2019December 2019 — Gene Carr: 2019 Year in Review: It Should Just Work
This year, my annual review of all things tech and the arts mirrors what I wrote a year ago, with some new insights. Last year’s message was that we’re between chapters. The hardware devices most of us use to access the internet all work pretty well and are ubiquitous. And although we can already begin to see the contours of another generation of technology, it’s not here yet.
November 2019 — Gene Carr: Bringing Sponsor Activations to the Arts & Culture Sector
In September, we introduced the concept of the “sponsor activation,” which is becoming more commonplace in commercial venues, but less so in the arts. This month, we’ll give you more detail on how to think about a sponsor activation at your organization — and how it differs from a traditional sponsorship.
October 2019 — Gene Carr: AirPod Nation and Transhumanism
Recently, I went to an all-day conference at Betaworks Studios in New York dedicated to the current and future trends of audio technology. The most eye-opening presentation was by Nick Pappageorge, Senior Intelligence Analyst, Frontier Tech at CB Insights, which opened my mind (and ears) to a change in our society that’s in plain sight, but I had never stopped to notice.
September 2019 — Gene Carr: Brand Activations: Stealing a Profitable Idea
During the past few years, I’ve become aware of a trend in brand marketing that flies a bit under the radar in the non-profit world but is big business in the commercial sector. It’s called “brand activation,” and simply put, sponsors of live events are no longer willing to just slap their name on an event or park their luxury car out front of a venue and feel like they are getting value.
August 2019 — Gene Carr: Three Perspectives on Thriving in the Digital Age
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Maureen Andersen, President and CEO of INTIX, and Linda Forlini, Vice President of Ticket Philadelphia, for a panel discussion about what it takes to thrive in the digital age at the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT) conference in Philadelphia. This panel highlighted the idea that thriving in the digital age has less to do with technology and more to do with how people work together and how managers work with them.
July 2019 — Gene Carr: Mobile Streaming Overtakes TV: Here’s Why It Matters
Last month I wrote about how our patrons are beginning to shift their access to the internet from a desktop computer to their mobile devices. Now comes fascinating new data that documents a threshold has been crossed. Research from eMarketer shows that, for the first time, Americans are spending more time on their mobile devices than on television.
June 2019 — Gene Carr: Mobile Friendly or Mobile Only?
I remember just a few years ago sitting at a crowded tech conference in Silicon Valley and hearing a company say they were “mobile first,” which sounded pretty cutting-edge. Mobile first meant the company’s strategy was to develop a mobile app before they developed a web version of their product. Fast-forward to today, where there is an entire cohort of people for whom the internet is an entirely mobile experience, period.
May 2019 — Gene Carr: Pricing and Bundling: A New Paradigm?
Let’s think about pricing in our field — particularly with regard to subscriptions and memberships. With these, you get the fundamental benefits: In a reserved seat event, you can pick a seat that you like and retain it year after year. But what if we took the Amazon approach and bundled a set of other really valuable elements that you couldn’t possibly forget?
April 2019 — Gene Carr: DTC Is Hot: We Are DTC
In the retail world there’s a quiet revolution going on, commonly known as DTC, or direct to consumer. If you’re on social media at all, you can’t help noticing ads for these products, because social media is typically where they find new customers. This bears some examination, because there’s a lesson for all of us here.
March 2019 — Gene Carr: Intimacy at Scale: The Live Streaming Opportunity
Every four years, as we enter the presidential election cycle, I keep my eye out for which technology tool will change everything. Several cycles ago it was email marketing, and then came online donations, online communities, targeted AdWords, and more recently social media and YouTube. I’m curious about what will be the breakout technology for the 2020 campaign. My bet is on the use of live streaming.
February 2019 — Jordan Simmons: Trial by Fyre
By now, I think most people who are inclined to watch one (or both) of the competing documentaries on the doomed Fyre Festival on Netflix and Hulu have done so, but spoiler alert: Things do not end well for the festival planners, attendees, contract workers, or Fyre employees — really, anyone involved in the whole thing from top to bottom.
January 2019 — Gene Carr: The New Reality of the Experience Economy
The phrase “experience economy” keeps creeping into daily life. Yes, what arts organizations do is indeed produce experiences. But though that may be technically true, the rules of the game are changing rapidly and in a way that will propel all organizations to change what they do.
2018December 2018 — Gene Carr: The Next Chapter of the Internet and the Arts
My annual December blog post aims to help us understand what mattered most in the world of technology over the past year. And, I take a look ahead to where technology is going — and how this will affect the arts. This year feels different from the past few years.
November 2018 — Gene Carr: Courting Sexagenarians
I certainly know there are many opportunities to apply for grants to find the audience of the future, and it’s tempting to chase them. I would suggest, however, that you first look at the audience you already have and do more for them.
October 2018 — Gene Carr: The Hyper-Convenience Economy Is Coming
In this coming age of hyper-convenience, we’re all going to have to re-evaluate the things that our patrons experience and look at them through a new lens.
September 2018 — Gene Carr: The Imperative of Technology Literacy
Arts managers: Be more innovative! Be more forward-thinking! Be more entrepreneurial! And most of all be more tech-literate.
August 2018 — Gene Carr: Cash Is Still King
As an industry we must start talking about working capital. It’s something few arts journalists spend a lot of time writing about unless there’s a major bankruptcy, which is too late.
July 2018 — Gene Carr: The Internet Eats TV
It’s no secret that the internet is taking over nearly every aspect of our lives. Rather than having your website serve as a glorified calendar, or as an enhanced repository for artist bios, it should be a content hub to help those who are already your patrons become more engaged, and those who might be, get to know what is special about your organization.
