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One Theatre, One Voice: Integrating Marketing and Development

March 29 - April 1, 2017

Los Angeles, CA

We’ve built the 2017 Spring Conference around an idea that’s surfaced repeatedly at recent marketing and development conferences: The full patron experience. In an increasingly data-driven and customer-focused world, marketing and fundraising can and should overlap more and more. While individual relationships will always matter, your patrons support your theatre — whether through subscriptions, group sales, individual ticket purchases, small contributions or big gifts — not an individual department. How do you communicate with your audience and with each other? How do you promote your theatre as a destination both to attend and to support — and how do you actively make those two goals work together? How do programming, education and community engagement play a role? How do your patrons experience your theatre from the moment they receive your mailing, to when they arrive, through the show, to when they leave?

This Conference is designed for anyone who plays a role in the message your theatre and your shows are sending — not only Development and Marketing staffs, but also Artistic Directors, Executive Directors, Managing Directors and commercial producers and presenters. Discounts are available for multiple attendees.

We’ve just moved all our fundraising direct mail to the marketing department for the rest of the year and already it’s a revelation. Watching marketing look at it completely differently from how development has been looking at it, big score. There’s something about that idea that I’ve always wanted to tease out, where you look at skill set more than department.

-Phil Santora, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, at the 2016 Spring Conference

I’m fortunate…that I oversee an integrated marketing and development department. One revenue generating department that oversees all the ways that we speak to and talk to and touch our patrons. We’ve had much success in doing that…. Over the course of the eight years that we’ve had this integrated department, we’ve increased our donor base by just over 30%, we’ve increased our contributed giving three times, and we’ve done that because we have throughout the organization managed how we talk to and cultivate our ticket buyers. I’m a big proponent of the integrated marketing, development, education, audience outreach, customer care department, because you remove that human tendency to silo an organization.

-Gregory Patterson, WaterTower Theatre, at the 2016 Spring Conference


Spring Conference registration includes:

  • panels and case studies from our members and outside experts
    • creating a unified experience for our patrons
    • breaking down silos inside our organizations
    • overcoming challenges to better serve our patrons and ourselves
    • putting a personal face on your theatre
  • vibrant discussion and break-out sessions
  • breakfast and lunch on both days
  • networking cocktail parties
  • ample networking time
  • and more!
Detailed Schedule


Sign up for these great optional add-ons when you register:

  • An American In Paris at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Fun Home at the Ahmanson Theatre
  • Peek Behind the Magic at Disney Imagineering
  • A day at Disneyland with behind-the-scenes extras


  • NAMT Conferences are open to NAMT members in good standing and invited guests.
  • The more people you bring, the more you save!
    • Registration rates are $520-600 per person.
    • Additional options are available for single day rates, Associate Members and invited non-members.
  • Deadlines:
    • Early registration ended on February 20. All prices increased $100 on February 21.
    • The last day to register for the Conference is March 19, 2017.
    • Cancellations will be permitted through March 12. Fees will be refunded, less a $100 service charge. We will not be able to provide any refunds after March 12, however you may transfer your registration to someone else if you are unable to attend.
    • The last day to purchase Fun Home tickets is March 10.


We are very grateful to the sponsors and exhibitors of the 2017 Spring Conference. Please click here for information on supporting NAMT and the benefits of sponsoring or exhibiting at our events.

Sponsor or Exhibit at the Conference

Planning Committee

Educational Resources Committee
Donna Lynn Hilton, Goodspeed Musicals (CT), Chair
Michael Ballam, Utah Festival Opera Company (UT)
Wayne Bryan, Music Theatre Wichita (KS)
Kathy Evans, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat (NY)
Mark Fleischer, Pittsburgh CLO (PA)
Phil Santora, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (CA)

Spring Conference Committee
Frank Stilwagner, Village Theatre (WA), Co-chair
Daniel Thomas, 42nd Street Moon (CA), Co-chair
Nancy Altschuler, Goodspeed Musicals (CT)
Michael Betts, Musical Theatre West (CA)
Lisa Cooney, Paper Mill Playhouse (NJ)
T.J. Dawson, 3-D Theatricals (CA)
Amelia Heape, The Hollywood Pantages (CA)
Matt Morrow, Diversionary Theatre Productions (CA)
Courtney Simms, The MUNY (MO)


  • The NAMT Spring Conference is open to NAMT members in good standing and invited guests. If you are not a NAMT member (or are unsure of your membership status) and would like to attend the Spring Conference, please email Membership Director Adam Grosswirth or call (212) 714-6668 x15.
  • The more people you bring, the more you save!
    Registration rates for Organizational Members are:

    • $500 for the first attendee from your organization
    • $560 for the second attendee
    • $540 for the third attendee
    • $520 for the fourth attendee (and up)
    • A day rate of $400 for the first attendee from your organization and $275 for additional attendees is also available.
    • Associate Member rates are $650 for the full conference and $450 for one day.
    • Non-members may attend the conference by invitation only. Non-member rates are $100 more than organizational member rates.
  • Conference registration includes the kick-off cocktail party on March 29, and two full days of programming on March 30 and 31, including breakfast and lunch.
    • Additional evening events and a special trip to Disneyland are available at additional cost. See details below and when you register.
  • Early registration ended on February 20. All prices increased by $100 on February 21.
  • The final registration deadline is March 19. Email Membership Director Adam Grosswirth for more information.
  • Payments must be received by the registration deadline or your registration will be canceled. Re-registrations will be billed at the applicable rate on the date of the new processing.
  • The cancellation deadline is  March 11. Fees will be refunded, less a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds will be allowed after the cancellation deadline.
Not a member? Email Adam.

Add-On Events

In addition to the main Conference programming, the following events may be added to your registration:

  • An American in Paris at the Pantages Theatre, March 30
    • The national tour of this Tony Award-winning musical is produced by NAMT members Pittsburgh CLO, Apples and Oranges Productions, Triptyk Studios and Sarabeth Grossman, and presented by the Hollywood Pantages Theatre,
    • Tickets $69
  • Peek Inside the Magic at Walt Disney Imagineering, March 30
    • A behind-the-scenes tour of Disney’s studios where your favorite animated and theme park characters and attractions come to life.
    • FREE! Just let us know if you plan to attend when you register.
  • Reception at Center Theatre Group, March 30
    • FREE! Just let us know if you plan to attend when you register.
  • Fun Home at the Ahmanson Theatre, March 31
    • The reimagined national tour  of this Tony Award-winning musical is produced by NAMT member The Public Theater and presented by Center Theatre Group.
    • Tickets $66.50
  • Disneyland, April 1
    • In addition to Park-Hopper tickets to let you enjoy Disneyland Park© and Disney California Adventure Park© to your heart’s content, this special package includes:
      • Round-trip transportation to the park from the Conference hotel.
      • Behind-the-scenes looks at entertainment operations at the Hyperion Theatre.
      • A “lunch and learn” panel with Disneyland staff and creatives.
      • VIP seating at the new Frozen: Live at the Hyperion Stage Show.
    • Tickets $145
      • Additional tickets available when you register, to bring family members!
As of 2/21/17. Rates and details subject to change.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017
5:00 - 7:00 pmKick-Off Cocktail Party

Location TBA, in or near Universal City

Exact time TBA

Thursday, March 30, 2017
7:30 - 8:00 amCheck-in

Hilton Los Angeles Universal City
555 Universal Hollywood Drive

8:00 - 8:30 amTransportation from Hilton to Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Departs from Hilton Los Angeles Universal City

8:30 - 9:30 amBreakfast

The Hollywood Pantages Theatre
6233 Hollywood Boulevard

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

Pantages Theatre Lobby

10:30 - 11:30 amKeynote Speaker

Pantages Theatre Lobby

11:30 am - 12:00 pmNetworking Coffee Break

Pantages Theatre Lobby

12:00 - 1:00 pmWhat Is "The Full Patron Experience?"

Pantages Theatre Lobby

Over the next two days you’ll be hearing a lot about “the full patron experience.” So how do we define that? How do marketing and fundraising best (or begin to) communicate with each other and with patrons in a unified and meaningful way? Where does the patron’s experience begin? Their mailbox or computer? Your lobby or box office? When they get to their seat or when the curtain goes up? Whose job is it to create all of those different experiences and ensure that they add up to a meaningful whole that represents your theatre in a positive way? Our panelists will answer those questions — and so will you, in a group discussion digging into how your individual theatre defines these terms.

Moderated by Frank Stilwagner (Village Theatre), with Marisa Butler (Phoenix Theatre), David Seals (TRG Arts), Daniel Thomas (42nd Street Moon) and more to be announced.

1:00 - 2:30 pmLunch and New Musicals Inc. Concert

Pantages Theatre Lobby

Over lunch, NAMT member New Musicals Inc. will present selections from several shows they’re developing with local Los Angeles writers.

2:30 - 3:30 pmBreakout Sessions

Concurrent breakout sessions to drill down on topics such as technology adoption, surveys, print vs. digital media, and more. Specific sessions to be announced.

Let us know if there are any topics you’re interested in discussing when you register!

3:30 - 4:30 pmBreaking Down Silos

Pantages Theatre Lobby

How do you break down silos within your organization to integrate communication across departments — not just marketing and development, but artistic, production, education, front-of-house and more — and send a unified message to your patrons? We’ll hear from teams from some of our member theatres — and put them on the spot to see how well they really work together!

Moderated by Courtney Simms (The MUNY), with Nancy Altschuler & Dan McMahon (Goodspeed Musicals), Dan Breen & Cheryl Farley (Ogunquit Playhouse) and Marc Robin (Fulton Theatre).

4:30 - 5:30 pmContent and Stewardship

Pantages Theatre Lobby

How can we rally our loyal patrons, donors, board members and artists into being our ambassadors in the community? How can we best use community partners, beyond hanging posters in their windows? How can we cultivate active and vibrant volunteers? What “shareable” content can we provide to assist our supporters in these tasks, as well as to engage and excite our audiences and donors?

With Michael Ballam (Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre), MIchael Betts (Musical Theatre West), Wayne Bryan (Music Theatre Wichita), Van Kaplan (Pittsburgh CLO) and more to be announced.

5:30 - 7:30 pmReception

Pantages Theatre Lobby

Hosted by The Hollywood Pantages and An American in Paris.

8:00 pmAdd-On Event: An American In Paris
Friday, March 31, 2017
8:00 - 8:30 amCheck-In

Hilton Los Angeles Universal City
555 Universal Hollywood Drive

8:30 - 9:00 amTransportation from Hilton to Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Departs from Hilton Los Angeles Universal City

9:00 - 10:00 amBreakfast

The Hollywood Pantages Theatre
6233 Hollywood Boulevard

10:00 - 11:00 amCreating Connections: Disney Parks’ New Audience Strategies

Pantages Theatre Lobby

Members of the marketing and strategy teams from Walt Disney Imagineering and The Disneyland Resort© will present case studies examining the connections between marketing and patrons, with a look at how artistic content is incorporated into marketing messages for their guests. Even with a worldwide known brand like Disney, effective positioning is key to attracting guests, reaching developing markets and managing expectations about new entertainment offerings. We’ll explore where these strategies overlap with those of traditional theatres, for lessons you can take back and apply to your organization.

