Coffee and Other Sources of Engagement

It was an early morning meeting day  today – my first was up at Yonge and St. Clair (I say up as I am a downtown girl) with Sean Howard. Sean is the author of Craphammer – a blog I love reading, mostly because it’s fiercely intelligent like he is, and partially because I adore Sean. Sean and I first worked together when he was with Spinglobe and I was with Artscape and we’ve never lost touch.

I like having coffee with Sean – for me, Sean manages to strike just the right balance between art and digital engagement.  Right now he’s working on a presentation  for an international arts and culture group so we were talking about social media, going through examples of engagement that I’ve really liked in the past while. I mentioned that many companies are getting really good at making Youtube videos for their upcoming productions, no matter what the budget  – Groundwater Production’s Montparnasse  was my first thought, followed by the ones that Soulpepper have been making. In terms of overall season commercials, This Is The Place  by Theatre Passe Muraille made me really happy. (Although I wish it were posted to YouTube as well as Facebook).

We also talked about contests we’d found effective – Vancouver Opera’s contest “Where’s Nixon?” was a fantastic idea, extremely interactive and well executed.

Why am I telling you this? To make the point that none of these ideas and videos are recent ,as in they are less than a month old. But they’ve stuck in my head. They’re good and worth sharing. When was the last time you shared a flyer with a friend? Rarely, I would guess. But all these videos take are an email, or Facebook post and three magic words – “Check this out”.

Just as importantly,  they’ve got staying power – long after the flyers are recycled and the posters taken down, the programs in scrapbooks or archives and the website changed for the new season’s productions and colours –  these videos can be viewed again and again – and that means your company benefits from that staying power – they’ve gone past being an ad for a specific production and into becoming an ad for your company as producer. In short –  they’re excellent examples of what else are you going to do?

SIDE NOTE – delighted to announce I will be working with the amazing team over at Expect Theatre on their upcoming production of AWAKE – I’ve known Chris and Laura (the talented folks at the helm) for years and can’t wait to collaborate with them on this fantastic piece of theatre. You can follow them on Twitter @ExpectTheatre.

Reminder that the OAC Compass deadline is still approaching – June 1st, folks. Let’s talk.

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