Audiences at the Heart

Leeds, 13 — 14 July 2023

Audiences at the Heart

Leeds, 13 — 14 July 2023

Audiences at the Heart

Leeds, 13 — 14 July 2023

The AMA Conference programme will help you make your audiences the centre of your world.

You can view the jam-packed programme below, and to explore the sessions at particular times, click on the links below.

Please note: Registration and refreshments courtesy of Tessitura Network from 9am. If you’re aiming to attend the morning session at 9.30am, please arrive no later than 9.15am so you have time to register beforehand

Thursday 13 July

9:30am — 10:15am

Barber Studio

Bramall Rock Void

City Room

Social Sketchup!

Come and kickstart your day at this fun and uplifting creative session with Sketch Appeal! This is a unique chance to make memorable connections with other delegates, as you share in a creatively empowering experience. Everyone will have the chance to draw and be drawn — to make eye contact and make art!  

Expect to experiment with a range of fun and easy portrait prompts and learn to draw colourful, characterful portraits in a matter of minutes — ZERO SKILLS REQUIRED! You’ll be invited to draw with your non-dominant hand, without looking at the page, pointillist-style and more! The best part? You get to keep the portraits people draw of you at the end!   

What will I gain?
— The chance to make unique and memorable connections with other conference delegates
— A new and fresh perspective on drawing, portraiture and your creative abilities 
— A lovely buzz of endorphins to start your day!

Is this session for me?
This session covers the basics and will suit everyone.

Speaker:
Dulcie Ball, Founding Director, Sketch Appeal CIC

10:30am — 11:15am

Quarry Theatre

Be Bold, Be Brave

A thriving cultural sector needs bold, brave leaders who understand the importance of our audiences and communities; who will prioritise equity, without apology. 

In the opening keynote of the Conference, we hear from an inspiring group of Leeds-based leaders who are changing the script around arts, culture and heritage. 

Is this session for me?
This Keynote is for everyone.

Speakers:
Amanda Huxtable, Co-Director, Vanitas Arts

Kathy Williams, Original member, RJC Dance, Director   

Keran Kaur Virdee, CEO & Artistic Director, South Asian Arts 

Kully Thiarai, Creative Director and CEO, Leeds 2023 

Sharon Watson MBE DL, CEO and Principal, Northern School of Contemporary Dance 

11:35am — 12:25pm

Quarry Theatre

Courtyard Theatre

Barber Studio

Bramall Rock Void

12:25pm — 1:25pm LUNCH

12:45pm — 1:15pm

City Room

Weston Room

1:25pm — 1:55pm

Quarry Theatre

It’s All Yours

More than just advertising

Drawing on experience of developing the ‘It’s all yours’ campaign to increase uptake of the British Library’s free Reader Pass, Helen will discuss how we can help our organisations understand the full breadth and value of marketing by engaging them in the process of developing our campaigns.

With recommendations suitable for large and small organisations, with big budgets or none, this session will reveal the non-advertising solutions that were successful in influencing audience behaviour, and how they were identified with help from colleagues from across the organisation. 

What will I gain?
— Inspiration to see that change is possible, even if it may not feel that way, in any size organisation
— Clear, actionable ideas to implement during any campaign development 
— Perspective: it’s okay to not achieve everything in a marketing campaign; moving forward is key

Is this session for me?
This session covers the basics and will suit everyone.

Speaker:
Helen Young, Senior Marketing Manager, British Library

Courtyard Theatre

Barber Studio

In Plain Sight? Marketing to Blind and Partially Sighted Audiences

The Wellcome Collection exhibition ‘In Plain Sight’ explored the different ways we see and are seen by others. The main objective of the exhibition was to reach blind and partially sighted audiences, meaning that the marketing team had to completely rethink their approach to their marketing strategy.

In this case study, Logan will share their process and how this new approach made them question everything they knew about marketing campaigns — changing their future campaigns for the better.