June 2018 — Gene Carr: Back to the (50-Year) Future
Recently I saw the newly released 50th-anniversary version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, a film that got me thinking about the future, as well as the last 50 years. When the original was released in 1968, it defined the height of futuristic thinking. The visions of life in space foreshadowed a world yet to be, but one that was portrayed in realistic terms.
May 2018 — Gene Carr: Customer Service: Something Different From What It Used To Be
Customer service is going through a fundamental transformation. There was a time when customer service represented a mini-nightmare. You’d have to call on the phone, wait an interminable amount of time, and talk with a customer service representative who may or may not have been trained or empathetic enough to help you. But today that’s all different.
April 2018 — Gene Carr: Facebook’s Moment in the Mirror
Since the beginning of Facebook, the various ways that it collects and shares our personal information have been purposely obscure. Facebook’s privacy settings have, in my view, been made continually more granular to the point where they are nearly incomprehensible. And yet, so long as nobody was harmed, this all worked well for everyone.
March 2018 — Christy Warren: Peer-to-Peer Learning
Learning goes far beyond the formal relationship of teacher and student — it’s all around us. In fact, our best learning resource may be the person right next to us. Not surprisingly, there is an official term for this: peer-to-peer learning. It’s all about collaboration among peers with the goal of improving skills quickly and somewhat organically. In the workplace, you probably notice it most when you start a new job.
February 2018 — Gene Carr: Google Searches the Ticketing Industry
Last month I had the opportunity to hear Michal Lorenc, Head of Industry for Ticketing & Live Events at Google, give a keynote talk at the INTIX conference in Baltimore. (Who knew Google even had someone thinking about the ticketing industry?) Google analyzed the behavior of its customers related to the ticketing industry, and the findings reaffirm many things I’ve been writing about for years.
January 2018 — Gene Carr: Starting ’18 with the Best of ’17
In 2017 we published 92 blog posts, and as we start the new year I thought it may be informative to look at the posts that got the most page views as a reflection of what interests you most, and as a way of highlighting for all readers which ones had the most relevance to the field.
2017December 2017 — Gene Carr: 2017 Year-End Summary
A year ago, I made some predictions about the technology trends we should be paying attention to in AI, VR, IoT, and AR — which I called “the Alphabet of the Future.” And in the past year, each of these emerging technologies has advanced, some faster than others.
November 2017 — Christy Warren: Taking Cloud Computing to the Next Level with Voice Control
If you’re not familiar with Alexa, “she” is made and distributed by Amazon. You talk to Alexa using one of several devices you can purchase and connect to your home’s internet service. These devices are the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Show, and Echo Look. Alexa, and many other competitors*, are taking cloud computing to the next level. Not only are we storing more data on centralized servers (the cloud) that we can access anywhere on many devices, but now we can also control and receive that data verbally. Hal and Jarvis are real!
October 2017 — Paul Miller: Top 10 Data Points Arts & Culture Organizations Should Know, Parts I & II
The phrase “big data” has been in the news a lot lately, and for good reason. Numbers don’t lie, and the field of data science is transforming the way organizations conduct business at every level. Every second, 1.7 megabytes of data is created for each human being on the planet, and although only one half of 1 percent of that data is ever analyzed, that is rapidly changing. In these first 2 posts of our series, we’re going to show you how to start calculating the data points you need to measure both fundraising and ticket sales so that you can design strategies to increase them.
September 2017 — Gene Carr: How Important Is Customer Data? The Case of Amazon vs. Ticketmaster
Last month, the rest of the world learned through news reports what many of us in the ticketing industry had been aware of for a while — that Amazon.com has designs on selling tickets. Tickets are the ultimate digital product because you don’t need a warehouse to provide the product, which makes it an ideal target for Amazon.
August 2017 — Gene Carr: A Peek Into the Future of Live Entertainment: It’s All About the Experience
The performing arts have always been about the live experience — the interaction between performers and audience. As technology has begun to infuse nearly every aspect of our lives, more and more high-end shows are incorporating technological wizardry to amaze and enthrall.
July 2017 — Christy Warren: Paralysis by Overanalysis: Giving Your Customers Less Choice Might Be a Good Thing
Have you ever had a time when you couldn’t seem to make a decision? Maybe you were trying to decide between the practical car or the fun car. Or maybe you were trying to decide which item on the budget would get trimmed for the upcoming fiscal year.
June 2017 — Kevin Patterson: Adopting a “Jobs to Be Done” Mentality to Arts Innovation and Customer Service
Why does a patron come to your organization? What is he or she “hiring” you to do? Talk to your patrons and ask them why they come.
May 2017 — Gene Carr: Personalizing the Renewal Call
Recently I received a telemarketing call from an arts organization. I didn’t call back even though I intend to buy tickets for this organization again. That got me thinking about what would have motivated me to call the organization back.
April 2017 — Gene Carr: The Assault on the NEA — Motivate, Don’t Panic
Those of us working in and around the arts for decades know well that the National Endowment for the Arts has been a target of presidential threats in nearly every administration’s budget proposal. And the steadfast and continuing work of Americans for the Arts has been all about defending the NEA to unsupportive presidents for years. What makes this time different is that this president, Donald Trump, has unsurprisingly set out a more extreme position — the elimination of the NEA — than any previous administration has yet proposed.
March 2017 — Kevin Patterson: The Most Important Marketing Questions Your Organization Should Be Asking: A Three Part Series
What are you doing to grow your business? How do members of your marketing department know if what they are doing is actually working?
