AMA conference 2017

Our highlights and top-tips from the Arts Marketing Association’s 2017 conference, titled ‘The Value of Everything’, held in Belfast.


Last week I spent three days with over 600 other communications professionals at the Arts Marketing Association’s annual conference, held in Belfast this year.

This year’s theme, ‘The Value of Everything’, quite literally covered everything.

  • Royal Exchange Theatre shared how they worked creatively with audiences to create their audience manifesto.
  • Brad Carlin, Managing Director of Fusebox Festival, got us thinking bigger and bolder, and about the power we each had to do those daring ideas. A few ideas that came up included free entry for local residents, fire everyone and get rid of the website (not sure we’re a fan of that last one…).
  • Ali Hanan, CEO of Creative Equals, challenged us to look at our conscious and unconscious bias to diversify our teams.
  • And the Audience Agency introduced the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and what it means for arts organisations.

With such a busy programme over the three days, we’ve been collating and tweeting our favourite takeaways from the conference keynotes and sessions. You can download them all here (or share your favourites below). Do tweet us @cog_design with great insights we may have missed.

I’ve been going to the AMA conference for the past eight years, and for me it creates a space to reflect and conjure new grand plans. Beyond the keynotes and breakout sessions, I love the chance to catch up with old friends and meet new faces. I’m always struck and amazed by the pride and resilience expressed by teams and organisations, particularly this year when talking about funding cuts and issues around relocating spaces. I’m so proud that the arts never feel beaten.

So I’m back in the studio with practical notes, inspirational stories and my big, bold idea.

I already can’t wait for next year’s.

Our favourite tips:

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *