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As part of house, we run biannual venue networking days, designed specifically for venue programmers, to get as many programmers as we can together in a room to talk. From what we know – and are repeatedly told – this is a rare opportunity. Our last one was about audience development, and the keynote speech was from Jo Taylor of Lateral Thinkers, and a copy of the excellent presentation can be downloaded from our resources section. Our next, in March, is about diversity – of audiences and of productions, performances… diversity in all its forms.
We know that other arts organisations hold forums where groups of producers, directors, general managers etc. can get together to talk about issues. Is something similar required for marketing? The venues that make up the house network are of varying sizes, and the teams have a range of experiences… would a marketing and communications day/group/session be beneficial, do you think, where they can come together to discuss issues and new marketing channels? Peer to peer support is probably the best kind there is – as good old Wikipedia says: ‘A peer has “been there, done that” and can relate to others who are now in a similar situation.’
The topic has come up at our venue development days – small venues that are local to one another could write a shared press release for local papers if taking the same (or similar) pieces of work, or share marketing contacts and advice.
Our aim as house is to create a self-sustaining touring network, and pulling together peer groups is one step towards that goal.
What we’re asking today is would such a network be beneficial? Please leave your comments below, on Facebook, or tweet us your opinions to @housetheatre