February 2017 — Gene Carr: The Unspoken Cost of Inefficiency
Face it: Your organization is inefficient. But so is everyone else’s. The question is, what are you doing about it? If you search for “organizational efficiency” on Amazon, you’ll find 38 books on this topic. How many have you read?
January 2017 — Kevin Patterson: Who Wants a Million Dollars?
Million-dollar donors don’t fall from the sky; they are strategically and deliberately cultivated. Every organization has the potential to cultivate the next million-dollar donor. With a disciplined, donor-focused strategy, you may find that your million-dollar donor is closer than you think.
2016December 2016 — Gene Carr: 24-Month Tech Trend Scorecard & the Future
Now that we’re nearing the end of 2016, I’m looking back at the newsletter article I wrote two years ago at this time, assessing my predictions about those trends. The entire newsletter article is here, if you want to read it. By way of summary, these are the five trends I wrote about then, and some commentary from today.
November 2016 — Gene Carr: A Wake-Up Call: NY Times Cuts
Tri-State Arts Coverage
Last month, the gold-standard and most influential arts newspaper, The New York Times, announced it was eliminating its coverage of New York tri-state regional theatre, restaurants, and galleries. And as recently as last week The Wall Street Journal had a similar announcement. To some organizations, this came as a shock, having relied on the Times for publicly validating their shows, building their audiences, and providing third-party support for their grant proposals.
October 2016 — Gene Carr: Orchestra Strikes Point to the Value of CRM
Because I worked as an Executive Director of a symphony orchestra earlier in my career (and was part of two unfortunate strikes and walkouts), I watch orchestra negotiations with particular interest. I think it’s fair to say that over the past two decades these have come in waves, where orchestras tended to follow one another. Either wage negotiations go well and orchestras sign early, or one goes on strike, which sets off a wave across the county.
September 2016 — Gene Carr: When’s Your Season Announcement Party?
Many of you are about to start your new season in the next month, so, I want to ask: How much hoopla are you making about it? Given that we are all in the live event production business, why not turn your season announcement into a live event?
August 2016 — Gene Carr: Patron Technology’s 15th Anniversary
This month marks our 15th anniversary! For any company, and especially a startup, 15 years is a milestone…one that felt incredibly far into the future when I started as a one-person operation back in 2001. It has been quite a journey so far, and in some respects I feel like we’re just getting started.
July 2016 — Gene Carr: Webinars Are Not Only for Business
Webinars, those live webcast presentations that you watch and listen to online from the comfort of your office (or home), have become a staple of the business world. So, why aren’t webinars used similarly by more arts organizations? After all, we have an audience we’re eager to engage with — and artists, musicians, actors, and directors, all of whom are eager to talk about their work.
June 2016 — Gene Carr: What Three Things Must You Get Right?
As many of you prepare to attend conferences this summer, your heads will soon be packed with dozens of new ideas. So I’ve come up with my own list of the “three biggies” that I believe all arts organizations must get right.
May 2016 — Jordan Simmons: Are Subscriptions More Emotional Than Practical?
I recently had a fascinating conversation with an Executive Director. It was a wide-ranging talk, but eventually we settled into the topic of subscriptions and season tickets. After a tortured back-and-forth, both of us ashamedly admitted to not only not being a current subscriber at any arts or cultural organizations, but also having never been a subscriber anywhere ever. How on earth could it have happened that both of us had managed to be so utterly enmeshed in the arts and yet never been a season ticket holder?
April 2016 — Gene Carr: Unleashing Your Data to Generate Corporate Sponsorships
There is an opportunity I suspect many organizations aren’t fully aware of: the ability to leverage the value of their data into sponsorship dollars.
March 2016 — Gene Carr: Measuring the Growth of the Arts Industry
Many of you work tirelessly with donors and in your communities to dispel the notion that the audience for the arts is getting smaller. All too often that perception is out there, highlighted either without data or based on hearsay, or an article or blog post based largely on individual perception.
February 2016 — Gene Carr: How Good Is Your Social Media Marketing?
Did you catch the startling headline recently about Facebook? The social media giant reported an increase of 52% in its fourth-quarter revenue. To put that in context, Facebook billed over $1 billion in advertising revenue in just three months. I wasn’t surprised.
January 2016 — Gene Carr: Making the Most of Your Staff in 2016
In the spirit of new beginnings for 2016, I want to focus on how to make the most of what you have — particularly your staff.
2015December 2015 — Gene Carr: 2015 Year-end Wrap-up
My traditional year-end article about the tech trends reshaping the arts comes in the form of a curated selection of the most interesting blog posts we’ve published this past year, sorted by category.
November 2015 — Whitney Rutter: How Fictional Arts Organizations Can Inspire Your Real One
Last month in San Francisco, Gene Carr, Michelle Paul, and I led 100-plus participants at the Arts Reach Fall 2015 keynote presentation in an exercise aimed at increasing out-of-the-box thinking. The Arts Reach conference is designed to discuss the very topics we are constantly talking about here at Patron: how to increase and improve your ticketing, fundraising, and marketing efforts within your non-profit arts organization. However, the purpose of this particular exercise was to push the boundaries a bit and start thinking about those topics from new perspectives.
October 2015 — Erin Madden Ramirez: How Disney & CRM Rocked
My Summer Vacation
Yep! We went to Disney World. Aside from the humidity, we had an amazing time. Disney’s use of technology to enhance customer service really impressed me. From the time we arrived at the airport to leaving the resort on our last day, they were able to keep pace with our needs and make it extraordinarily easy to focus on having a good time rather than worrying about details.
