Sunday, November 20, 2011

Photo of the Day - November 12 - 15, 2011

National Arts Marketing Project Conference

Every year that my office can afford it, I attend the National Arts Marketing Project Conference.  NAMP is an offshoot of the Americans for the Arts, our umbrella organization that is in Washington, DC and NYC and goes to bat for us on a daily basis to protect the funding for the arts and any other issue that may negatively affect artists and arts organizations.

So this particular conference focuses on arts marketing.   How to attract and retain audiences.  We dissect it, slice it and dice it in session after session.  There are sessions on the psychology of the "experience" and customer service.  Other sessions focus on return on investment.  And my favorite sessions focus on technology and social media.

This year I finally understood Twitter!  We used social media incessantly throughout the entire conference.  In fact they even posted our Tweets on two giant screens in the grand ballrooms during our networking luncheon.

There were unbelievably inspirational speakers at the keynote and plenary luncheons.  There were dine arounds where we went out to dinner with about 10 colleagues and continued our conversation on one specific topic.  There were round table discussions to focus on issues and challenges.

The absolute best way for me to conduct business is on the fly.  We meet in the lobby for two hours and discuss an issue.  Or we chat over breakfast as we are preparing to go into a session.  Or we Tweet to each other and then retweet the profound statements in 140 characters or less.

Somehow, I really believe that these folks really connected because as I am writing this, I am still receiving Tweets from the conference and it was almost a week ago!  That says something about how social media is connect us.

It is about the conversation that can continue no matter where in the world that you live.  If I have a marketing question, I can post at tweet, with a hashtag, and within minutes, I will receive a response.  It is brilliant.  If you care to follow, just use #NAMPC in your Twitter search field.  Thee are some great comments (and silly ones too).

Now if I can only communicate that to the cultural organizations here who are resisting the social media highway.  It is like a highway, you get on, there is a direction, but you can take a detour and discover something fascinating.

So, yes, I am looking forward to continuing my conversation throughout the year with my national colleagues and then renew it again in Charlotte, NC next November.

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