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Dramatic Marketing: Energizing and Engaging Your Audience

March 22, 2012 5:30 - March 24, 2012 10:00 pm

Seattle, WA

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre invited members to beautiful Seattle, WA on March 22, 23 and 24 for our 2012 Spring Conference, where we took a 360° look at marketing and audience engagement, with a focus on providing a total experience — before, during and after the show — to your patrons. How do you balance the desires of decades-long subscribers with the need to reach brand new audiences? How can you use data to learn more about your members’ needs, interests and wishes, and then act on that information? What can new technologies bring, and how do they mix with older methods? Through panels, breakout sessions and a keynote speech on Breaking the Fifth Wallby Eugene Carr, attendees got concrete ideas that could be adapted for their theatres. Plus plenty of time to network with colleagues at cocktail parties, meals and shows hosted by The 5th Avenue Theatre and Village Theatre.


Phil Santora, TheatreWorks (CA), Chair
Harriet Kittner, Goodspeed Musicals (CT)
Laura Little, LLL Productions (ID)


Sean Kelly, The 5th Avenue Theatre (WA), Chair
Jamie Lilly, Village Theatre (WA)
Dan McMahon, Goodspeed Musicals (CT)
John Thew, Theater Latté Da (MN)



Thursday, March 22

5:30 – 7:30 pm Kick-Off Cocktail Partyhosted by The 5th Avenue Theatre

1308 5th Avenue

This is the official start of the conference and is included with your registration!

8 pm First Date

ACT Falls Theatre, 700 Union StreetConference Add-On Event – Sign up when you register!

Tickets for this evening are very limited. Register now!

Friday, March 23

8:30 – 9:30 am Check-In and Continental Breakfast

W Seattle – 1112 4th Avenue

Great Room Foyer (2nd Floor)

Sponsored by Pittsburgh CLO

9:30 – 10:15 amWelcome Remarks and 30-Second Success Stories

Great Room 2

10:15 – 11:15 amKeynote: Breaking the Fifth Wall: Rethinking Arts Marketing for the 21st Century

Great Room 2

Eugene Carr, CEO, Patron Technology

What if you could “break the fifth wall” and reconnect with your patrons beyond your theater, using technology to become a part of their day-to-day lives? That’s the theme of Breaking the Fifth Wall: Rethinking Arts Marketing for the 21st Century, by Eugene Carr (CEO) and Michelle Paul (Product Manager) from Patron Technology.

Eugene Carr will highlight each section of the book, presenting results from the company’s nationwide survey of online arts patron behavior, and talk about how to transform your organization’s audience-development efforts using e-mail marketing, website design, social media, and CRM, as well as ponder the future direction of technology and how it will affect audience development for the theater.

11:15 – 11:45 amNetworking Coffee Break

Great Room Foyer

11:45 am – 12:45 pmPanel: Branding the Experience

Great Room 2

Every point of contact with a patron is a marketing opportunity. How do you sell the entire experience of your theatre, not just the individual show? How do staff members across departments contribute to your brand? How do new audience members approach you, and you them?

Moderated by Dan McMahon (Goodspeed Musicals), with Kevin Moore (The Human Race Theatre Company), Denny Reagan & Laura Peters (The Muny) and Nena Theis (North Carolina Theatre).

12:45 – 2:15 pmLunch and NAMT Membership Update

Studio 6-7-8 (3rd Floor)

Sponsored by R&H Theatricals

2:15 – 3:15 pmPanel: What Social and Digital Media Can/Can’t Do

Great Room 2 (2nd Floor)

Twitter and Facebook are great for some things, less so for others. Are they the right tools for your staff and your audience? How can you get in on the conversation? What other platforms are out there, and where is it all headed? We’ll hear from members and other experts with concrete examples of what has and hasn’t worked for them.

Moderated by Phil Santora (TheatreWorks), with Michael Betts (Musical Theatre West), Elisbeth Challener (ZACH Theatre), Caroline Renard (Digital Media and CRM Specialist) and Jim Royce (Center Theatre Group).

3:15 – 3:30 pmA Word From Our Sponsor: Travelzoo

3:30 – 4:15 pmConcurrent Conversations

Small group discussions on topics that interest you. Share successes, learn from others, ask questions! All topics will be covered twice over 1 1/2 hours so that you may attend two.

