How dance companies can have a fast and smooth transition to digital technology advancements for audience development? The answer is to focus on people! People come first: audience, donor, board member, custodian, and every person in your company. In our entertaining performing arts industry, we forgot to give joy to people around us. Greatest companies make everything for their employees and connect with customers, that is why these organizations are ahead of the curve, and are not afraid of changes making good profits.
Didier Bonnet, co-author of Leading Digital and Global Practice Leader at Capgemini Consulting, states that “employees need to understand why digital advancements” are needed, and it is “the job of a manager to help people cross the bridge — to get them comfortable with the technology, to get them using it, and to help them understand how it makes their lives better.” Moreover, dance theatres need to educate their audience to use available features of their website, mobile app, or other digital technologies. A membership department can take this role and familiarize the audience with new technologies during company’s events. In addition, the company can educate their students and parents by using new online education platforms and have constant support for it.
The audience development work is not just the work of marketing department of a dance company. The audience development is a connection of company’s art with the people, thus it relates with programming, operations, education & outreach, development departments and the overall effort of the entire company. Marketing and development departments, unions and company management should work together considering adapting to the new technologies, such as streaming distribution system, online education, or even blockchain for arts. It is very important that the company doesn’t have conflicts in between their departments and with the company vision regarding the audience development.
The company leaders can bring the company together and make them believe in new changes by emphasizing how the new technology benefits the theatre and makes their work easier and faster. Thus if your dance organization wants to have a positive experience, then it should concentrate on people and progress !