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16th January 2019 Jemma Green

Carys Bradley-Roberts — AMA events and me

Carys Bradley-Roberts | Creative Programming and Marketing Assistant | Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

In the first six weeks of my first full time marketing role, I attended the AMA ‘Power of Play’ Conference in Liverpool. Having very little experience of networking and attending conferences, particularly on a national scale, I was prepared to feel little overwhelmed and a tad out of place.  However, from my initial ‘first-timers’ networking event to the informative and enlightening ‘breakout sessions’ I immediately felt part of the AMA family. By splitting the sessions into Strategic, Practical and Leadership, it’s easy to identify which sessions are most suited to your level and your method of learning.

I travelled back to Cardiff full of ideas and enthusiasm for keeping up-to-date with the latest trends in digital arts marketing and different methods of communicating with audiences. I also travelled back having made many new ‘conference friends’, most of which I had met in my first networking event and, since then, have been in touch with both professionally and socially.

Five months later, I had the great news that I’d received a bursary to attend the Digital Marketing Day in the British Museum in London. The nervousness I’d experienced prior to July’s conference had completely evaporated and I was ready to learn, to network and to be creative in a welcoming and stimulating environment. I learnt about current trends in digital marketing by Google, Audience Finder and other UK arts venues who shared their experiences of using digital to communicate and engage with audiences in new ways. One area in particular which I wanted to further develop was monitoring and evaluating the success of marketing campaigns by using data to inform future strategies and approaches. I attended a great Data session led by Chris Unitt, founder of user research agency One Further. Chris shared some invaluable tools for arts organisations to use and I have since been exploring different ways our venue can apply this when monitoring our website, social media and email campaigns.

The AMA has played a significant role in my first six months of working in arts marketing. It has further solidified my learning, helped me make invaluable connections, developed my confidence when networking and sharing ideas and has made me feel part of a wider, collaborative industry and network of arts professionals.

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

  1. I developed my confidence when networking with other like-minded individuals; in particular I spoke to others from Wales whom I’d been introduced to in a South Wales Regional Meeting. This was an invaluable opportunity to extend my network of arts professionals in Wales and I hope to continue this communication when I’m back in Cardiff- in terms of reciprocal marketing and the sharing of ideas.
  2. Keeping on trend and learning about the latest digital technology being used by organisations today. This will allow us to make sure that our organisation aligns with wider trends in the arts landscape- and that the arts keep up to date with trends and innovation in other industries
  3. I learnt in detail about various free tools and software our team can use to monitor our campaigns and evaluate data