Media Mix: Print, Online, Broadcast and More

Studio 1

Dan McMahon (Goodspeed Musicals) leads a conversation
about all the ways to advertise and communicate in the digital age. How are you dividing your precious media dollars? What works in your community? Has your audience’s preferences changed?

Team Marketing: Applying Marketing Techniques Across Departments

Studio 2

Sean Kelly (The 5th Avenue Theatre) leads a conversation about how the marketing staff can work with other departments, from development to production. How is the rest of your staff representing your theatre and branding the experience, as discussed earlier today?

Engaging Younger Audiences

Great Room 2

Michael Kline (Music Theatre of Wichita) leads a conversation about Wichita’s own very successful campaign for attracting and keeping younger generations of theatre-lovers, plus a chance to share your own successes, ideas and frustrations.

4:15 – 5:00 pmConversations Repeat

5:30 – approx 11 pmAn Evening at Village Theatre

Hosted by Village Theatre

Bus begins boarding at 5:30 across Seneca Street from the W Hotel entrance and leaves at 5:45 pm sharp.

  1. Wine and hors d’oeuvres
  2. Tours of the Village Theatre’s Issaquah campus
  3. It Shoulda Been You (Festival 2009)at Village Theatre Mainstage

Conference Add-On Event – Sign up when you register!

Saturday, March 24

9:00 – 10:00 am Networking Breakfast

W Seattle – 1112 4th Avenue

Studio 6-7-8 (3rd Floor)

Start the day with a plated breakfast (please don’t be late!) and time to talk to colleagues. We’ll have tables set aside for marketing staffs to talk shop, and the NAMT staff will be on hand to chat about membership, benefits and our plans for 2012-2013.

Sponsored by Music Theatre International

10:15 – 11:15 amPanel: Subscription Smackdown! Successful Models for Traditional and Non-Traditional Seasons

Great Room 2 (2nd Floor)

Subscriptions, flex passes, different programming for different audiences… what works for your theatre and your audience? How do you get new people in the door and get them to come back? How do different strategies work for organizations of different sizes? We’ll hear from leaders who have very successful subscription programs, and from some who have done away with them…or wish they could. With plenty of time for questions, stories and debate from the audience.

Moderated by John Thew (Theater Latté Da), with Alli Houseworth (Woolly Mammoth Theatre), Becky Lathrop (ACT Theatre), Jamie Lilly (Village Theatre) and Lorraine VanDeGraaf-Rodriguez (Theatreworks).

11:30 am – 12:15 pmConcurrent Presentations and Conversations

Drill down in smaller groups on topics that interest you or continue discussions from earlier in the day. All topics will be covered twice over 90 minutes so that you may attend two.

Presentation: Dynamic Pricing — Nuts and Bolts for All Organizations

Great Room 2

What is dynamic pricing and how does it work? There are different ways to define it and approach that can work for all theatres and audiences. Jeff Loeb (Broadway/LA), Jim Royce (Center Theatre Group) and Laura Willumsen (TRG Arts) will present their approaches and success stories with plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Conversation: To Discount or Not to Discount — Groupon and More

Studio 1

Jim Mercer (Pittsburgh CLO) and Jason Sheets (Travelzoo) lead a conversation about the pros and cons of discounting. Do last-minute deals lead to repeat patrons? Do people come back at full price? What is an empty seat worth? Get pointers on successful use of daily deal sites and share your own stories.

The New Press

Studio 2

Randy Adams (Junkyard Dog Productions) leads a conversation on the changing face of PR, as traditional media move online and change their arts coverage, and bloggers and social media gain status. Every market and audience is different; how have you changed your approach? What works for you? What new challenges are you facing in getting reviews, coverage and word of mouth?

12:15 – 1:00 pmBreakouts Repeat

1:00 – 2:30 pmLunch

Studio 6-7-8 (2nd Floor)

Sponsored by Broadway/LA

2:45 – 4:30 pmCase Studies: Data Driven Marketing

Downstairs at The 5th: The Marilynn Sheldon Rehearsal and

Education Center (DAT-5)

1308 5th Avenue (enter under the 5th Avenue marquee, down the stairs to the right)

Hear case studies of very successful initiatives at two member theatres. First, learn about Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’s ongoing audience survey, from which they are gaining valuable knowledge about how to market future productions, as well as essential data to report to funders.

Danyel Siler (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma)

Then, learn how The 5th Avenue Theatre, in concert with TRG Arts, is building a wholly new model of patron engagement.  Organizations  from small to large will benefit from viewing their patrons through the lens of loyalty. Learn techniques that you can take back home to drive retention as well as increase engagement and revenue.

