TRG Community Network Partner Meetings

Venue: Loyola University Museum of Art, 820 N. Michigan Ave., 3rd Fl

Meet in ACME Hotel lobby at 8:30 a.m. to walk to venue. (10 minute walk, .5 miles)

Breakfast (9 – 9:30 am)

A Strong Future for Community Databases: Exploring Business Models (9:30 – 10:30 am)

Community Networks have become an essential yet assumed part of the marketing landscape. At the same time, the Arts Service Organizations who run them have little opportunity for earned revenue, often asked to do more with the same contributed income. In this conversation, we’ll discuss ways TRG can work alongside Partners to ensure long-term sustainability and visionary growth of these community network programs. Partners will complete an advanced survey about their structure for staffing and funding their respective programs, and the results will form the basis for the discussion. The goal will be to walk away with ideas for how TRG and Partners can better work together to install communities as permanent and forward-thinking fixtures.

Coffee Break (10:30 – 10:45 am)

Research for Action: Good Process, Good Data (10:45 am – noon)
Unlocking the community dataset requires well-framed questions set on high-quality data. How do we ensure that Partners and TRG build good processes to commission meaningful research and collect complete, consistent data? Jill Robinson of TRG Arts and John McInerney of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance will discuss lessons learned in the process of commissioning the first-ever, community-wide study of patron loyalty. TRG will also discuss its relationship to the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR), and lead a conversation about potential new research needed to help organizations grow patron-centered revenue in their communities. Finally, we’ll follow-up on last year’s data stewardship conversation to answer the questions: What would it take to get the kind of high quality and complete data necessary for meaningful research? What are the possible roles for TRG and Partners in pushing the field to higher standards?


Lunch (12 – 1 pm)

State of the Usage: How do we know if it’s working? (1 – 2:15 pm)
TRG & Partners will combine Usage Statistics with partner grant reports to answer the question: “What are the goals of community networks, and how do we show we’re succeeding?” As a starting point, John Beck will present an analysis of stated outputs/outcomes in Partner grant reports for their community database, identifying common themes and unique ideas. TRG will then walk through observations about organizational eMerge usage, broken down anonymously by community, budget size, and genre. The session will close with a discussion of success metrics—how can TRG help Partners measure and meet success in 2014-15? What quantitative or qualitative reports could help us better make the case for community networks? How can TRG better equip Partners to understand existing tools?


Coffee Break (2:30 – 2:45 pm)

Best Practice Idea Exchange (2:30 – 4 pm)
Now that we’ve had a conversation about what success means, Partners will share ways they’ve successfully engaged members, from getting buy-in from large organizations to increasing effective use among small organizations and beyond. Selected partners will kick off the discussion, and others will add in their ideas and examples. We’ll also be joined by Stacey Recht of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, who will share early results of their work with TRG in patron loyalty and new-to-file retention. Partners will walk away with a deeper understanding of key concepts involved with TRG’s counsel, which can supplement community network programs for maximum impact. Finally, we’ll train Partners on cases studies TRG uses to promote the value proposition of community networks, as well as low-cost consulting and data services that could make a difference right away. Partners will leave with a USB drive of materials and the knowledge they need to present them in their communities.

Break (4 – 4:15 pm)

Reports Ninja: Coaching Users toward Knowledgeable Action (4:15 – 5 pm)

Community and shopping cart reports are the key to business intelligence in eMerge, and yet few organizations ever run them. In this session, TRG will give Partners a detailed training on how their users can leverage the geographic, demographic and crossover reports to build patron revenue.

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