair


I would bring the word TEAM and also an image of the team I have recently been working on a documentary with in Egypt.

Jo McLeish |  Breakout Speaker


I would bring a photograph that was taken during ‘Walk My Journey’, a project that I produced this year.

‘Walk My Journey’ is a combination of a live street performance and a short documentary, documenting the experiences of refugees from across the world as they journeyed into the UK.  ‘Walk My Journey’ involved 700 primary school children, 25 schools, 4 teenagers, 3 charities and 6 refugees and asylum seekers.

This photograph represents the coming together of us humans, of seeing no barriers… the humans behind the headlines.

Bea Udeh | Programme Producer | AMA


I’d bring a ball of wool as it begs the questions: how long is it? / why is it not string? / where is the end?

Carol Jones | Editor | AMAculturehive


I think I’d bring this simple quote from the LGBT Human Rights Activist, Stuart Milk (nephew of Harvey Milk):

“We are less when we don’t include everyone.”

Boseda Olawoye | Breakout Speaker


I would bring a photo from my ‘What does it mean to be British?’ project, as I’ll be talking about this project during my provocation.


Amy Firth | Head of Marketing — Membership | AMA

I’d bring a pair of 3D glasses to represent seeing the full depth of the challenges we face.

Jemma Green | Senior Marketing Officer — Events | AMA


I’d bring this quote from my icon, actress and UNICEF ambassador, Audrey Hepburn:

“I don’t believe in collective guilt, but I do believe in collective responsibility.”



Visit the Inclusivity and Audiences Symposium page

Visit the Inclusivity and Audiences Symposium Programme page

Visit the Inclusivity and Audiences Symposium Timetable page


Top left — Image courtesy of Karena Johnson, Hoxton Hall Spring 2018 Season Image © Sharron Wallace

All other images — Courtesy of

Diverse City at Digital Marketing Day 2018

At the AMA we offer a range of bursaries to some of our biggest events, to help people like you in the cultural sector achieve your organisational and professional goals.

Alexa Ledecky, Social Media Coordinator at Diverse City, was one of our lucky Digital Marketing Day 2018 bursary recipients.

To document her experience at the British Museum, she has put together her very first vlog  — and we think it’s brilliant!

Video ⓒ Alexa Ledecky Diverse City

Twitter — @diversecity1


Digital Marketing Day 2018 — a roundup by sponsors Ticketsolve

AMA digital marketing day 2018 digital sponsor

As the main sponsors for Digital Marketing Day 2018 — Future Now, our first objective was to come back to the office filled new ideas, concepts and possibilities to help our customers face the future.

We’ve been incredibly excited for Digital Marketing Day. To gear up for the day, we spent the week leading up to the conference creating a series of Future Now blogs in line with AMA’s exciting programme to highlight digital marketing campaigns, tools, and techniques which we are currently implementing and growing within Ticketsolve. We used the conference in both, London and Glasgow to find the inspiration to try them out in new and exciting ways.

The programme and timetable for this year’s digital marketing day was broad-ranging and insightful. Our Solvers present on site decided to divide and conquer – exploring as much of the extensive programme as possible and getting to meet many of the wonderful delegates attending The British Museum and CCA Glasgow locations. There’s a lot to take in but we’re here to make it simple and exciting for you now with our recap of Digital Marketing Day 2018.

The theme of this years conference was bold — The Future. Projecting where we will be in five years time, which platforms we will be using, and what technology will come, are not easy predictions (we don’t even know what we will be eating for lunch tomorrow)! The driver behind such a striking theme is to prepare arts and culture organisations for what lies ahead and how, now as futurists, we can strive to engage with our audiences on a deeper level in a creative and inspiring manner.

Arts and Culture Organisations Can Help Create The Future

It is the sole responsibility of the arts and cultural sector to create the future. Futurist Anne Lise Kjaer opened Future Now with this striking idea. Using her experience with understanding consumer mindsets and trends, Kajaer’s talk focused on where the arts and cultural sector, and our audiences, might be heading, and more importantly, how we programme around, engage with and market to those audiences. Her goal was to use the opening talk to focus our thoughts on the future – think broader and consider possible future opportunities.

