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First-Time Attenders

Happy Monday! I hope your day went well. I’m just back from kicking off a new project last week with a large nonprofit in Eugene, Oregon. While there, I talked about strategies to get new people to attend cultural events. This was also the topic on episode 5 of the “CultureVoice: An International Perspective on the Marketing of Arts and Culture” podcast I host with the fabulous Carol Jones. The title is “Moving the Needle for First-Time Attendees,” and in it, we cover six strategies to motivate first-timers to get involved.

Here are three strategies that we discuss in more detail on the podcast:

  1. Focus your organization. Everyone, at all levels of the organization, needs to know the brand inside-out. There must be a shared understanding of what you’re about. If someone asks anyone on your team about your organization, what would you have your team member say? What talking points can you provide in advance?

  2. Take advantage of cultural connections. A solid indicator for potential attendance by a first-timer is knowing someone involved with the art. Actors in the play. Curators of the exhibit. How might you help those involved with the art to reach out to their network? What types of tools might you provide?

  3. Sell the larger benefits. People attend cultural events for many reasons. What are some of the benefits that people will receive if they experience your art? How will they feel emotionally? How will their lives improve? Gym marketing is great at this. Gyms don’t focus on a specific machine they offer. They focus on how great you’ll feel after you work out. How your whole life will be better with exercise. Do the same for your message about your art. For the other three, I invite you to listen to the podcast. You can also subscribe via the podcast player of your choice. Just search for “culturevoice” in the player. And if you are new to podcasts and would like a primer, just reply and I’ll get you connected.

This week’s mission:

On the podcast, I talk about creating talking points for your organization. Your mission is to create a short list of talking points you’d like your staff to work into their conversations. This can be as simple as 4 or 5 bullet points. You might look to your mission statement as inspiration, but don’t use the mission statement as it is. They never sound good in regular conversation. What are the factors that make your organization unique? And how would you like your team to communicate them to others?




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I'm Ron Evans. I dramatically improve individual and organizational performance. If you found today's topic intriguing and want to apply it to your situation, I'll brainstorm with you. The few who follow through and take me up on my offer will benefit greatly. Strike while the iron is hot! 


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