A wide ranging discussion considering both the programmer and the performing company.

How best to reach the programmer really focussed on e mail approaches - the successful ones are personalised as opposed to a 'bulk' mail out. They contain the key information i.e. core cost, technical overview, perhaps a short video, duration of performance, number of performers, target audience, scale of performance. These are key factors in the decision making process and saves both parties time and effort if the engagement is not suitable.

Timing is important and needs to be in synch with the post festival de - brief and pre season budgeting cycle - highlighting January as a key month.

Follow up calls not generally welcomed however as the programmer will make their decision to connect with the company if interested. However, some examples where, given the right approach and circumstance, follow ups left more impact and more likelihood of a booking.

Also discussed the importance of social media, especially Twitter, to re-inforce the profile of the company and expand on the most current projects.

Printed material as a promotional tool for Outdoor Arts companies pretty much dismissed.

A good suggestion to relationship build was to capture audience reaction post performance, whether this be vox pop video or feedback forms and then to share this back to the programmer as quite often they will not have seen the engagement between audience and performer.

A transparent and flexible approach to fee's and additional costs could also include reference to 'optional extras' workshops / education - all useful information where additional funding might be identified from non core sources. Perhaps an intro tariff card might be useful.

Programmers are not really sourcing shows from agency type set ups but definitely looking at other festivals for example.