AACT Town Hall: Community Theatres come together

AACT American Association of Community TheatreLast Saturday I attended the AACT (American Association of Community Theatres) Town Hall held here in Portland.  Arts People has been a sponsor of a number of AACT events over the years and we consider ourselves a partner to them as well as a deep connection to community theatres all over the country and in Canada.  The Arts People system has always been a great fit for these organizations who have big goals and complex needs, but often small staffs with little time to accomplish tasks.

It was great to hear these groups sharing so openly their stories of successes and challenges so that other organizations might benefit from their experiences.  The performing arts are a small voice in our culture, it seems, struggling to be heard, to find support, to advocate for the importance of what they do, and to even survive.  I’ve unfortunately seen this struggle too often divide organizations and individuals from each other in what can often be seen as a competitive atmosphere, instead of supporting and uplifting each other. This discussion was clearly the opposite.  With AACT bringing together these organizations toward sharing (and it was a great turnout), they can glean valuable insight into how different organizations are benefitting from presenting different types of programs such as staged readings, educational offerings, new types of social marketing and more.

The meeting was held just down the street from our Arts People offices at Twilight Theatre, one of our clients.  I was able to introduce myself and see a number of our clients in attendance, which is always a pleasure.  Arts People was founded on a goal of working with and assisting performing arts organizations to succeed and thrive.  We’ve worked very hard over the years to maintain close relationships with our clients on a first name basis, so whenever we get the chance to get face to face we take it.  To see the generous sharing going on at this meeting was a complete pleasure.

I started my own career in theatre in high school, and then went immediately to community theatre. I learned SO much from performing, directing, and design, to what it means to serve on a board of directors, what level of professionalism in the work I came to expect in myself and others, and how I wanted to work in the creation of theatre, including my own personal style and voice.  It is a place for joy, creativity, learning, sharing, collaboration, teamwork, accomplishment and self worth.  I’ve carried all that experience and knowledge forward into my work in professional theatres and sometimes returned to guest direct in community theatres I have a connection with.

Thank  you AACT for all you do to bring these theatres together in meetings like this, to the theatres who generously share their knowledge and experiences to help others, and to the individuals who keep these organizations alive in your communities.


Patrick Spike - Marketing Director of Arts People

Patrick Spike is the Theatre Community Liaison, system expert, and one of the original architects of the Arts People software system, with over 30 years in performing arts creation and administration. www.patrickspike.com

 

 

Arts People #supportthearts

Winners of six donations from Arts People!

At recent TCG (Theatre Communications Group) and AACT (American Association of Community Theatres) conferences where Arts People was a sponsor and had a booth in the exhibit hall, we had our enter to win box out collecting entries to win $100 donations. Lots of visitors to the booth took advantage of the opportunity!

The following organizations are the lucky winners!  Each will be receiving a $100 donation to their organization to support the great work they do in the arts scene within their community.

 

From the TCG “Full Circle” conference, held recently in Portland, OR – #TCG1TCG Conference 2017 Portland OR


From the AACT AACTfest conference, held in Rochester, MN – #AACTfest17 #AACTfest2017

AACTfest 2017 conference, Rochester MN

Congratulations winners!  It was great to meet and chat with so many theatres, related organizations and other vendors present at these events. We were also thrilled to be able to demonstrate our system to those interested in a complete software package with ticketing, fundraising, marketing, reporting, CRM and more, all designed specifically for the performing arts.

Arts People system is powerful, yet easy to use.  Built by and for performing arts administrative staff, we understand the needs of these unique organizations. They often have a small team doing a number of jobs. Their system needs to be powerful, yet simple and efficient enough to get the job done quickly.  Also, customer support is key their success, which is why our client services reps know our clients on a first name basis and often assist them in setting up new shows, new pricing, even changing out the design of the pages to match their new website.  Our support is second to none.  For any organizations that attended these events, we have special pricing available for TCG or AACT members. Visit one of the pages below for more information and also free white paper downloads on topics of interest to organizations just like you.

First impressions last

White paper: Using separate systems is costing you patron loyalty, sales and donations

We all know that the key to sustainability, increased earned and contributed revenue is cultivating relationships with your patrons. This takes the building of trust and loyalty over time.  We need to walk patrons up our engagement ladder from single ticket buyer to donor to subscriber to major donor to advocate.  The ways in which the patron interacts with us online, via our office… these make up a critical component to building that trust and relationship over time.

