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Balancing Act: Managing Today's Marketing Challenges

April 3, 2014 5:30 - April 5, 2014 7:30 pm

ZACH Theatre, 1510 Toomey Rd, Austin, TX 78704

The 2014 Spring Conference was held in Austin, TX, a growing hub of technology and internet commerce and the “live music capital of the world,” for an exciting look at how theatres can balance traditional and modern marketing, technology and the personal touch, and big ideas and limited budgets. In addition to NAMT members, we heard from experts from other arts organizations and from outside of the arts/not-for-profit world, giving attendees concrete ideas to take home to their theatres and implement right away. NAMT’s conferences are known for their energy and intimacy, and for giving attendees plenty of opportunities to network with new friends and old. The conference was hosted by ZACH Theatre in their beautiful new mainstage space and around their campus, with additional networking events around the city.

 

CONFERENCE PROGRAM

Conference registration included:

  • Two full days of panels, speakers, breakout sessions, brainstorming and networking!
  • Meals
    • Breakfast, lunch and breaks are included on both conference days.
  • Networking Cocktail Parties
    • The conference kicks off with a cocktail party hosted by ZACH Theatre on Thursday night, plus events around Austin (included with your registration) on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • The Gospel at Colonus at ZACH Theatre
    • Join us for this rarely-seen musical in a beautiful new production at our host theatre. ($20)

Agenda

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Thursday, April 3

5:30 – 7:30 pm Kick-Off Cocktail Partyhosted and sponsored by ZACH Theatre

202 South Lamar

Austin, TX

Sponsored by ZACH Theatre

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

Transportation will be provided from the Hyatt Regency Austin to ZACH Theatre departing the hotel at 5:30, shuttling back and forth until 6:30. If you would like to join the party later, it’s a very easy walk or cab ride from the hotel to the theatre.

 

7:30 pm The Gospel at Colonus 

ZACH’s Topfer Theatre

202 South Lamar

Make a joyful noise! The acclaimed ZACH theatrical landmark returns in an all-new production. Based on Sophocles’ Greek myth “Oedipus” and set in a contemporary African-American gospel church service, this soul-stirring event will move and thrill you with electrifying vocals by Austin’s most acclaimed gospel singers, including Judy Arnold, Janis Stinson, Timothy Curry, Felicia Dinwiddie and Roderick Sanford with a full gospel choir!

Tickets to Gospel at Colonus are just $20, thanks to generous underwriting by ZACH. Sign up when you register for the conference.

 

Friday, April 4

8:00 – 9:00 am Check-In and Continental Breakfast

Hyatt Regency Austin

Join us for breakfast at the conference hotel as we gather before heading to ZACH Theatre to begin our conference sessions.

Sponsored by The Hollywood Pantages

 

9:00 amBus from Hyatt to ZACH Theatre

 

9:30 – 10:00 am15-Second Success Stories

ZACH Theatre, 202 South Lamar

Topfer Theatre

A NAMT conference tradition! Break the ice and introduce yourself by sharing a quick anecdote from your theatre’s year.

10:00 – 11:00 amKeynote Speaker: Hugh Forrest

Topfer Theatre

Hugh Forrest serves as the Director of the SXSW Interactive Festival, the five-day gathering of digital creatives that occurs in Austin every March. Over the last few years, SXSW Interactive has emerged as one of the world’s most influential events for the new media industry. Forrest held several jobs in the newspaper industry before surrendering to the digital revolution.

11:00 – 11:30 amNetworking Coffee Break

Topfer Theatre Lobby

Sponsored by Dallas Summer Musicals, Music Theatre International and Ticketmaster

11:30 am – 12:30 pmBalancing Act

Topfer Theatre

How do you keep pricing competitive while keeping your budget under control? How do strategies like dynamic pricing affect audiences and staff? How do we market the value of musical theatre when it is increasingly perceived as a luxury good? How do pricing and marketing affect audience development and diversity goals? This panel will address these questions and more, with examples of how NAMT member theatres have found this balance for themselves.

Moderated by Dan McMahon (Goodspeed Musicals), with Steven Box (Human Race Theatre Company), Mary Cook (La Jolla Playhouse) and Danyel Siler (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma)

12:30 – 2:00 pmLunch

ZACH Theatre Plaza

Sponsored by R&H Theatricals

 

2:00 – 3:00 pmUsing Data-Driven Marketing

 

Kleberg Theatre

As technology advances, how are theatres using it to learn more about and communicate better with their customers? How can data drive your pricing and budgeting? And how can it all be done on a budget, working with the staff and resources you already have?

Moderated by Jeff Loeb (The Hollywood Pantages), with Eugene Carr (Patron Technology), Anne Paulsen (Ticketmaster) and Nena Theis (North Carolina Theatre)

3:00 pmA Word From Our Sponsor: Theatrical Rights Worldwide

 

3:30 – 4:15 pmBalancing Technology

 

Kleberg Theatre

How does evolving technology affect your marketing strategy, staffing and budgets? What techniques — new and old — are theatres using effectively? What new trends should we be watching out for?