What will I gain?
— An understanding of how to create a marketing campaign that reaches blind and partially sighted audiences
— Insight into creating assets that are truly inclusive
— Tips on what worked, what didn’t and what could be taken forward into future campaign

Is this session for me?
This session covers the basics and will suit everyone.

Speaker:
Logan Kingsbeer, Marketing Manager, Wellcome Collection

Bramall Rock Void

Tackling your Digital Carbon Footprint on a Large-Scale Outdoor Event

Green Space Dark Skies case study

Green Space Dark Skies was developed with sustainability, accessibility, equality, diversity and inclusion as central pillars. An overarching goal to be carbon positive meant holistic planning was needed across every aspect of the project, including marketing and comms.

In this session, Helen and Tanica will share their learnings in planning, measuring and reducing their digital footprint across all digital comms, including the creation of their own digital emissions calculation tool. 

What will I gain?
— Advice on how to approach measuring your digital carbon footprint
— Top tips for reducing your digital carbon footprint 
— Communicating the importance of environmental sustainability to audiences

Is this session for me?
This is an intermediate session that will suit delegates with some knowledge of the topic covered.

Speakers:
Helen Palmer, Marcomms Consultant, Walk the Plank

Tanica Powell, Marketing & Communications Officer, Walk the Plank

2:15pm — 3:10pm

Quarry Theatre

Print, Keep it or Ditch it?

The venue brochure has long been debated. Should we stop it? It would save money, save time and be better for the planet. But if we stop it how will our audiences know what we’re doing? Especially those who aren’t online.

In this session we’ll hear two perspectives, one from a venue that stopped producing their brochure altogether, and one that continues to produce regular print.   

What will I gain?
— An understanding of the process Sherman Theatre took to review their brochure and why they decided to change direction 
— Space to think about what communications work best for delgates’ audiences 
— A discussion about the place of print in the marketer’s toolkit in 2023 

Is this session for me?
This session covers the basics and will suit everyone.

Speakers:
Ed Newsome, Head of Marketing & Communications, Sherman Theatre

Pam Aldred, Head of Marketing & Communications, Ambassador Theatre Group — Edinburgh Playhouse

Barber Studio

Courtyard Theatre

Bramall Rock Void

3:30pm — 4:10pm

Quarry Theatre

Audiences at the Heart

‘Audiences at the Heart’ isn’t just the theme of this year’s Conference. It’s also the AMA’s vision. So what does ‘audiences at the heart’ mean when it comes to your day to day work? And what could it mean for the future of our sector?

In this keynote, AMA CEO Cath Hume will be joined by key sector voices to bring to life some of the vital work that’s going into putting audiences at the heart.

Is this session for me?
This Keynote is for everyone.

Speakers:
Cath Hume, CEO, AMA

Tim Wood, Management & Communications Consultant

Jane Cordell, Director, Result CIC

Monique Baptiste Brown, Head of Marketing and Audience Development, Brixton House

Friday 14 July

9:30am — 10:15am

Barber Studio

Bramall Rock Void

City Room

Social Sketchup!

Come and kickstart your day at this fun and uplifting creative session with Sketch Appeal! This is a unique chance to make memorable connections with other delegates, as you share in a creatively empowering experience. Everyone will have the chance to draw and be drawn — to make eye contact and make art!  

Expect to experiment with a range of fun and easy portrait prompts and learn to draw colourful, characterful portraits in a matter of minutes — ZERO SKILLS REQUIRED! You’ll be invited to draw with your non-dominant hand, without looking at the page, pointillist-style and more! The best part? You get to keep the portraits people draw of you at the end!   

What will I gain?
— The chance to make unique and memorable connections with other conference delegates
— A new and fresh perspective on drawing, portraiture and your creative abilities 
— A lovely buzz of endorphins to start your day!

Is this session for me?
This session covers the basics and will suit everyone.

