Today’s guest blog post is written by Jordan Simmons, Senior Account Executive, PatronManager.
For several years now, every arts conference I have attended has held some sort of conversation on whether (and how) to integrate social media/mobile technology into performances and attendance. The consensus on the topic seems to be to “meet patrons where they are,” by providing specific social media-friendly opportunities for people to interact with. It makes a lot of sense in a way — organizations are now creating cool, new experiences that draw people in, and in turn, those people are sharing their experiences on their social networks, encouraging even more people to attend.
Prime examples of this kind of social media practice include companies such as Museum Hack, an irreverent “guerrilla” museum tour company that encourages live tweeting and photography during their tours. I’ve also heard of theatres putting on special “social media nights,” allowing (and encouraging) people to come and live-tweet performances. There is a new trend in traveling exhibitions as well, which in some ways harken back to Barnum’s American Museum; these types of exhibits are semi-educational, completely entertaining, and blur the line between art and selfie backdrops.
Organizations are doing their best to keep up with the demands and expectations of patrons in the mobile age, but at least some segment of arts professionals and patrons seem to be thinking about what is lost in all of the conversation and excitement. Given this backdrop, I found it interesting when I came across this article in the Washington Post regarding a newly-expanded museum in Maryland called Glenstone. Read the Article