Marketing and Audience Development

When it comes to marketing, we need to keep our regular fans engaged and get our casual attendees to come more often. We also need to reach out to those in our community who are currently not attending and find a way to make the invitation so compelling they can’t refuse!

Over the last 18 months, CCI organized a series of networking and professional development opportunities  for presenters in the North and Eastern regions of the province. These workshops have been a wonderful opportunity to network with colleagues working in a particular region of the province, at the same time as picking up some valuable skills development.

As a part of this series, on February 1st to 3rd,  CCI - Ontario Presenting Network, in collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage, hosted a Marketing and Audience Development Workshop in Kingston, ON.

This time twenty seven participants representing a variety of volunteer based classical music presenters and other presenting organizations from Eastern Ontario arrived in Kingston. Friday evening they had the opportunity to attend a performance by acclaimed artists Louis Lortie and Hélène Mercier at the Grand Theatre. Over the next two days, workshop participants were led by Lendre Kearns and Judy Harquail through a series of topics including market research and the development of marketing plans.  Participants also had a chance to trade tips and tricks with colleagues, explore audience development principles and strategies and learn a bit more about contemporary marketing practices such as social media and e-marketing. 

Here’s what the workshop participants had to say:

  • My expectations were very high and I was really delighted with my experience. I came away with an amazing list of item actions and ideas. Concepts of market broadening, deepening and diversifying, social media tools to use were particularly valuable. I believe that we will have a three year plan to accomplish our goals with immediate results thanks to Judy and Lendre – Marilyn Mason, Sarnia Concert Association, President
  • Collaboration sessions were the highlight. As a result of this workshop, our organization will cut newspaper advertising, review research plans, expand our use of facebook and twitter, improve coordination and cooperation with “partners” in our market and beyond that in our genre. – Jim Patterson, Port Hope Friends of Music, VP, Marketing
  • This presentation gives us better ways to evaluate potential marketing opportunities or efforts before we commit, and better ways to determine our specific goals.
  • It was particularly helpful to hear ideas and challenges other presenters are facing in attracting new members, and retaining their audiences. I feel that it might be helpful to know the profile of the people living in the catchment area when planning new advertising strategies within the working groups.