Speaker:
Dulcie Ball, Founding Director, Sketch Appeal CIC

10:30am — 11:15am

Quarry Theatre

The Surprisingly Radical Power of Listening to your Audience

A crucial factor in Yorkshire Tea’s success is its distinctively playful and human brand personality — but how was this built? 

In this Keynote, Dom will explore how his previous editorial experience helped Yorkshire Tea think in terms of audience, rather than simply consumer. By conversing with Yorkshire Tea fans, rather than broadcasting at them, they learnt more about how their brand was seen and the ways in which it was loved and talked about. 

Based on a level of empathy that’s arguably a bit radical for a grocery product, Yorkshire Tea created a continually reinforcing system of authentic conversation and entertaining content, which took the brand from best kept secret and regional cult status to becoming the nation’s favourite and a part of pop culture.

Is this session for me?
This Keynote is for everyone.

Speaker:
Dom Dwight, Marketing Director, Taylors of Harrogate

11:35am — 12:25pm

Quarry Theatre

Exploring Emotion and Audience Behaviour

New research and strategies for engagement

Emotion plays a crucial role in shaping the cultural attendance experience. Recent research has highlighted the importance of emotional engagement in driving loyalty, donations, volunteerism, long-term memory, repeat attendance, and positive word-of-mouth communication. However, despite its significance, the role of emotion in audience behaviour is still an under-studied aspect.

Join Ron for an interactive session where we uncover the crucial role of emotion in the attendance experience, reveal new research on innovative ways to measure it, and arm you with a new framework to increase the emotional engagement of your audiences. 

What will I gain?
— Understanding of the impact of emotional engagement
— Best practices for measuring the emotional engagement of your audiences using existing tools
— Tools and resources to prioritize emotional engagement in your own organisation

Is this session for me?
This session covers the basics and will suit everyone.

Speaker:
Dr Ron Evans, Cultural Researcher

Courtyard Theatre

Decolonising Arts Brands  

What it means and why you need to do it

The Arts is particularly affected by the legacy of colonialism, with many buildings still echoing that mindset. This puts off diverse audiences, and increasingly people are becoming more aware of how much of the Arts is built on the wealth of slavery. As the Arts are so influential, decolonisation must apply to them too for the good of society and their income. 

This workshop-style session will explore the ethical and business case for decolonisation, and offers you the chance to take the first steps towards decolonising your brand through practical exercises.

What will I gain?
— The opportunity to work in small groups with your peers
— An understanding of how colonialism still impacts the arts
— Tips on making the first steps towards decolonising your organisation’s brand

Is this session for me?
This is an intermediate session that will suit delegates with some knowledge of the topic covered.

Speaker:
Elma Glasgow, Founder & Director, Aspire Black Suffolk

Barber Studio

Bramall Rock Void

12:25pm — 1:25pm LUNCH

12:45pm — 1:15pm

City Room

Weston Room

1:25pm — 1:55pm

Quarry Theatre

Courtyard Theatre

Using Meta to Increase Audience Reach 

A case study

Since joining Blast Theory, one of Jonny’s key goals has been to better understand audience needs and to use audience insights to create more engaging content.

Using Blast Theory’s ‘Cat Royale’ project as case study on nurturing warm leads and growing new leads on a modest budget, Jonny will explore how Blast Theory exceeded their audience targets through a systematic and iterative approach using Meta ads.

What will I gain?
— Tips on how to better integrate data and insights into comms strategies
— An understanding of how Meta’s lead form functionality
— Ideas for testing your approach at key stages to make sure you keep meeting your goals

Is this session for me?
This session covers the basics and will suit everyone.

Speaker:
Jonny Goode, Communications Manager, Blast Theory

Barber Studio

Pressed Send too soon

The pitfalls of email marketing

In this session Ruth shares her experiences of the perils of email marketing, damage control and how, when you’re really busy, you can press send too soon.

It’s a case study of email error, learning how to deal with mistakes and winning audiences back after invading their inbox — ultimately turning a crisis into an opportunity. 