Sean Kelly (The 5th Avenue Theatre) and Laura Willumsen (TRG Arts)

4:30 – 5 pmClosing Thoughts

As we say goodbye to the Spring Conference, a chance to ask unanswered questions or share those burning thoughts.

5 – 5:30 pmFarewell Wine and Cheese

The 5th Avenue Theatre DAT-5

Hosted by The 5th Avenue Theatre

6 pmConference Closing Dinner

Palomino, City Centre, 1420 5th Avenue, 3rd Floor

Conference Add-On Event – Sign up when you register!

8 pmFirst Date

ACT Falls Theatre, 700 Union Street

Conference Add-On Event – Sign up when you register!


Ken Levin
42nd Street Moon
Alli Houseworth
Alli Houseworth
Jeff Loeb
Marsha Brooks
Brooks and Distler
Larry Brooks
Brooks and Distler
Kelley Kirkpatrick
Center Theatre Group
Jim Royce
Center Theatre Group
Rick Boynton
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
John Fionte
Cumberland County Playhouse
Barry Halvorson
Fulton Theatre
Aaron Young
Fulton Theatre
Donna Lynn Hilton
Goodspeed Musicals
Dan McMahon
Goodspeed Musicals
Randy Adams
Junkyard Dog Productions
Mary Cook
La Jolla Playhouse
Danyel Siler
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Steven Peterson
Maine State Music Theatre
Buck Mason
McCoy Rigby Entertainment
Matt Boethin
Music Theatre International
Richard Salfas
Music Theatre International
Vickie Kline
Music Theatre of Wichita
Michael Kline
Music Theatre of Wichita
Michael Betts
Musical Theatre West
Adam Grosswirth
National Alliance for Musical Theatre
Branden Huldeen
National Alliance for Musical Theatre
Kimberly Lewis
National Alliance for Musical Theatre
Betsy King Militello
National Alliance for Musical Theatre
Kristin Buie
North Carolina Theatre
Nena Theis
North Carolina Theatre
Mike Ceceri
North Shore Music Theatre
Bradford Kenney
Ogunquit Playhouse
Eugene Carr
Patron Technology
Jim Mercer
Pittsburgh CLO
Debi Coleman
Rainy Day Productions LLC
Kathy Evans
Rhinebeck Writers Retreat
Dana Siegel
Rodgers & Hammerstein
Michelle Yaroshko
Rodgers & Hammerstein
Lauren Patten
Rubicon Theatre
Alyson Schuster
Rubicon Theatre
Brad Lohrenz
Samuel French
Jon Rake
Tacoma Musical Playhouse
Maria Valenzuela
Tacoma Musical Playhouse
David Armstrong
The 5th Avenue Theatre
Bill Berry
The 5th Avenue Theatre
Bernadine C. Griffin
The 5th Avenue Theatre
Sean Kelly
The 5th Avenue Theatre
Marilynn Sheldon
The 5th Avenue Theatre
Alan Anderson
The Broadway Rose Theatre
Sharon Maroney
The Broadway Rose Theatre
Kevin Moore
The Human Race Theatre Company
Peter Blair
The Marriott Theatre
Peter Sullivan
The Marriott Theatre
Aaron Thielen
The Marriott Theatre
Laura Peters
The Muny
Larry Pry
The Muny
Denny Reagan
The Muny
Dave Henson
The Old Globe
Michael Murphy
The Old Globe
Lynne Wheeler
The Old Globe
Peter Rothstein
Theater Latté Da
John Thew
Theater Latté Da
Paige Price
Theatre Aspen
Emily Zeck
Theatre Aspen
John Breckenridge
Theatre Under The Stars
Jonathan Amores
Syche Phillips
Phil Santora
Lorraine VanDeGraaf-Rodriguez
Sean Cercone
Theatrical Rights Worldwide
Fred Stuart
Theatrical Rights Worldwide
Jason Sheets
Laura Willumsen
TRG Arts
Henry Fonte
University of Miami
Lyndsey Hammond
Village Theatre
Robb Hunt
Village Theatre
Louise Kincaid
Village Theatre
Jamie Lilly
Village Theatre
Jennifer Moore
Village Theatre
Diane Wright
Village Theatre
Harriet Schlader
Woodminster Summer Musicals
Elisbeth Challener
ZACH Theatre