Your reports Find reports What makes a good venue? What makes a good venue? Convener(s): Jules Munns Participants: We didn’t take a full list, sorry Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations: Creating a home for artists Being located in a good place How to find/make the motherhood in the apple pie Senior staff who say hello to everyone What is the difference between the artists and the audience? A place where you want to be, even when there is not a show to see. A café full of interesting and creative people A place to get a coffee and sit all day Cosiness, not feeling too exposed to the outside world Engaging everyone who works in the building, a place where even the cleaners are asking about the work ‘Basic stuff’ like someone greeting you properly A paint party to open, creating the community/ies who exist within the building The outside of the space, the banner that welcomes you in Recognise that people are scared to go to some theatres What is the language? Box office/tickets? The box office as an airlock between the outside world and the theatre The discounts/membership schemes that define an ‘in-crowd’ Is this good? Avoiding the feeling that the staff are doing you a favour by letting you in Cheap Free water that you don’t have to ask for Being brilliantly surprised by something – the threshold is easy to cross and the welcome warm and easy Ars Nova as a model – brilliant marketing, trailers before the shows without it feeling intrusive. Tells the story of the venue. The emails follow up: come to see the next show for only $5 Avoid the ‘please book’ email when you already have Reinforement: tell someone they’ve made the right decision and they will believe you. Build on your trust of them Keeping up communication so that all stakeholders feel invested. Everybody can be an ambssador It’s not only the show that makes you go ‘wow’ There is trust in the venue, and the nightmare is to your audience losing that. Hoe do you have failure without the venue being damaged? Marketing: how to usefully remind without irritating Trust: expectation management, you see what you were told you would see What are the cheap/free things which can make people feel invested without costing too much money Practicalities: enough women’s toilets/air con/seats, staff who know the running time, mobility and access issues, leg room and sight lines The unity in Liverpool as a good model Does the atmosphere in the venue go from the audience to the artists and back again? How do you share the risk between the venue and the company performing? The split model? Caring about the smaller stuff and doing what you say you will Clear website/submissions policy? Surgery days? ‘On Thursday we don’t answer the phone’ Who to contact and the time frame you can expect a response Don’t pretend to be more than you are. Literary department/’It’s Bob and he works part time’ People know who you are: There are three of us and we everything The difference between the audience you retain and the audience you want to expand Clear signs, as big as possible Are they audience or customers/or different things at different times in the experience Ritual aspects of the experience. Difference between the café people and the theatre people Easy buying experience: what to do during the day? Balancing the good vs the profitable Providing a home for the artist Clear programming policy What information do you need to program a show? Hoe do you differentiate between what you programme and what you produce? How can you take a risk? And make the audience feel valued in the process. ‘We make bad work on the way to making good work’ the ladder of development for a show Who can go in to rehearsals and help/feedback? How do you enable people to say ‘that last show was rubbish’ Loyalty: free fifth show Direct feedback to the artist and the venue A good space for discussions where all the stakeholders are contributors Integrated relationship from top to bottom Treating the staff the same as the audience Press – how does your programming get reviewed if it’s not three weeks? And many other wonderful things . . .