September 2015 — Eugene Carr: The Age of the Mobile Arts Manager
While it’s no secret that billions of people are carrying smartphones, most of the hype we’re reading about is focused on how those devices are used to keep us connected to each other on a personal level on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and the like. This mobile access to the Internet has already transformed our world and as devices become more powerful it will continue to do so. How is mobile going to change the way arts managers work?
August 2015 — Erin Madden Ramirez: Disney Goes All In on CRM
On June 30, Gene blogged about how Disney World is changing how guests and cast members (aka employees) interact, with the use of new MagicBands. As it just so happens, my family had recently booked our first trip to Disney World and purchased MagicBands as part of our package, so it was fun to read his blog post. But Oh My Disney, they do so much more. They have customer service down to an art form.
July 2015 — Bradley Hayes: Three Myths of Major Gifts
Large gifts can be intimidating for fundraisers. Because the stakes seem so high, gifts of five-, six-, seven figures, or more lead to all sorts of aberrant behavior on the part of gift officers. The reality is that the size of the gift is irrelevant; what matters is adherence to a rational process based on transparency and collaboration between the donor and the fundraiser in order to generate the best result.
June 2015 — Eugene Carr: Executive Data Security Wake-up Call: Don’t Become a Target
Executive directors, how often do you think about data security? Does it come up at board meetings? At staff meetings? Do you worry about it? Along with the digital revolution has come a new reality — we all are storing a lot of extremely valuable digital personal information about your donors and ticket buyers.
May 2015 — Eugene Carr: Is Your Organization’s Brand Credible? How to Be Certain It Is
Do you think your organization’s brand is credible? If you’re in marketing, this is one of the most important things to pay attention to. And if you’re raising money, it matters even more. You can’t raise money if what your organization stands for (your brand) is not credible.
April 2015 — Eugene Carr: Streaming the Future
I’ve been predicting for some time now that video streaming technology will morph and soon enable people to live-stream events from their iPhones or Android phones. It appears that time is upon us.
March 2015 — Eugene Carr: How Workflow Automation Can Rock Your World and Make It Flow
One of the biggest complaints we hear from arts managers is that their organizations are not as efficient as they could be. Much of this is because people are doing lots of thing things manually, which takes valuable time to do and is, frankly, super boring.
February 2015 — Eugene Carr: Loyalty’s the Thing, and CRM Is the Medium
One way audience loyalty is measured in our field is in repeat donations, memberships, and subscriptions. When I’m talking with executive directors, the first thing I generally ask is what are their goals this year for subscriptions or memberships, and what is their goal for individual giving.
January 2015 — Eugene Carr: Do You Have Business Problems or Technical Problems?
Many managers I talk with struggle to define their problems because they confuse business problems with technical problems, and in doing so, they are unable to find means of solving them.
2014December 2014 — Eugene Carr: 2014 Wrap-up: Skating Toward the Puck
Each December since 2005 I’ve written a year-end review and made some predictions concerning technology as it intersects with audience development, marketing, and fundraising. Here are my 2014 reflections and predictions.
November 2014 — Eugene Carr: Why Are Artistic Directors Not at the Table?
Last month, while presenting with Matt Lehrman at the Arts Reach conference in Los Angeles, we polled the attendees to better understand their roles. When I asked how many artistic directors were in the room of about 100, only two people raised their hands.
September 2014 — Kathleen Drohan: Ice Bucket Challenge — A Chilly Blast of New Thinking
The dog days of summer 2014 will be remembered for many things, but in the non-profit community, this August has brought an unprecedented experience that conjures up everything from awe to hope to disdain.
August 2014 — Eugene Carr: Put “Big Data” to Work in the Arts
“We’re becoming a data-driven society.” “We are a data-driven company.” “We analyzed millions of customer records to understand their buying patterns…” Do these headlines sound familiar to you?
July 2014 — Eugene Carr: Learning From Las Vegas
Having recently visited Las Vegas, I’m betting the arts could learn a lot from what has happened there. Not too long ago, Las Vegas was only about gambling. It was an industry in decline, serving a fringe clientele. Sound familiar?
June 2014 — Eugene Carr: Arts Conferences Cheat Sheet: Six Questions We Hope You Ask
Ours is an industry that desperately needs community. The finance industry has the Wall Street Journal — but for us, there’s no newspaper, blog, or other media source that everyone across all departments reads. So our annual conferences are an important part of the fabric of our business.
May 2014 — Michelle Paul: Automated Asks and Personalized Packages: Arts Management in 2023
For the past nine years, I’ve been in the business of creating new technology systems for the arts, and teaching arts managers (particularly those in marketing, development, and box office roles) how to get the most value out of the tools available to them.”
April 2014 — Eugene Carr: Customer Service or Hospitality?
We have a book club here at Patron Technology that is specifically focused on reading about customer service and improving how we treat our customers. This month we’re reading…
March 2014 — Eugene Carr: What’s the #1 Reason to Sell Tickets Online
What’s the #1 reason to sell tickets online? The answer may seem obvious, but most people in our industry get this wrong…
February 2014 — Eugene Carr: Ticketing Lessons From Southwest
Last weekend I arrived at the Southwest Airlines check-in counter at 9:30am for a flight at 11. As I hoisted my luggage onto the scale, the ticketing agent said, “We’ve got a flight departing at 9:50; do you want to get on that instead?”
January 2014 — Eugene Carr: What Do You Want to Read About in 2014?