“We must battle into the future,” was her opening statement, as we explored the future in a different context. Tomorrow’s measure of successful marketing will evolve around emotional intelligence and meaningful dialogue.

From the opening of the conference, it was clear that in order to embody the role of a futurist marketeer, we need new dynamic thinking within our organisations. Social media for social media’s sake is not how we will make a difference in the lives of our audiences, or engage them. We must embrace a stakeholder mindset and encourage the concept of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. That means putting our mission at the forefront and prioritising meaningful engagement.

This is key to understanding where the arts and culture sector needs to go next because it is becoming harder and harder to get your voice heard – there is a cacophony of voices vying for attention. Shouting louder, or using a larger print, will not get the attention of your audience. You need to make a difference and a meaningful connection for audience members. In fact, only 1 in 5 brands make a difference in the lives of their consumers – and those brands are the ones most favoured by consumers.

Let’s explore this further through dissecting key takeaways from a few of our favourite sessions from both London and Glasgow.

Reimagining the Stalwart of Public Institutions

Without a doubt, the key to opening the future is through multimedia based on emotional intelligence to create meaningful dialogue. We are all embarking on a unique journey for certain, with many different routes we can trial, tweak, and explore. But we must realise the future is not where we go – that is not the end goal – the goal is what we create. We can create a unique method of building new communities and connecting the dots between our current customer segments. As a global citizen and futurist thinker, there are many ways that we can make our missions more meaningful for diverse audiences. A great example of this is The New York Public Library and how they took a familiar platform and made it entirely unique to their organisation.

Richert Schorr, NYPL’s director of digital media got us thinking about taking something old and reinventing it into ways that no one else would think of: take Instagram stories and make them fresh and new.

New York Public Library’s approach is to use marketing to create something that actually makes people’s lives better. The team used NYPL’s already strong foundation of trust to construct actual experiences and tools, tapping into the needs of their audiences. So how did they do this? By tweaking the main concept of Instagram stories.

The team took Instagram stories and transformed it into an imaginative e-reader – dubbed Insta Novels. The idea behind the project was to inspire their audiences to pick up a book – and re-engage with the library. This is exactly what emotional intelligence means. They used an already existing platform in a new and unique (and human) way to connect and engage with their audiences. The results speak for themselves: NYPL grew their audience platform on Instagram with an increase of 62% of followers. Would we love to think that we could create a goal like this for ourselves in the future? Yes, please!!!!

Take a look at their partnership project with Mother on the NYPL Instagram page.

Have A Clear Objective

Defining the project is, of course, central for all projects, but it is of vital importance if you want to watch your future-forward project thrive and flourish just as the team at NYPL did. Keep in mind, it’s never just social media for social media sake.

So ask yourself what are your core objectives:

  1. Do you want to increase your casual engagement with your audience in a playful manner?
  2. Are you experimenting on a new platform with little to no followers?
  3. How can we increase our memberships for 2019 by 20%?

The objective needs to blend in with any project in order for you to see results from new campaigns, especially those which have never been attempted before. Although it can seem daunting, there is something exciting about playing with the unknown! And remember if you are data-driven – you can always tweak and change as you go.

Get Everyone Aboard the Digital Transformation Train

Now that you have your project objective and idea let’s share the excitement around the team. Adam Koszary from The British Museum of Rural Life shared with us The Absolute Unit and Culture Change — using the Objective First Framework to make your colleagues digital marketers. Sound ambitious? It should! After all, our future is a path of our own making – so let’s be ambitious!

Getting engagement from the whole team means that we need to make digital marketing a focal point for our whole organisation. The beauty of digital marketing and a data-driven approach is that we can quantify our results, and everyone has a part to play. In other words, we can ‘wow’ all members of the team with stats, figures, and growth. Encouraging your colleagues to contribute and incorporate digital marketing into their own roles will add momentum to any project. Online engagement today is as relevant and as meaningful as physical engagement. Digital transformation is one of the biggest things facing the world. You need to be at peace with social media- it is not a chore, and it certainly isn’t going anywhere. We need to shift our view from social media as a marketing tool to social media as an engagement tool. This shift not only hits on our goal of being more engaged with our audiences, but it also makes it easier to use these tools as marketers.

