AMA Conference 2014: the highlights

This year’s Arts Marketing Association Conference saw arts marketers from around the world head to Bristol for two days of workshops, sessions and networking.

With the association in its 21st year, and the 20th year of the conference, this summer’s event worked under the theme The People Formerly Known as the Audience.

The AMA Conference featured an opening keynote from Ben Cameron, programme director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, who discussed how the arts’ relationship with people is changing.

Matt Locke, director of Storythings, and Clare Reddington, director of Watershed, questioned if it’s time to change how we think about audiences.

The key messages of the AMA Conference were to allow room to collaborate with audiences, and acknowledge that the nature of online audience engagement means that some control will be lost. The more contrived a project or marketing message, the less effective it will be.

Delegates and speakers also recognised that modern audiences are individuals, and people expect to collaborate and participate with arts organisations.

And in the midst of a concerted effort to increase diversity in the arts, some commenters criticised the lack of diversity on the conference panels.

We’ve taken a look at some of the online discussion and reaction to the event. Add your comments below.