How are you liking our monthly newsletter? I hope you’ll take five minutes to give us your feedback and ideas. The CRM technology world for box office ticketing, development, and marketing is changing rapidly, so please help us make sure we’re covering what’s most important to you…
2013December 2013 — Eugene Carr: Everything Is Marketing
’Tis the season to summarize 2013 and predict the future. And this year, my summary is pretty simple. Technology now serves a new master: the customer. It’s helping companies of all types and sizes (especially small ones) build the kinds of direct and personal relationships that marketers have dreamed about for decades. This is the essence of marketing, and the essence of CRM…
November 2013 — Eugene Carr: Toward and International Consensus on Audience Development
During the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to give presentations about arts marketing, audience development, CRM, and box office ticketing in Argentina, Chile, San Francisco, and Seattle. I’ve shared the spotlight with some of the best consultants and executives in our field…
October 2013 — Eugene Carr: Developing Your Online Content Strategy
Now that you’re at the beginning of your season and the “content” you produce onstage (your concerts, plays, etc.) is likely pretty well finalized, it’s a good time for you to start thinking about the content for which you don’t sell tickets. That’s right — you’ve got plenty of other content that your audience might be interested in…
September 2013 — Eugene Carr: 25 Things to Help You Get Ready for the New Season
Read any good books this summer? I spent a good part of my summer reading business self-help books. Though reading these books was maybe not as enjoyable as losing myself in the latest bestseller, I was hoping that in each one I’d pick up one or two tips that could make my job just a bit easier…
August 2013 — Eugene Carr: The Arts as a Community Builder
Anyone who’s passionate about their work draws their motivation from the lens through which they see the world. If you’ve ever heard me speak, you’ll know my particular combination of experience: a love of (and history of running) arts organizations, a stint at B-school, and working for American Express…
July 2013 — Eugene Carr: Arts Conference Redux: What’s New Is Old?
Every year at this time I try to offer a thought-provoking article summarizing what I learned at the various arts conferences. In June, I attended the TCG conference in Dallas (where the food-truck lunch was fantastic) and the League of American Orchestras conference in St. Louis (where I was reminded that people in St. Louis are among the friendliest in the country), and yet I find myself struggling to deliver a dramatic new narrative…
June 2013 — Eugene Carr: Four Essential Questions to Help Your Organization Choose a CRM/ Box Office Ticketing System
As many organizations wind down their seasons, they have more time to think about next year, and often that means they have time to consider new technology. Changing systems can be daunting, particularly when it’s a CRM system that will be the backbone of your organization for years to come…
May 2013 — Eugene Carr: No, You Don’t Need a New Box Office Ticketing System: The Case for CRM
Walking around the streets of New York City, I’m finding it harder and harder to remember a time when cell phones were just for making phone calls. Now nearly everyone you pass on the sidewalk is fiddling with his or her mobile device, playing games, writing email, or browsing the web…
April 2013 — Robert Friend: Relationship Marketing vs. Transaction Marketing
I just returned from the Arts Reach National Arts Marketing, Development, and Ticketing Conference in New York City. I want to recap the session I offered, which focused on the importance of engagement and building long-term patron commitments with your audience…
March 2013 — Michelle Paul: We Are the New Audience
Most of the arts organizations I talk with are constantly looking for ways to attract younger patrons and to counteract the perceived “graying” of their audience. I can see the truth in their concerns every time I go to a Broadway show or a classical music performance…
February 2013 — Eugene Carr: Everyone Wants to Feel a Little Bit Special
Last month I flew Virgin America four times in one week, and by the last flight I felt I should get some kind of reward. Mind you, I’m not complaining about Virgin, which offers an outstanding service overall. But it got me thinking about customer recognition…
January 2013 — Eugene Carr: Starting 2013 Off Right: Five Free Whitepapers
I’d like to start the new year by sharing some tips/techniques and tools that can help you get back into the groove. Over the past few months we’ve published a series of free downloadable whitepapers…
2012December 2012 — Eugene Carr: 2012 Wrap-up: Five Tech Trends That Are Making a Difference
As this is our final newsletter of 2012, I want to step back and take a look at trends in our industry that I have been paying attention to this year. I find that often we get drawn into the “new shiny thing” syndrome, where a new technology gets a lot of hype but ultimately turns out to be a distraction…
November 2012 — Eugene Carr & Mark Famiglietti: Hurricane Sandy Teaches a Lesson About “True” Cloud Computing
Judging by the number of emails I got from arts organizations two weeks ago saying their ticketing or website was down, technology infrastructure and disaster recovery have now become two highly critical aspects of running any arts organization…
October 2012 — Eugene Carr: As the Web Turns Mobile, What Should You Do About It?
Several times during the past two decades the web has shed its skin and become something new. I remember when the web was all text, and then images came along…
September 2012 — Eugene Carr: Marketing Lessons from Obama and Romney
I’m a political junkie, and every four years I become an armchair analyst, watching the presidential election with as much enthusiasm as when I watched the Olympics. I’m interested in…
August 2012 — Eugene Carr: Five Ways to Make Next Season an Online Success
Even though it’s the middle of the summer, I know most of you are hard at work getting ready for next season. As you get into gear, I hope you are thinking about your online marketing, fundraising, and ticket sales strategy…
July 2012 — Eugene Carr: The Case for “Premium Full Price” Tickets
Last week, after much consideration, I decided against buying a ticket for a show I really wanted to see because I could only find full-price tickets. Though I’m not an expert in arts ticket pricing…
June 2012 — Eugene Carr: Top Five Ways CRM Improves Your Organization
Exactly two years ago at the League of American Orchestras (LAO) Conference we introduced PatronManager CRM, and since that time we’ve signed up over 40 orchestras who are now using it…
May 2012 — Eugene Carr: We Have a Rockin’ New Website!