If you’re using different systems for various types of transactions and patron interactions, this can drive a wedge between you and the patron you’re wanting to cultivate.  When they see some third party company on the screen where they are buying tickets, or on the ticket itself, or the receipt, how do they feel about your brand, your customer service, your interest in them?

In this free whitepaper we’ll discuss the strategic importance of a unified system toward ticketing,  fundraising and more.

 

Request a download link for this white paper:

Note that you will have 10 minutes to download your requested document from the email received.

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White paper written by 

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director of Arts PeoplePatrick Spike is the Marketing Director, system expert, and one of the original architects of the Arts People software system, with over 30 years in performing arts creation and administration. His work with clients has helped them to increase their revenue while streamlining their box office and back office operations. www.patrickspike.com

Arts People, software for the performing arts, serves theatres, music and dance groups, choirs and opera, high school, college and university programs, performing arts center facilities and more.

 

AACTfest

Arts People to show off its performing arts specific tools at the upcoming AACT conference

AACT, the American Association of Community Theatres will be holding it’s AACTfest conference in Rochester, MN next week, and once again Arts People will be front and center as a sponsor and exhibitor at the event. Running June 26 – July 1, the festival “is the culmination of a two-year cycle of state and regional theatre AACT festivals across the country–with 12 community theatre productions, a theatre management conference, a youth leadership conference and youth festival, educational workshops, top vendor displays, the design exhibition and competition, a new monologue competition, social events, sightseeing and networking opportunities, all ending with a festival awards presentation,” says AACT.

“AACT has always been a perfect fit for Arts People to be a part of.” Says Arts People’s Director of Sales Marc Ross.  “This is an organization dedicated to the nurturing of arts groups all across the country who can greatly benefit from an integrated system such as ours.  With ticketing, fundraising, marketing all built in, Arts People can help these organizations to enhance their customer service, generate more revenue, and foster relationships with their loyal patrons and donors.”

We’re excited to support this festival and organization, and to meet with current and future clients!  We’ll be giving 30 minute no-pressure demonstrations of the system at our booth, and in fact people can visit www.arts-people.com/aact now to schedule their appointment ahead of time. Additionally, free white paper downloads are available on the page as well for help with social media communications, season renewal campaigns and more.

The future of the arts in our country is in the passion of individuals who make up organizations like those participating in the AACT.  It is our goal to help these organizations to thrive.  We hope attendees will stop by our booth and say hello!  Have a great conference all!

For more information on AACTfest 2017, visit https://www.aact.org/aactfest-2017-national-festival.

#AACTfest2017

Sustaining members our heros

Recurring donations for sustainability and building patron loyalty

Contributed income generally runs somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-50% of the operating budget of a performing arts organization, with the remainder being made up of earned income.  This contributed income comes in the form of donations, grants, sponsorships and other similar gifts.  As we all know, the ask is often the hardest part. In standard donation programs you must ask patrons to donate over and over again, each year, or two or three times a year. This can be come laborious, tedious and you run the risk of alienating your donors from all the requests for donation.

recurring donation

Recurring donations have become a very nice alternative to the regular task of asking for one donation after another. By converting donors to an automatically recurring donation program, the donor gets to spread their gift out over the year with small transactions every month or quarter, or even automating their yearly gift.  The Arts People system, as one example, offers these three recurrence frequency options for your donors.  While it can be a significant thing to ask a donor to contribute $120 all at once, asking for $10 per month can be both more comfortable for the person asking, and also for donors to accept.

Recurring donations can be open ended, where they continue to recur time after time until the patron communicates with you to stop.  Or they can specify an ending date upon which they want the recurrence to stop.  In Arts People these choices are simple to setup by the donor themselves online, or in your office as you begin their recurring donation, or at any time to schedule or immediately stop the recurrence.

Recurring donations also play well into Membership structure in the Arts People system.  When a donor begins their recurring gift, if that gift applies toward membership the system will automatically calculate how much they will donate by the expire date and then set their membership to the appropriate level.  So if your membership is based annually, with a yearly expire date for all members, their $10 monthly recurrence might run for 7 months.  This 7 month calculation will the apply $70 toward membership levels. They might earn a silver level.  However if your membership is rolling where each member has their own expire date based on the anniversary of their membership start, they will have $120 apply toward levels, giving them a gold level membership.