Getting colleagues into the digital platform is difficult but patience and persistence will encourage their confidence in Facebook remarketing, boosting posts on Instagram, or sponsoring posts. Set a SMART target and watch their enthusiasm grow when it’s achieved.

The Future is Now

The arts and cultural sector is a pioneering community and Future Now has really instilled in us a new seed of inspiration. It is our responsibility now to take that seed and firmly plant it within our strategy, our campaigns, our team and our audiences. We’re feeling bold and brave since Future Now and as proud futuristic marketeers, we’re excited to get our hands on as many different campaigns as possible.

Craving more great ideas? We’re talking all things podcasting and how it could become part of your arts marketing arsenal.

Originally published by Lucy Costello | Business Development Executive | Ticketsolve

The benefits of a bursary

At the AMA we offer a range of bursaries to some of our biggest events, to help people like you in the cultural sector achieve your organisational and professional goals.

For Digital Marketing Day 2018 there were 30 bursaries available and some of our lucky applicants have written blog posts about their experience — from how the bursary benefitted them to what they learnt on the day.

We’ve collated all the posts in the grid below, so why not pick one and find out why you should apply for a bursary and how an AMA event can have a lasting impact on your career.


Being provocative can be a good thing #AMAinclusivity

This February we are launching the Inclusivity and Audiences Symposium in Birmingham. As with our other events you can expect informative Keynotes and insightful breakout sessions, but for the Symposium we will be introducing ‘provocations’ to challenge our delegates.

Below, AMA Programme Producer Bea Udeh outlines just what you can expect from these provocations and what she hopes you will take away from the challenges our speakers put in front of you:


So, as the Inclusivity and Audiences Symposium is a brand-new event, we are going to be trying something a little different by having four amazing speakers deliver provocations that will open you up to different points of view.

I think these perspectives are an opportunity for sharing ideas, to move thought forward and to disrupt our thinking in terms of how ideas can be formed and explored. They’ll look at how we engage with our audiences and how we can include them in the conversation — from our policies and strategies to the actual art of what it is that we want to achieve.

The Rough Side of Town — what do you really know about your neighbourhood?

Boseda Olawoye will take you to the streets, where some of us will never ever dare to step. Her steps into these streets mean that she leaves her biases at a different door in order to set up projects with these audiences.

Slanguage (noun) a form of slang — not another one for the tick-box list

Rinkoo Barpaga is a man who observes the world from a place of double discrimination or sometimes even triple. As a deaf, Asian British man, he works to be authentic through language in an ever-changing world of slang and slanguage.

Ivory Towers — climb down and get into the communities

Jo McLeish will spark passion about how audiences are engaged from the beginning of a process, keeping the end in mind, and she’s going to take it to the place where leadership and community voices intersect.

United Front — the synergy between young people and organisational development

Zeddie Lawal will be posing a model that blasts the notion that young people are not ready to lead from the front.

Obviously, these provocations will tickle and inspire you, but ultimately, we want you to take them from the Symposium out into your daily work, so that you can make an impact for achieving a better society.

Bea Udeh | Programme Producer | AMA

Visit the Inclusivity and Audiences Symposium page

Visit the Inclusivity and Audiences Symposium Programme page

Visit the Inclusivity and Audiences Symposium Timetable page

Rebecca Dann — when digital technology meets inclusivity

Rebecca Dann | Marketing Assistant | artsdepot

My favourite session at Digital Marketing Day 2018 was Creating inclusive digital experiences today — with the tech of tomorrow with Robin Christopherson MBE from AbilityNet.

This session was one of my favourites firstly because it was led by a disabled person. Too often when attending conferences that have a section on inclusion, they are led by non-disabled people who don’t have first-hand experience of disabling barriers, nor have they usually consulted with disabled people about what barriers they may face. As a disabled person, it is really important to have those who are most benefited by inclusion, speaking and working with those who may not necessarily experience or think about the barriers.