Generally, the top article in our monthly newsletter is about e-marketing. But today my goal is to draw your attention to our new website, released in conjunction with the second anniversary of the launch of PatronManager CRM…
April 2012 — Eugene Carr: Like vs. Opt-in: Why Email Wins
About a decade ago I started evangelizing email marketing as a new, super-powerful marketing tool for organizations that sell tickets or memberships. It was tough slogging at the beginning, but what ultimately turned the tide…
March 2012 — Eugene Carr: Are your Patrons on Facebook? (and Other Reasons We Need Good Research)
I’ve got a real passion for consumer research, particularly since there’s so little of it in our industry. That’s why I was delighted to read about the Intrinsic Impact study that was released last week…
February 2012 — Eugene Carr: Facebook’s IPO – “Social By Design”
Even if you’ve been hiding under a rock, it’s been hard to ignore the hype around the recent announcement of the Facebook IPO. It seems the company was holding out…
January 2012 — Eugene Carr: Patron Technology TV – Interview with Ken Davenport, Broadway Producer
In this Patron Technology TV interview, Patron Technology CEO Gene Carr talks to Ken about his blog, Producer’s Perspective, how he motivated a community of fans to help market Altar Boyz, his use of Facebook and Twitter to market Godspell and The Online Ticket Experience...
2011December 2011 — Eugene Carr: Best Guest Blog-Fest!
Regular readers of Gene’s “Wired for Culture” blog know that over the past few months he has invited members of the Patron Technology staff to be guest bloggers. Their posts focused on a range of topics, from innovative ways of offering great customer service, to data collection, to website improvements. The feedback he has been getting has been so positive that he decided to devote this newsletter as a way to give these articles wider attention.
November 2011 — Eugene Carr: What Can You Learn From Corporate America’s Chief Marketers?
Gene discusses how important it is for arts marketers to pay attention to what the chief marketing officers (CMOs) that run corporate America are thinking, as a way to benchmark their own thoughts.
October 2011 — Eugene Carr: Patron Technology TV – Interviews with Leaders in the Industry
October’s newsletter includes the first in a series of periodic interviews to appear on our YouTube channelwww.patrontechnology.tv. Patron Technology CEO Gene Carr talks to Linda Forlini, the Director of Customer Service and Sales at the New York Philharmonic and a 26-year veteran in the box office and ticketing industry. In this conversation, Linda reveals how a CRM approach has brought an entirely new role for the box office at the New York Philharmonic.
September 2011 — Eugene Carr: Top Insights from the Top Tech Conference
Last week, the Moscone Center in San Francisco became the epicenter of the technology world as 30,000+ attended salesforce.coms annual Dreamforce conference. CEO Marc Benioff announced that Dreamforce is now the biggest technology conference in the world. And his company, with 104,000 customers worldwide and $2B in revenue, isnt riding the technology wave — its creating it…
August 2011 — Eugene Carr: The Ticket Is Dead
“The ticket is dead,” proclaimed Fred Maglione, CEO of New Era Tickets. That’s a shocking statement coming from the President/CEO of a company that does the ticketing for such high profile clients as the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers and is owned by Comcast-Spectacor..
July 2011 — Eugene Carr: Is Email Dying? Digital Preferences of Arts Patrons Revealed
There is something that’s been nagging me for years, and it has to do with marketing research, and the urge to compare what were doing against other such studies. For the last seven years, in an attempt to advise our clients and inform our presentations and seminars, we’ve fielded a national survey of arts patrons’ online behavior by working with a selection of our clients and sending a survey to their email lists. I’ve used this as a proxy for arts patron behavior in general and quote from it extensively in our publications. In fact, the whole first section of our new book, “Breaking the Fifth Wall: Rethinking Arts Marketing for the 21st Century,reports on our 2010 survey.
June 2011 — Eugene Carr: A Springtime of Discontent – Two Paradigms for Thriving Arts Organizations
I spent last week at the League of American Orchestras annual conference in Minneapolis, and came away confused, concerned, and frankly somewhat depressed. My reaction didnt stem so much from the problems the orchestra field is facing as from what people are talking about or NOT talking about in terms of solutions.
May 2011 — Eugene Carr: What’s the Secret Sauce Today?
Its hard to have a serious conversation these days with an executive director without talking about the rash of bankruptcies, closings, and financial stress arts groups are under. And yet, for each example there seems to be an equally compelling example of an organization thats doing extraordinarily well. Its hard to pull apart real lessons here, but Im going to try based on a few encounters recently.
April 2011 — Eugene Carr and Michelle Paul: Breaking the Fifth Wall (Excerpt)
As any actor will tell you, the fourth wall refers to the imaginary separation in a theatre between the action on stage and the audience sitting in the dark watching the play. When an actor breaks the fourth wall, he turns and speaks directly to the audience, breaking the illusion of the autonomy of the action. The effect is often startlingeven a bit jarringas the imaginary world of the stage is momentarily interrupted.
March 2011 — Eugene Carr: Is Social Media Killing Email Marketing for the Arts?
During the last few weeks we have fielded our seventh annual arts patron research study, which analyzes the online behavior of arts patrons. This year, we mailed a questionnaire to over 70,000 patrons and the results are just starting to come in.
February 2011 — Eugene Carr: Motivate the Motivated
Is persuading kids to experience the arts when they are young is important in building a foundation of future arts-goers. But given where our country is headed right now, universal arts education seems a worthy but distant goal.
