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Deep Dive: "Strategic Communications Around Venue Safety"



May 3, 2021 - With more and more venues re-opening, audiences are relying on arts and cultural organizations to communicate effectively about health safety measures and what sort of experience patrons can expect. This session draws on qualitative research findings, survey results, and emerging practices in strategic communications, with the goal of supporting efforts to build confidence and guide patrons through the re-entry process. Guests: Alan Brown, Principal, WolfBrown, Sara Villagio, Chief Marketing Officer, Carnegie Hall Sara Billman, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, University Musical Society Surale Phillips, Independent Researcher and Consultant Ron Evans, President, Dramatic Strategies


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Billy: Hi from Playwrights Horizons!

Ron Evans: Welcome!

Dayna Kalakau: Morning from Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley, CA!

Cindy: TADA! Youth Theater in NYC checking in!

Ilana Barker: Good afternoon, from the Flint Institute of Music in Flint, MI

Chris Cox: Pittsburgh Opera checking in from...Pittsburgh

Maxwell Bolton: Greetings from Michigan Opera Theatre/Detroit Opera House!

Kathryn Appleton: Hello from San Francisco Opera!

Trish Long: Hello from Dallas Children's Theater!

Tom Hitchman: Hello from Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival !

Mac Ingram: Hi! Mac from Ars Nova

Ron Oshima: Hello from the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Kim Howard: Hello from CultureSource in Detroit, MI!

Rebecca Kittredge: Hello from Boston Lyric Opera!

Tammy Moore: Hello from Atlanta's Spivey Hall!

Tricia Ekholm: Hello from Atlanta Ballet

Karen McKevitt: Hello from Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Jean Leonard: Hello from Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ!

Susan Weiler: Hello from Susan Weiler at Global Arts Live in Cambridge, MA

Steve Steiner: Hello from New Jersey's Surflight Theatre on Long Beach Island

Alyssa de Hoop: Hello from Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, ON, Canada!

Rachael Brown: Hello from Northwest Children's Theater in Portland, OR!

Laura Kirk: Hello from Yale Rep!

Ron Evans: Welcome everyone!

Mark Marston: Hello from Pittsburgh Opera

Caitlin: Also Hello from Yale REp

Kerstin Adams: Hi from Stepppenwolf Theatre in Chicago!

Claire Graves: Hi from Atlantic Theater Company!

Mary Alex Nosek: Hello from Goodman Theatre in Chicago

Melanie Darby: Hello from Spivey Hall Education

PennyMaria Jackson: Hello from PennyMaria Jackson (based in NYC) on behalf of CultureSource in Detroit, MI.

Jennifer Hubbartt: Greetings from First Stage in Milwaukee, WI!

Alyssa de Hoop: Hello from the Thousand Islands Playhouse!

Alan Brown: Great video, Alyssa

Sara Villagio: Great video, Alyssa; loved the way you used drawings to convey details that haven't actually occurred yet!

David: Maintain virtual presence while growing our visits

Rachael Brown: Re-engage with our patrons and get them back into the fold.

Chris Tollack: Publish a seating chart that indicates proper social distancing.

Chris Cox: Reassure our subscribers that it's safe for them to renew for our upcoming season (which starts in the fall)

Derek January: I've seen from WB open-ended questions specific to my org (Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh) that people want more specific wordage on capacity limits, so that is a goal to share more over social/newsletters/etc.

Tammy Moore: Create a social experience safely

Cindy: Commitment to venue safety (ventilation, masks, staff vaccination status) for our ensemble members and later audiences

Amy Langer: Assurance that when we announce in-person dates, that we won't have to then change them

Sara Billmann: Over communicate -- when we're sick of talking about it, our audiences are just starting to register what we're saying.

Surale Phillips: Articulate your enforcement procedures...

Sara Villagio: Consistency - say it everywhere you can.

Ron Oshima: Convey sense of care re: safety as we are currently in our sign up window for next season in the youth orchestra.

Tijah Sikes: Not misleading our patrons and donors that we are doing financially well during the pandemic.

Sara Villagio: Love this and planning to create our own! Thank you for sharing this.

Ron Evans: Here's the link https://ums.org/2021/05/01/planning-for-a-safe-return-may-update/

Ron Evans: Carnegie Hall's page: https://www.carnegiehall.org/Coronavirus-Information/Our-Commitment-to-You

Surale Phillips: Ron, who created the putt-putt golf on the stage for a short, in-venue experience?

Ron Evans: I don't recall, but it was a great way to preview the space.

Alan Kline: It was the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis: https://dailymemphian.com/article/16208/the-orpheum-launches-first-day-of-on-stage-golf

Surale Phillips: Thanks, AK! Loved hearing that.

Rachael Brown: Maybe it's not about normalizing risk but about normalizing the safety protocols

Amanda: @Rachael Brown, this is a MUCH better way of framing it.

Surale Phillips: I think about the "I Voted Stickers" and how proud people are to wear them. I've been jabbed and I love and attend the BSO (for example)

Sandra Session-Robertson: This was very thoughtful. Wishing everyone well as we try to get back in the saddle.

Surale Phillips: Chandra at True Colors expressed "Being a community of care."

Ron Evans: The recording for this session will be available right here at this same link!

Derek January: Thanks everyone!

Maxwell Bolton: Thank you, all!!

Kathryn Appleton: Thank you so much!

Kim Howard: Thank you!

Alyssa de Hoop: Thanks!

Trish Long: Thanks

Ron Evans: Thanks for coming, all. We can do this.