What will I gain?
— Confidence from knowing you’re not alone — we all make mistakes and it’s the way we deal with them that counts
— An understanding of crisis management skills 
— Tips on data organisation to help you avoid common pitfalls of email marketing

Is this session for me?
This session covers the basics and will suit everyone.

Speaker:
Ruth Jones, Head of Marketing, HOME

Bramall Rock Void

2:15pm — 2:55pm

Quarry Theatre

Artificial Intelligence in Arts Marketing

An introduction

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers marketers incredible opportunities: not just to improve their efficiency, generate new ideas and analyse data quickly, but also to speak to audiences in a much more accessible way.  

AI tools allow us to step back and consider our marketing messages and strategies more objectively with our audiences directly in mind, giving us real-time feedback, which might be impossible to achieve as quickly with any other method.   

This session is a starting point for learning what tools are available, and how you can start using them immediately. Free from hype and buzzwords, you’ll get a grip of the fundamentals you need to begin your own journey into using AI. 

What will I gain?
— Knowledge of AI tools you can begin using immediately to improve your marketing and comms activities  
— Knowledge of how to optimise usage of these tools for different working areas – such as data processing, creating accessible copy, and enabling efficiencies.  
— Awareness of the limitations of these tools and an appreciation of when they might be best applied

Is this session for me?
This session covers the basics and will suit everyone.

Speaker:
Jo Burnham, Freelance/ Marketing Campaigns Manager, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival

Courtyard Theatre

Accessible Arts Marketing cannot be an Afterthought 

This interactive session explores accessible marketing from a number of perspectives, including what disabled people need and want, the artistic vision and the marketing vison.  

How can we ensure our disabled communities are part of shaping and producing our assets, and are aware of what we’re offering? And how do we clarify the business case to advocate for the resource to provide accessible marketing and comms. 

What will I gain?
— Ideas from others about what has worked in terms of accessible marketing
— Confidence to look at how to work around barriers such as lack of funding or time
— A sense of what disabled people express that they need and would like to see in future

Is this session for me?
This session covers the basics and will suit everyone.

Speakers:
Hannah Hughes, Director of Audiences, Leeds Playhouse

Amy Leach, Deputy Artistic Director, Leeds Playhouse

Ben Wilson, Actor, Theatre Maker & Audio Description Consultant

Barber Studio

Bramall Rock Void

Should I Stay, or Should I Go? Is it Ethical for Heritage Organisations to use Social Media?

Following radical changes to Twitter, on top of well-documented abuses at Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, is it ethical for charities to create social media content?

The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland’s Dig It! project hasn’t paid for social media ads for years, but have now gone further and halved their posting. Sally will use the project as a case study to explore arguments for leaving social media and reasons to stay. She will also provide a deep dive into Dig It!’s process, including successes and failures, all while offering tips for peers to consider in their decision-making process.   

What will I gain?
— An understanding of the problems with social media in 2023
— An understanding of the arguments for and against leaving social media
— Tips for aligning social media use with your values

Is this session for me?
This session covers the basics and will suit everyone.

Speaker:
Sally Pentecost, Communications and Events Officer, The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (Dig It! project) 

3:15pm — 4:00pm

Quarry Theatre

Connecting Stories

We can’t underestimate the importance of seeing our own stories, but how can we be creative with them? How can we connect to others’ stories and also platform marginalised ones?

During this Keynote, Testament will use beatboxing and poetry to tell his story. He’ll encourage you to find your own story and collaborate with others to tell a wider connected tale that links communities. 

Is this session for me?
This Keynote is for everyone.

Speaker:
Testament, Rapper, Writer & Beatboxer


With thanks to our Sponsors

Lead Sponsors:

Art Fund Logo
Spektrix Logo
Tessitura Network Logo
The Audience Agency Logo
Ticketsolve logo

Supporting Sponsors:

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HdK Logo
Substrakt logo
Supercool Logo
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