Many organizations with recurring contribution option will promote it with enhanced benefits both to the donor and to the charity, referring to it as a “sustaining membership” or some specific label to imply to the donors that this helps their organization more than one time donations. With it perhaps the donor receives some extra perks, such as a pair of free tickets along with the standard member ticket discount.  Working to drive donors toward this option can be very beneficial as donors contribute more over time with their recurring gift, and you need less asks to the donors through their giving history, only needing to thank them periodically and sending an end of year summary for their tax purposes. The Arts People system automatically notifies the donor of each recurrence being processed and the system makes it easy for you to acknowledge and thank the donors and provide them a tax receipt.

If you want to learn more about how the Arts People system can help increase your fundraising success through recurring contributions and other means, contact us for a consultation and free demonstration.

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Patrick Spike - Marketing Director of Arts PeoplePatrick Spike is the Marketing Director, system expert, and one of the original architects of the Arts People software system, with over 30 years in performing arts creation and administration. His work with clients has helped them to increase their revenue while streamlining their box office and back office operations. www.patrickspike.com

Arts People, software for the performing arts, serves theatres, music and dance groups, choirs and opera, high school, college and university programs, performing arts center facilities and more.  

marketing segmentation

White paper: Utilizing live data to generate buyer, interest and ranking groups for patron targeted marketing

Marketing of your performing arts events and organization is no longer one size fits all.  To increase patron loyalty and to trigger the best possible sales results you must segment and tailor your messages to your specific sub-sets of patrons based on their buying patterns, areas of interest and level of support.

Live data will help you to test and market your events more effectively and efficiently.  Organized clearly and efficiently for you in the Arts People system, leverage our easy to use marketing interface to quickly pull, merge and segment your patrons.

Out of these efforts will be increased sales, heightened patron loyalty, and statistics that you can use toward sponsorship and grant writing success.

Download our free white paper with detailed instructions on how to create patron groupings to which your messaging can be tailored, tested, honed and executed.

 

Request a download link for this white paper:

Note that you will have 10 minutes to download your requested document from the email received.

—-

White paper written by 

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director of Arts PeoplePatrick Spike is the Marketing Director, system expert, and one of the original architects of the Arts People software system, with over 30 years in performing arts creation and administration. His work with clients has helped them to increase their revenue while streamlining their box office and back office operations. www.patrickspike.com

Arts People, software for the performing arts, serves theatres, music and dance groups, choirs and opera, high school, college and university programs, performing arts center facilities and more.

 

White paper: A well planned Season Announcement event can boost your subscription base

If you’re not executing a well planned and strategic season announcements event as part of your yearly marketing cycle, you’re losing an enormous opportunity to build your subscription base and generate much needed income to fund your upcoming season.

If you ARE holding an announcement event, there may be ways you can increase its effectiveness and capitalize on the excitement of the announcement even more.

Arts People Marketing Director Patrick Spike outlines an effective event with tips and strategies for increasing the resulting package sales, with after event tips to propel sales even more.

Request a download link for this white paper:

Note that you will have 10 minutes to download your requested document from the email received.

 

White paper written by 

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director of Arts PeoplePatrick Spike – Marketing Director for Arts People

Former Audience Development Director for Bag&Baggage Productions, with over 30 years experience in performing arts creation, administration, marketing and fundraising.

 

 

 

White paper: Facebook for Arts Organizations – Strategies for success & common mistakes to avoid

Arts People Marketing Director Patrick Spike, with over 25 years experience in performing arts marketing and administration, walks you through the best practices and strategies of using Facebook to build your audience, increase engagement, foster patron loyalty and more.

Originally presented as a seminar at the Arts NW Booking Conference in Tacoma, WA Oct 2013. Updated May 2017.

Request a download link for this white paper:

Note that you will have 10 minutes to download your requested document from the email received.

White paper written by 

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director of Arts PeoplePatrick Spike – Marketing Director for Arts People

Former Audience Development Director for Bag&Baggage Productions, with over 30 years experience in performing arts creation, administration, marketing and fundraising.