11:00 am - 12:00 pmOvercoming Obstacles

Pantages Theatre Lobby

A cold, hard look at some of the challenges in implementing the ideas and goals we discussed yesterday. What are the “pinch points,” both inside and outside the organization? Is your company culture resistant to change? Are your patrons? Do you feel budget, staffing or technology restrictions are getting in the way? We’ll collect some examples from our attendees throughout the conference, and our panelists will discuss clever and practical ways to overcome these obstacles — many of which may simply be matters of perception — and create a culture of “yes.”

Moderated by Donna Lynn Hilton (Goodspeed Musicals), with Keith Cromwell (Red Mountain Theatre Company), Ralph Weeks (Walnut Street Theatre)  and more to be announced.

12:00 - 1:30 pmLunch and NAMT Membership Update

Pantages Theatre Lobby

1:30 - 2:30 pmBreakout Sessions

Pantages Theatre Lobby

Breakout sessions by theatre or type to discuss the issues most relevant to your organization. (Exact breakdown TBD based on attendance.)

2:30 - 3:30 pmPutting A Personal Face On Your Organization

Pantages Theatre Lobby

How does everything we’ve discussed over these two days get distilled into what your patrons and donors see and experience? Who speaks for your newly unified theatre? What sort of character do you want your theatre to have? How will you implement the tools of this Conference next week, next month, next season, next decade?

With Kwofe Coleman (The MUNY), Lisa Cooney (Paper Mill Playhouse), Matt Morrow (Diversionary Theatre Productions) and more to be announced.

3:30 - 6:30 pmAdd-On Event: A Peek Inside The Magic at Walt Disney Imagineering

Transportation will depart the Pantages Theatre at 3:30 and drop off at Center Theatre Group in Downtown LA at approximately 6:30.

Tour the offices and studios where the Disneyland magic is made! See where sets, costumes, animatronics and more come to life, including Walt Disney’s original sculpture studio.

6:30 - 7:30 pmAdd-On Event: Reception at Center Theatre Group

Center Theatre Group Annex
Rehearsal Room C
601 W. Temple Street

8:00 pmAdd-On Event: Fun Home

Ahmanson Theatre
135 N Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, April 1, 2017
8:00 - 9:00 amTransportation from Hilton Los Angeles Universal City to Disneyland Resort

Hilton Los Angeles Universal City
555 Universal Hollywood Drive

Bus will depart from the Hilton at 8 am sharp. Breakfast is on your own. The trip is around one hour.

9:00 amArrive at Disneyland Park

Disneyland Park

Your tickets will give you access to both Disneyland Park© and California Adventure Park©. We will drop off the group at Disneyland and recommend starting there, as we’ll be at California Adventure later for lunch and Frozen, but you are free to explore and play however you like!

1:00 pmMeet at California Adventure Park Main Gate

Disney California Adventure Park

We will meet and be escorted to our lunch location by park staff.

1:30 - 3:00 pmLunch and Learn

South Rehearsal Hall

Lunch and Learn panel with Disneyland staff and creatives.

3:30 - 4:30 pmFrozen: Live at the Hyperion Stage Show

Hyperion Theatre

VIP seats for the brand new Frozen live stage show!

4:30 - 5:00 pmHyperion Theatre Backstage Tour

Hyperion Theatre

5:00 - 8:00 pmDisney California Adventure Park on your own

Disney California Adventure Park

Your tickets will give you access to both Disneyland Park© and California Adventure Park©. We recommend this schedule but you are free to explore and play however you like!

8:00 - 9:00 pmBus Returns to Hilton Los Angeles Universal City

Departs from California Adventure main gate.

Exact time TBD.

As of 2/21/17. SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Hotels & Accommodations

Hilton Los Angeles Universal City

555 Universal Hollywood Drive
Universal City, CA


(818) 506-2500

Conference attendees will stay at the Hilton Universal City — just steps from Universal Studios Hollywood theme park and minutes from Hollywood and the Pantages Theatre by subway — for our special conference rate of just $189/night (plus tax). This rate is available (subject to room availability) from March 24 through April 4*, so this is an ideal location to bring your family, friends, or just yourself and spend some extra time in Los Angeles.

