Resilience: What We Learned

What a day! Our biggest event of the year is done! If you missed it don’t worry you can get your recap here . . .spoilers ahead!

We don’t need to remind anyone that it has been a bit of a year. Ups, downs, open, close, restrictions, fewer restrictions - we’ve had it all and then some. So when it came to planning our annual arts event, admittedly we were a little wary. But we knew the Ticketsolve community, our arts partners and the Arts Working Group all had great stories to tell and loads of information to share so we set to work. The result was Resilience - a day of hope, learning and looking forward!

And (if you can excuse a humble brag for a second) Resilience, our biggest event of the year was a HUGE success! Focusing on how organisations have responded to the challenges brought by the pandemic, Resilience was all about sharing and using these learnings to shift our priorities, inform our decisions, and prepare for a strong and successful reopening.

The day brought together arts industry partners like Baker Richards, The Audience Agency and Digital Culture Network, Ticketsolve community member stories, The Arts Working Group and Ticketsolve in a day long happening all centred on the theme of Resilience. 

We kicked off with a keynote and welcome from Ticketsolve, Managing Director, Paul Fadden who gave the 300+ attendees a brief overview of the last year - and perhaps more importantly - a positive and bright vision for the future for the arts. 

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Next up was a session with Baker Richards CEO, Robin Cantrill-Fenwick and The Return of Audiences: Five Approaches for Success. Robin’s session was a fascinating look into the data and research behind audiences returning and pulled from a wide range of sources here in Europe and abroad. Robin really helped us better understand the data, what it means and how to use the information strategically.

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Following Robin was The Arts Working Group session, chaired by Peter Ling from Ipswich Theatre. The Arts Working Group came together in March 2020 in an effort to provide guidance, practical advice and help to the arts and culture industry through webinars as well as a series of toolkits in a variety of areas from Risk Assessment to Bringing Back Volunteers. During our session the Working Group chatted through some of their insight into reopening thinking and beyond and how to evaluate the myriad of challenges.Topics included ticket insurance, changes to the box office as reopening approaches, programming, producing shows, marketing and brochures, outdoor events and other topics. It was incredibly helpful and informative. A huge thank you to Peter Ling (Ipswich Theatre), Mandy Mills (Venue Cymru), Bryony May (Fermanagh Omagh), Chris Jenkins (MRC Presents), Lissy Malt (The Place Bedford), and Louise Miles-Payne (Creu Cymru) and Kai Aberdeen (we missed you)(Princes Theatre) for all your insights!

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Over lunch, our Resilience audience got a chance to catch up with Ticketsolve Support as well as get a welcome and introduction to Customer Success at Ticketsolve. Nick took us through what Customer Success is (a springboard for your ideas) and what it can do for you (helps you reach your bigger goals and objectives). If you haven’t heard from Nick and the team yet, rest assured you will! But if you were inspired after hearing Nick - get in touch to get started!

Helen and Conor then took attendees through some tips, tricks and how tos within Ticketsolve, as well as new functionality within the scanning app, new banking matters coming down the pike, as well as how on-demand works within Ticketsolve Rooms. As always, if you have any questions, get in touch with us at Customer Support for more help.

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The afternoon then kicked off with a session, from Oliver Mantell, Director of Policy Research, Audience Agency. Oliver shared the research from Cultural Participation Monitor and delved deeper into audiences, who they are, what they have been doing during the pandemic, how they feel about coming back, and what the implications might be for the sector going forward. Oliver took us through the basics of why audiences attend in the first place; what are their motivations, and then looking at what happened last September, looking at changes and what to expect in the future. It was a much needed deep dive into audiences. 

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After Oliver, five Ticketsolve community members shared their experiences through the pandemic and their plans for reopening. This session was highly anticipated; we had the opportunity to hear from Gillian Hennessy (Triskel Arts), James Randall (Amata Falmouth University), Niamh Honer (Civic Theatre), Dawn Hawkins (The Barn Arts) and Rob Smith (Canterbury Festival). Each case demonstrated the rapid response the arts took and the resilience each has tapped into to keep moving forward. A huge thank you to all of our panelists for sharing their stories and insights.

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Following our Ticketsolve Community we heard from Nick Kime, Tech Champion with Digital Culture Network. Nick showed us what new digital trends have come as a result of the pandemic. Nick also took us through new ways to think about measuring and marketing online events, as well as trends in digital programming and ticketing. Our fave tip was writing a job description for your website!

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Closing our day, we heard from Ticketsolve CEO, Seán Hanly who explained the thinking, technology and design behind TicketOffice, Ticketsolve’s new look and where Ticketsolve is headed into the future - apparently to the moon!

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While we didn’t get the traditional Ticketsolve knees up at the end of the day, it was a great way to reconnect with everyone and share stories, get new ideas and get inspired about what is to come - even if it is all still a little unclear. 

We are so grateful for all the speakers and participants for taking the time to join us yesterday and share their experiences. Your ideas and insights are invaluable. 

And of course, a massive thank you to everyone who attended. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did - we’ll see you all on the moon - and if you need a hand getting there - you know we are always here :)

Catch up on Resilience