Our guest blogger today is Performing Arts Fort Worth intern Katherine Godbey, a student and dancer who, over the summer, has been getting a firsthand taste of the arts world.
Today, Katherine shares her thoughts on the recent Broadway League Group Sales Forum, which Bass Performance Hall hosted last week. Take it away, Katherine!
As the summer marketing intern for Performing Arts Fort Worth, I have had the privilege of attending two conferences this summer. The first was the Southwest Performing Arts Presenters Education Conference; the second and most recent was The Broadway League’s 2012 Group Sales Conference.
While some may cringe, or fall asleep, at the thought of sitting eight hours in one room listening to presenter after presenter after presenter, the Group Sales Conference had me captivated until the final hour. I’m not sure if it was the attendees or the topics, but I was encouraged and confident in my choice to follow a career in the entertainment realm.
Being the third child of two engineers, I was portrayed as the “where did you come from?” child. But thanks to the energy and encouraging comments from people such as Performing Arts Fort Worth’s Sue Lippa (my mentor), Tom Ferrugia (Director of Government Relations), Rachel Reiner (Senior Manager of Membership Services and Education Programs) and many others, I believe this conference did more than share tricks of the trade and helpful hints to other Group Sales Managers; it made me realize I’m not alone in my passion for the performing arts.
The first night of the conference included the usual ice-breakers and Broadway-themed games to introduce everyone. But it seemed almost romantic as we sipped cocktails on the Bass Hall stage and gazed into the dimly lit auditorium. As a performer myself, my heart started pounding at even the idea of performing in such a beautiful venue.
Topics of discussions ranged from the evolution of group sales to bridging the cultural divide to the ever-dreaded secondary sales – dun dun dun! This is a perfect way to get a room full of performing arts center employees into a tizzy. However, my favorite was topic was “Identifying Successful Sales Language.” For example, did you know that we sell ‘seats’, not ‘tickets’? I wish I had known that in the past; I would have tried to take my seat with me after the shows!
Another topic I loved feeling capable commenting on was “College Students.” Since I am a member of MSC OPAS at Texas A&M University, I was excited to be able to present my knowledge and experience.
On the topic of social media, Pinterest caused the most laughter. I’ll be the first to admit I used it to help plan my wedding, but seeing the “you want us to do what?” look on the faces of the male attendees was priceless.
All in all, the conference seemed like a great success! I’m not sure where I will end up after graduation, but I am very thankful to have had this opportunity to meet so many wonderful, energetic people and learn so much.
This weekend, Katherine is heading to California to film season two of the online TV show, Project Bellydancer.