  • Walking distance to Universal CityWalk shopping and dining area, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Metro station (complimentary shuttles also available)
  • Large outdoor swimming pool and whirlpool
  • Fitness center
  • Café Sierra offering Chinese, Continental and Californian cuisine
  • Free wifi to all Conference attendees
  • 45 minutes to LAX, 5 minutes to Burbank

Our discounted rate at the Hilton Universal City expires on March 10, 2017, and rooms are limited. Book now! (You may also book by phone by calling (818) 623-1434 and mentioning code NAMUS.)

*A block of rooms has been set aside for the nights of March 28-April 1. While our group rate extends on either side of these dates, it is subject to availability. As of 1/24/17, the hotel is sold out on April 3, though this may change. If you're having trouble booking, please adjust your dates. If you're having trouble booking within March 28-April 2, please email adam@namt.org asap so we can look into it.
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Directions & Activities

Cars and Transit

Despite Los Angeles’ reputation, there’s no need to rent a car during the Spring Conference! We will provide transportation for all scheduled Conference events. If you would like to travel on your own schedule (or miss the bus), the Universal Hilton and the Pantages Theatre are both easily accessible by subway (yes, LA has a subway!). Cars are also readily available via ride-hailing apps such as Lyft.

If you’d like to rent a car for a day or even a few hours, two Zipcars are parked by the Universal City Metro station. NAMT members can receive a discount on Zipcar membership.


If you’re able to find a flight, Burbank (Bob Hope) Airport is much closer to the hotel and the Pantages than LAX. If you do fly into LAX, please be advised that a regular taxi to Universal will cost around $100-115 with tip. A ride-hailing service such as Uber or Lyft will cost less. Shuttles are available to various points in the city from which you can take a cab for less, or the Metro. We’ve set up a forum on the Knowledge Exchange to help you find people who might be flying on the same schedule as you to share cabs.


We’ll post more detailed transit directions for specific events closer to the date.

Carousel at Musical Theatre West

Musical Theatre West is offering NAMT members $40 to their production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, directed by Joe Langworth. The production runs from 3/24 to 4/9.

The discount offer is good for all tickets in "Section B" of MTW's theatre. Order your tickets here using the code NAMT.

Carpenter Performing Arts Center
6200 E Atherton St, Long Beach, CA 90815

The Getty Center

The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center in Los Angeles houses European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and photography from its beginnings to the present, gathered internationally. Admission to the Getty Center is always free.

Tuesday–Friday and Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays

N Sepulveda Blvd & Getty Center Dr

Los Angeles, CA 90049

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection that includes nearly 130,000 objects dating from antiquity to the present, encompassing the geographic world and nearly the entire history of art.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 11 am–5 pm
Friday: 11 am–8 pm
Saturday, Sunday: 10 am–7 pm

5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Camacho's Cantina

Camacho’s Cantina at Universal City Walk epitomizes the energy, sights and sounds of the Universal Studios Hollywood scene.

The Camacho’s Cantina dining experience is famous for its vibrant atmosphere, live Mariachi performances, rocket fuel margaritas, friendly staff, and magnificently presented, mouthwatering upscale Mexican cuisine.

1000 Universal Center Drive, Ste. 133, CityWalk, CA 91608

Karl Strauss Brewing Company

When Karl Strauss Brewing Company started brewing full-flavored, quality handcrafted beer in 1989, it was the first craft brewery to open in San Diego in more than 50 years.

Today, you can enjoy our flagship beers, special releases, and seasonals at any of our six brewery restaurants throughout Southern California, including our City Walk location.

Stop by for 10 beers on tap, great food and amazing service.

1000 Universal Studios Blvd, Universal City, CA 91608

Universal Studios Hollywood

Discounted tickets are available to NAMT members who would like to visit Universal Studios Hollywood. Go behind the scenes of their working movie studio, visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, take a ride to Jurassic Park, and much more!