Reflections on UK Theatre’s biggest event

Patrick Morsman, Sales Manager, shares some thoughts on UK Theatre’s Theatre and Touring Symposium 2019 event

“It’s the second time that I’ve attended this event on behalf of Yesplan and I continue to be impressed by the quality of the event and the enthusiasm of the participants.”

Cassie Chadderton, Head of UK Theatre, set out the intention that the event should lead to direct actions. The Producing, Presenting and Touring Handbook,
which was a direct product of the same conference in 2018, is a clear indication that UK Theatre means business. 

The keynote speaker, Mark Cornell, CEO of Ambassador Theatre Group, led off with some “outsider” perspective which delivered some useful provocations. 

The key points being that the industry needs to look outside of itself to understand customer expectations, for example, one-click checkout or the use of data and trends. 

Dr Kirsty Sedgman, author of The Reasonable Audience, provided to be very thought provoking around what is expected of an audience. 

She flipped this completely and challenged organisations to consider what the audience might expect. She also demonstrated how emphatic and instructional most audience etiquette requirements are.

My favourite example was, “Don’t have a top bun”. So now we’re defining what hairstyles our audience should have.

As with all UK Theatre events, the day provided a great platform to share and discuss this cultural sector that is so essential to us all, a chance to have a good old moan about the challenges but also a chance to celebrate the successes and the strength of these wonderful organisations.