Filed under: My POV
My POV: “If it’s not in Tessitura, it doesn’t exist!”
During the week of August 9, 2010, I attended the annual Tessitura Learning & Community Conference (TLCC) in Washington, DC along with 14 other Adrienne Arsht Center executives and staff members. TLCC is an annual member-driven conference supporting the Tessitura fundraising, ticketing and constituent management software package. Community members from arts organizations around the world attend each year. This year’s conference was no different, with more than 900 attendees from 215 organizations in six countries. Performing arts centers, symphony, opera, and ballet companies, museums and universities are all community members and regular attendees.
This year’s conference had a heavy focus on social media interactions and alternatives to traditional business models. ACT Theatre in Seattle, WA, for example, showed off their new membership program that replaced their old season subscription model. Instead of a traditional season subscription, ACT now sells an “all you can see” membership at a flat monthly fee which allows patrons to attend any performance they want, as many times as they like. This allows patrons to not only attend popular, more mainstream performances, but also explore edgy, less popular performances that they would be less inclined to attend on a “pay per view” basis. Patrons overwhelmingly adopted the new model, and ACT is able to better predict monthly revenue from the recurring memberships. This model may not work in Miami, but it’s got us thinking about new and creative initiatives.
This is the fourth TLCC I’ve attended since joining the Adrienne Arsht Center staff. In addition to being an attendee I was also on the planning committee for the executive track sessions. Because of the large number of presentations and breakout sessions during the conference week, Tessitura Network staff recruits members of the Tessitura user community to assist with content planning for the conference, from concept through presentation. In this year’s sessions, I worked with ACT Theater of Seattle, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company of Washington, DC and Dallas Symphony Orchestra in planning their sessions. Working closely with these organizations allowed me to get even deeper into the way they run their business and bring back ideas for use at the Adrienne Arsht Center.
Outside of the scheduled sessions, the conference allows for some networking time. The Arts community is small and tight-knit, so the annual conference is a great time to catch up with colleagues from around the world and exchange ideas outside the designated workshop sessions. This year we were also treated to a reception at the Kennedy Center complete with backstage tour.
Next year’s conference is in Orlando, FL, on Disney World property. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to attend, network with colleagues and bring back even more ideas!
-James J. Thompson, Senior Director, IT, Adrienne Arsht Center
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