January 2011 — Russell Feldman: Your Mission: Climb the Pyramid of Arts Actualization
Ever since I encountered the frustrations of my first data management system in my first job in the arts, Ive tried to understand the data needs of arts administrators. Whats the best way to manage our data, and why does it seem so rarely achieved or even understood?
2010December 2010 — Eugene Carr: We’re In the Business of Tomorrow
Along with 15,000 others in a packed convention center in San Francisco last week, I witnessed an amazingly inspiring event. President Bill Clinton took the stage (introduced by Stevie Wonder), and held court for more than an hour, talking about whats on his mind. From physics to green energy to the earthquake in Haiti, he outlined his take on whats wrong with the world, whats wrong with America, and how to fix it.
November 2010 — Eugene Carr and Michelle Paul: Facebooks New Deals Feature – A Geography Lesson
Did you happen to notice the latest news from Facebook last week? It was perhaps the quietest, least controversial announcement theyve made in years, but it may very well have the most impact for anyone selling anything to the public.
October 2010 — Eugene Carr: Connection-Seekers: A New Target for Marketers
What if I told you that the particular art you put on the stage isnt so important after all? We recently found out that for some arts patrons, this may be true. Although the accepted wisdom is that what happens on the stage or goes on the wall is the key driver of audience development, followed by price, theres now another factor that seems surprisingly important.
September 2010 — Eugene Carr: Is the Recession Affecting Arts Patrons? It Depends on Who You Ask
Last March, we surveyed over 10,000 patrons of 23 different arts organizations about their online habits and arts attendance. We found that the ongoing recession is affecting a large segment of the arts-going community, and that the segment that is being most affected is the audience of the future.
August 2010 — Eugene Carr: Back to the E-Future: What a Difference (Nearly) a Decade Makes!
We started Patron Technology exactly nine years ago this week, and as I thought about how to mark this anniversary, I was reminded of an article I wrote that was posted on our website in 2002.
July 2010 — Eugene Carr: Revolutionizing the Arts with Technology: Introducing Customer Relationship Management & PatronManager CRM
Last month at the League of American Orchestras’ annual conference in Atlanta, the Duke Foundations Ben Cameron delivered a knock-out introductory speech about the challenging world that confronts arts managers…
June 2010 — Eugene Carr and Michelle Paul: The New Curtain Raiser: Online Ticketing
Once you’ve got your pricing right, the ticket purchase is the moment when all of the cumulative effects of your marketing come together. It’s what you’ve been striving for and working towards to get patrons to transact with you and buy a ticket. Gene Carr and Michelle cover the ticket-buying process specifically online ticketing.
May 2010 — Eugene Carr: Demystifying Cloud Computing
If you’ve read a technology-related article recently, it’s likely you’ve seen the phrase “cloud computing.” It’s become one of those buzzwords that everyone uses, and maybe you sort of get the idea, but deep down maybe you don’t really understand what it is. Gene Carr gives some background on cloud computing and explain how it will become more and more relevant for the arts.
April 2010 — Jack McAuliffe: Audience Surveys: Ask and You Shall Receive
You never know until you ask, and statistics show that audiences are more than willing than ever to answer. In this webinar, Jack McAuliffe, president ofEngaged Audiences, shares his insights on surveying and the benefits of taking care to always survey with a purpose. Jack will go over the various survey methods available, as well as help determine which methods are best suited for specific purposes.
March 2010 — Eugene Carr: The Demanding World of Dynamic Pricing
“Dynamic Pricing,” “Demand-Based Pricing,” and “Variable Pricing” are all words that describe the notion of changing ticket prices day by day, like the airlines do. This concept has cropped up on a regular basis over the last few years in the arts, and it seems to be happening with increasing frequency. In this article, Patron Technology president, Gene Carr, explores this world of dymanic pricing and it’s implications for the arts.
February 2010 — Ken Davenport: Ten Simple Steps to Start Internet Marketing Your Show or Your Theatre
Ken Davenport, our guest writer this month, is one of Broadway’s rising star producers. This article, though initially written for theatre producers, is as succinct a summary of good arts marketing practices as we’ve seen in a long time.
January 2010 — Russell Feldman: Three Email Truths I Wish I Had Known at Carnegie Hall
Patron Technology’s newest Account Executive, Russell Feldman, shares three truths he learned about email marketing that he wishes he had known during his time at Carnegie Hall and elsewhere. Even if you’re a marketing guru, there’s some fundamental facts about email marketing that you might not know.
2009December 2009 — Eugene Carr: 2009 Year End Wrap-Up: Social Media, Email, and CRM
Patron Technology, Gene Carr, reflects on arts marketing on the Internet, the work we’ve done here at Patron Technology, and the work we will be doing next year.
November 2009 — Lorna Dolci: Mad Men for the 21st Century
Email marketing, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. are all simply new media vehicles, which are slowly displacing traditional media such as newspaper and magazines and radio. But the underlying fundamentals are truly the same.
October 2009 — Emily Barrett: Still Haven’t Joined the World of E-commerce? The What, the How, and Three Reasons Why
Many of our clients’ organizations are already well-acquainted with the world of e-commerce, but this article is intended for those who haven’t yet taken the leap…
September 2009 — Ching Jen Lum and Michelle Paul: The Secret Formula for Email Newsletter Content Ideas
Coming up with newsletter content month after month can be difficult, especially in the off-season…
August 2009 — Chelsea Jones, Allison Klein, and Michelle Paul: Social Media Chemistry Lesson – Facebook + Twitter + Blogging
Over the last several months of articles, we’ve presented an introduction to Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. Now come the bigger questions: How can you make all these pieces fit together as part of your organization’s social media strategy?…
July 2009 — Eric Saber: Over and Out: How G-Mail Can Help You at Work (and Why It’s Time to Ditch Outlook)
Gmail is a free web-based email program than can make day-to-day emailing easier to manage and more efficient. Patron Technology Account Executive, Eric Saber, goes over why organizations should consider switching to Gmail for their work email, shows how to get started with it from a technical perspective, and provides tips and tricks.