Moderated by Buck Mason (McCoy Rigby Entertainment), with David Dombrosky (Instant Encore), Amanda Farrow (Dallas Summer Musicals), Omar Gallaga (Austin-American Statesman) and Heather Hess (NETworks Presentations)4:15 – 5:00 pmConcurrent Breakout Conversations

An opportunity for attendees to share case studies, success stories and the occasional cautionary tale with each other in small group conversations on specific topics.

New Approaches to Marketing Classics

Whisenhunt Theatre

Led by Dan McMahon (Goodspeed Musicals)
Balancing Cooperation and Competition Within Your Region

Whisenhunt Studio

Led by Mary Cook (La Jolla Playhouse) and Dave Henson (The Old Globe)
Using Video Marketing Effectively

Kleberg Theatre

Led by Steven Box (The Human Race Theatre Company) and Mark Ciglar (Cinevative)

5:00 – 5:30 pmBus from ZACH Theatre to Hyatt

5:30 – 7:30 pmSunset Cruise on Lady Bird Lake

Departs from Hyatt Regency Austin

Join your colleagues for a cruise around Austin with drinks, BBQ and Tex-Mex!

Please be prompt. Once the boat leaves the dock, it’s not coming back until the end of the event.

This event is included with your registration.

Underwritten by Carolyn and Marc Seriff

Saturday, April 5

8:00 – 9:00 am Continental Breakfast

Hyatt Regency Austin

Join us for breakfast at the conference hotel as we gather before heading to ZACH Theatre to begin our conference sessions.

Sponsored by Pittsburgh CLO

 

9:00 amBus from Hyatt to ZACH Theatre

 

9:30 – 10:30 amNew Audiences in the Balance

Topfer Theatre

What does the “next generation” of arts audiences look like and what do they want? How can we encourage the emerging leaders in an organization to be the driving force for reaching this new audience?

Moderated by Michelle Paul (Patron Technology), with Lisa Dozier King (University of Miami/Jerry Herman Ring Theatre), Carly Erickson (NAMT), Adam Grosswirth (NAMT), Lauren Lovell (ZACH Theatre) and Matt Tolbert (Greyman Theatre Company)

10:30 – 11:15 amBrand Balance

Topfer Theatre

Are you selling specific shows, your organization as a destination or the concept of musical theatre in general? Is Broadway a powerful brand for you, or is the hometown pride of a regional theatre? Are theatres allocating a portion of their marketing time and budgets to brand advertising?

Moderated by Mike Ceceri (Theatre by the Sea), with Kwofe Coleman (The MUNY), Cheryl Farley (Ogunquit Playhouse), Frank Ventura (CAP21), Ralph Weeks (Walnut Street Theatre) and Monica Williams (Austin Lyric Opera)

11:30 am – 12:30 pmBalancing Your Season

Topfer Theatre

What does an artistic director think a balanced season looks like? What does a marketing director think a balanced season looks like? When are those concepts at odds with each other? What are the various measures of success? We’ll hear from artistic directors, managing directors and marketing directors about how they work together throughout the season.

With Steve Knight and Phil Santora (Theatreworks) and Elisbeth Challener, Jim Reynolds and Dave Steakley (ZACH Theatre)

12:30 – 2:00 pmLunch

ZACH Theatre Plaza

Sponsored by PatronManager CRM

 

2:00 – 3:00 pmStriking the Balance Between Subscriptions and Single Tickets

 

Kleberg Theatre

At the 2012 Spring Conference, it seemed like most NAMT members were bucking the national trend of shrinking subscription audiences, while some were finding success with new models such as flexible passes. Two years later, what’s changed? Are you planning your season with single tickets in mind? Are flexible pricing models working better for you or are subscriptions still strong? How are members selling their seasons versus their individual shows?

Moderated by Rick Boynton (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), with Christian Brown (Theatre Under the Stars), Ken Levin (Berkeley Playhouse), Mark D. Sylvester (Walnut Street Theatre) and Aaron Young (Fulton Theatre)

3:15 – 4:00 pmConcurrent Breakout Conversations

An opportunity for attendees to share case studies, success stories and the occasional cautionary tale with each other in small group conversations on specific topics.

Classic Approaches to Marketing New Works

Whisenhunt Theatre

Led by Danyel Siler (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma)

Crisis PR: When Bad Things Happen to Good Theatres

Whisenhunt Studio

Led by Nena Theis (North Carolina Theatre)

You Gotta Have a Gimmick

Kleberg Theatre

Led by Keith Cromwell (Red Mountain Theatre Company)

4:00 – 4:30 pmClosing Remarks

Kleberg Theatre

4:30 pmBus from ZACH Theatre to Hyatt

5:30 – 7:30 pmClosing Reception

The Austonian

200 Congress Avenue (at 2nd Street)

55th Floor

Join us at the home of a generous ZACH board member in downtown Austin (directly over the bridge from the hotel) as we say goodbye to Austin and the Spring Conference!

This event is included with your registration.

Underwritten by Mindy Ellmer