I also really liked this session because I have a real passion for access and inclusion in the arts and in society at all levels. Having previously worked for Unlimited, based at Shape Arts, I have learnt a lot about working with disabled artists. I have been involved in many projects over the years working with education and arts organisations to be more inclusive, but times constantly change and technology advances and although I can understand what access helps myself, I am always looking to learn more about what could benefit other disabled people. That made this session incredibly valuable to me.

As marketeers it is vital to be inclusive in how we promote the work that we do within our arts organisations, predominantly our aims in the work we do is to attract audiences, so in order to do that we must cater to everyone and that starts before a disabled person even enters the building, through promotional material and our websites.

This session really got me thinking of ways in which technology could be used to be inclusive of disabled people from all backgrounds. Although this one was catered for visually impaired people, it made me wonder what other technology is out there that could be incorporated within the current arts venue I work at that could help others.

Something that comes up a lot when talking about access is ‘budget’ and I think a great way of fighting that argument is to explore and research the free technology that is already out there and really harness them. Enabling disabled audiences to access theatres and arts organisations more freely.

As Anne Lise Kjaer said in her opening keynote from Glasgow “… people say ‘We don’t have the budget’…you don’t need a budget to be creative.”


My 3 top benefits of attending Digital Marketing Day 2018 were:

  1. Expand existing knowledge as well as learning new things to help your organisation progress
  2. Sharing ideas with others and working together to create new solutions
  3. Networking and meeting other people in the sector from all different levels

Alexandra Stampler-Brown — an international perspective

Alexandra Stampler-Brown | Managing Director | Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg

I have a background in Arts Marketing and like to stay close to the latest developments in that sector, even though I have ‘moved on’ to the position of Managing Director of one of Germany’s leading opera companies. I benefited not only from the experts talks but also from breaking out from the usual every-day management work and providing time for out-of-the-box thinking. For me, it was also a great benefit to re-connect to my old home, Scotland, and see how the sector has developed over the past years, in comparison to other countries in Europe. It provided me with a fresh and international perspective, which is very inspirational.

I liked the multi-channel communications with its 8 trends that Annelise Kjaer presented, and how a meaningful dialogue can work in the future. I am currently involved in strategic planning and thinking about the future of opera and ballet, so the trend atlas with social, emotional, spiritual and scientific building blocks looked like an interesting visual map of the future.

The session with Charlotte Gross from National Theatre of Scotland was also very relevant to me, as social inclusion and accessibility is currently a hot topic in Germany. It seems that in Scotland there are more best practice examples we can learn from. It showed me how new technology and digitalisation can help us with the inclusion topic — this was something new and a big spark for me!

Overall, I found the live-link to the London exciting and it felt that we were part of a bigger conference. It worked very well and smoothly, this is an idea to recommend for the future. If time allows, I’d would love to attend more AMA events that deal with strategic and development issues, and hope to come to the UK at least once a year.

Cat Reilly — Why did a fat sheep go viral? And other important questions

Cat Reilly | Marketing Manager | PACE Theatre Limited

I wanted to attend the AMA’s Digital Marketing Day 2018 — Future Now because I’ve recently taken on a newly-created marketing role within my organisation and since arriving my priorities have been very much about defining what the organisation is, what our message is and who our audience are. As a youth-focused arts organisation, we believe it is particularly important to keep up to date with digital advances and so that was what made this day particularly attractive to me.

The mix of blue-sky thinking and practical case studies has, for me, always been the best thing about AMA events. It was really inspiring to hear Anne Lise Kjaer talk about ‘being’ the story rather than telling the story, and about the change in thinking around segmentation, suggesting that it’s more helpful to identify people by mindset than by age, sex, geography etc.  Sounds logical when it’s put like that but a change in mindset from the way marketers have traditionally approached audiences.

The sessions from Adam at MERL and Hannah at GWL were really clarifying for me, prompting me to stop and think about our ‘voice’. Already I have been re-thinking our tone and making tweaks to our communications, and I’m confident that there will be much more scope for that to develop.

It’s a cliché but days like these give you some time to think and re-focus your priorities. Particularly for me, as a team of just one, it’s really vital for me to be able to hear other people’s experience. It’s amazing how many ideas can be triggered in this way; not just in the sessions but in conversations with colleagues and peers during the breaks too.

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