June 2009 — Chelsea Jones: Is Blogging Yesterday’s News? No Way! The Why and How of Blogging
The simplest and most important thing you can do to energize your Web site and motivate repeat visits is to make it a place that patrons can count on to provide relevant, updated, and compelling content. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is by blogging…
May 2009 — Allison Klein: What’s All the Fuss About Twitter? Beyond the Basics (Part 2 of 2)
In part four of our social media series, Patron Technology Account Development Manager, Allison Klein, builds on the basic concepts of Twitter that were presented in April, focusing on content and how to approach tweeting differently from other forms of communications with patrons.
April 2009 — Allison Klein: What’s All the Fuss About Twitter? (Part 1 of 2)
In part three of our social media series, Patron Technology Account Development Manager, Allison Klein, explains what Twitter is and how people use it, and introduces a simple way for arts organizations to start using Twitter for marketing research.
March 2009 — Michelle Paul: Getting Friendly with Your Fans – Your Organization’s Presence on Facebook (Part Two)
Facebook recently announced some changes that will affect the way organizations use Facebook. In part two of our social media series, Michelle sheds some light on these changes and what they might mean for arts organizations building a presence on Facebook.
February 2009 — Michelle Paul: Fans Are Better Than Friends – Your Organization’s Presence on Facebook (Part One)
Facebook’s growing popularity is inescapable. This article is the first of a multi-part series on how to establish your organization on Facebook. Michelle Paul, Business Development Manager at Patron Technology, gives a broad overview of the options for arts organizations (and other businesses) on Facebook, as well as some essential tips about what you should be doing.
January 2009 — Chelsea Jones: My Top Email Marketing Blunders and Resolutions to Avoid Them!
Chelsea Jones, Client Services Manager of Patron Technology, offers her list of common email marketing mistakes and resolutions to avoid them.
2008December 2008 — Lily Traub: A Twenty-Something’s Take: How to Raise Money from My Generation
I would argue that this is a perfect opportunity to do some shoring-up with your twenty-something patrons
November 2008 — Eugene Carr: Obama’s E-marketing Victory
I became an acute observer of the e-mail and Web marketing techniques employed by the candidates, particularly Barack Obama, who seemed to have it right from the start.
October 2008 — Eugene Carr: An Open Letter to Arts and Non-Profit Organizations
I’m interrupting our regular series of arts marketer interviews to address the current economic turmoil and how I believe non-profits should approach it with respect to their e-marketing efforts.
September 2008 — Carol Fitzgerald: Interview with Carol Fitzgerald, our Arts Marketer of the Month
Marketing to kids and teens
August 2008 — Susanna Kearny: E-volution, Learning As You Grow
Arts marketers in many ways are e-mail artists. The evolution of their organization’s electronic voice is directly connected to their work
July 2008 — Susan Summers: The E-mail Renaissance
As modern-day stewards of the classical, arts marketers are entrusted with the role of strengthening the bridge between old and new. Susan Summers, Publicity Director and Arts Events Director at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, has successfully expanded this bridge by using the tools of e-marketing to juxtapose past and present.
June 2008 — Sarah Pressler: The Virtual Front Row: Using E-marketing to Capture and Develop New Audiences
The challenge for arts marketers in a culture dominated by television and cinema is how to encourage patrons to continue to seek out the theatre for an experience of active exchange. Sarah Pressler, the Marketing & Public Relations Manager at Round House Theatre in Bethesda, MD, has answered this challenge by using e-mail as a tool to develop new audiences and bring the theatre to life.
May 2008 — Ali Walsh & Dolan Geiman: The Art of E-marketing
Over the past several years, technology has become in essence the painter of our surroundings, opening new portals through which to understand and connect to the arts. For individual artists, the challenge has been in discovering how to use technology to build a community that extends both online and offline.
April 2008 — Darcy Minter: Building Your Web: Using New Media to Enrich Your E-marketing Program
The challenge for arts marketers in the age of new media is how to use the mediums of the past, the present, and the future to build a bridge so that patrons can acquire a message with the same depth of experience whether they attend an event in person or online.
March 2008 — McB Smith: E-Harmony: Developing, Nurturing, and Expanding Your Connection with Patrons
McB has used e-newsletters to capture the essence and the magic of opera, personalizing the performance long before patrons even enter the theatre.
February 2008 — Jim Hirsch: The Sum Is Greater Than the Parts
After thinking about how the Chicago Sinfonietta could engage audiences through its Web site, I quickly came to the conclusion that this pilot program would work much better if it was implemented by a consortium of classical music organizations. Chicago is blessed with a good number of wonderful classical music organizations, and I began calling each of the large ones to see if they would be interested in participating.
January 2008 — Jim Royce: Is Advertising Really Dead?
Arts organizations, unlike Apple, are constantly re-inventing all their core products, not just upgrading them. Like Apple, arts managers must build and maintain strong brand images for their companies that say we’re capable of delivering provocative and engaging products. Every week we should say, “Pay close attention to what we’re up to and trust us to keep you excited.” Make your ideas sticky.