Thursday, June 25, 2009

Core Values

We (the staff of the League) have been doing a little work on core values this week. I gave everyone a list of words that describe values and asked them to come into our staff meeting with what they felt were the top three that described the core values of the League (everyone rebelled and insisted on five, so we did five). We had a conversation about each of the values that everyone put forward and next week we will talk more about it. It’s not necessarily about defining the core values for the League at this moment but more about defining how we are doing in fulfilling our mission as we filter it through our core values. The words from our mission that we use all the time are “promote, support and advocate.” Those of you who know me know I’m not really a big process person, not really interested in a lot of naval gazing. I like to get stuff done. But, I do think it’s important to take a step back from the work from time to time and say how are we doing on a different level, how are we defining success for ourselves. What IS our decision making process? I was very pleasantly surprised at how eagerly the staff took to this task and how much thought went into their responses. So, what ARE the core values of the League? Well, we don’t know yet (our community is much larger than just our staff and we would never presume to identify for everyone), but the list was about 80 words, from those 80 as a staff we picked a total of 14 and the top three…community, leadership and support. I was also very pleased and gratified that there seemed to be so much in-synch thinking. It didn’t take long, it was fun and I think it got us re-focused.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Online Ticketing Market Research Released

I talked a little bit about this study before and now it is complete. Conducted by Slover-Linett and funded by The Chicago Community Trust, it is chock full of good information. The study was done to try to determine what can be done to increase on-line ticket buying. To me, some of the most interesting findings are these: A large minority of respondents (40-45%) passively awaits information; they do not seek it out. While patrons identified email as the best way for them to receive information, 25% of in-theatre respondents indicated that they got their information for that performance via regular mail and only 11% said they got it through an email. There is much more there and I hope you all find it useful. The League will be doing some enhancements and making some changes both on the website and Hot Tix, we will keep you posted as to what those are.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Theater Dish

By Ben Thiem, Director of Member Services

If you don't have plans tonight you should join us at Silk Road Theatre Project for Theater Dish. Will Lester from Target Resource Group will be leading a presentation and discussion on strategies for effectively using your database. Two years ago Will led a Theater Dish presentation on single ticket buyer retention strategies that was excellent and a lot of the information was widely used during the TCG Free Night of Theater initiative last year. Don't miss out on this great free professional development opportunity. Full details are below.

Theater Dish
Amid economic uncertainty, arts marketers and administrators are being asked to produce more with fewer resources. The #1 tool for success? Your house database. Learn how strategic intelligence from your database can help you optimize patronage and revenue. Will Lester, Vice President of Target Resource Group will lead this session. Target Resource Group is a data-driven consulting company with arts and culture clients throughout North America. He is a frequent session leader and panelist for arts industry professional development conferences nationwide.
Date: Thursday, June 11
Check In: 5:30 - 6 p.m.
Presentation/Discussion: 6 p.m. - 7: 30 p.m.
Location: Silk Road Theatre Project, 77 W. Washington Ave. Lower Level

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Advocacy in Action

I talked a little bit about advocacy last week and since then I have been involved in a couple of advocacy trainings and even met with some of Dick Durbin's staffers yesterday in DC. So I am jazzed about advocacy. One thing I learned that I thought was really interesting and inspires me to write more letters is that it only takes ten letters from constituents (that is real letters, not the ones someone sends you to send), for a legislator to take notice. Ten letters only, I don't think there is any one of you who doesn't have ten supporters to write a letter for you and imagine if it only takes ten what 200 will do. While we were waiting for Dick Durbin's staffers yesterday I started talking to the folks who answer the phone there (at 5:00 it was ringing about once every minute or so) and it was all people who wanted to say what they thought about a specific issue. Every one of those comments gets recorded and entered into the Congressional Record. The staffers told me that they were 95% negative because people don't call unless they are angry. But hey, if you call, your opinion gets recorded and entered into the congressional record. Maybe some of you knew that, but I didn't. A former state legislator's staffer said that a big part of his job was to find good works, do them and get credit for them.

Here's the deal, I'm starting to get the message that in fact, our legislators actually care about our issues if we care, but we have to tell them we care. So, let them know about the issues that are important to you but also let them know about the excellent work you are doing with city, state or federal funding, international exchange, whatever it is. Apparently they love anecdotes, so if you have a great story...tell it to them so they can repeat it when they make your case, which is, after all, their job.