Impact Ideas


AMA Conference 2016: On a Mission to Matter

Written by Chris France 18 / 07 / 2016

Wow. What a great few days. From around the world, marketers involved in the arts converged on the lovely city of Edinburgh for the Arts Marketing Association conference. A great mix of speakers, workshops, seeing old friends and meeting new. 

AMA conference 2016 logo

On a Mission to Matter was the theme of the conference. Across all situations, the conference was designed to help marketers and their institutions make powerful connections and build relationships with the people that matter – from participants and donors to stakeholders and most importantly the audience.

The conference really was on a mission. The keynotes from Xerxes Mazda, Donna Walker-Kuhne, Meabh Quoirin and Nina Simon set the tone. Each exploring the topic from their own distinct perspective, the word that was often repeated was “relevance”.

How can we be more relevant to our audience and the communities around us?

Nina Simon made her museum reconnect with the community around them, Meabh Quoirin spoke of the changing expectations of the public when it comes to the arts and Donna Walker-Kuhne covered the importance of inclusivity and what it takes to welcome new people into your building.

How we, as marketers, speak to our audience and the channels we use help our institutions demand the public’s attention is changing. It is up to us to keep up.    

There were many highlights but those that stood out were Thinking Practice’s enlightening piece on the Business Model Canvas, Cara Sutherland’s inspiring work at the Mental Health Museum, and Helen Ball, Karl Greenwood and Kathryn Goodfellow’s work getting more people in disadvantaged areas to simply enjoy art. Particular thanks to Jo Verrent at Unlimited for her one to one and her practical advice on reaching disabled artists and audiences. Work to do.

And of course there was the socialising. We met lots of lovely people. It was fantastic to see so many friendly faces. Drinks, coffee, and chicken. Oh the chicken. There are a few tired bodies today but the minds are full of ideas. Can’t wait to see where they take us.

To find out how we can help you be relevant to your audiences, get in touch with us at or call 0207 729 5978 today.

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