Almost two weeks ago I attended my first Arts Marketing Association (AMA) conference on behalf of Tincan. It was great to meet so many people from a broad range arts organisations across the country.
This years conference was in Glasgow – a great City to visit and the Royal Concert Hall venue was fantastic.
A consistent theme I heard throughout the conference was user experience, and specifically, how this relates to the changing role of marketing within the arts.
Jerry Yoshitomi‘s keynote set down the foundation for this. He told the audience to not just do things for people but with people, recognising the changing patterns of customer demand – “People are inherently creative and want to share their experience”.
Will McInnes‘s excellent keynote was also a real call to action – “Marketing needs to be more than the last mile… be the curators/the storytellers for the organisation… create intimate experiences”.
Mark Robinson later encouraged the audience to take creative risks and run adventurously based on the principles of becoming reflective, open and adaptable, along with taking responsibility to defy expectations and create generously.
As a designer this was all great to hear. In short – the future of the arts is about starting with the customer, then enabling a culture of innovation/empowering everyone within both audience and team to participate.
The clear message was that marketing identifies and creates value – I would say it’s more universal than this, marketeers are having to become designers in the universal sense.
Russell Willis Taylor closed the conference with “Art matters more now than ever, and marketing tells us why”. The point being that without marketing so much within the arts would go unnoticed.
I think that design goes beyond this. It opens the door to experience. It is driven by the quality of ideas and innovation within each organisation. We need to break away from established, yet mechanical design processes as we strive to create something unique and of real lasting value. Everyone can contribute, everyone can be a designer as long as it starts and ends with the customer.
Thankyou to everyone who attended, came to say hello, and lastly to AMA for organising a great conference.
Additionally – there’s a series of great blog posts on the AMA website with more thoughts about the conference sessions/topics from various attendees.