Hey Foundations: Here’s A Great Idea For Your Next Project

In the summer of 2015, the rural Swiss village of Graubunden launched a unique marketing campaign designed to pull more tourist traffic from cities to their mountain village (h/t Samantha Teter). Remarkably straightforward, it leveraged real-time streaming technology and the value of one-to-one connections over traditional passive advertisements.

It features a digital kiosk with a local Graubunden resident live video chatting with train commuters. The affable man convinces commuters to hop on the next outbound train to Graubunden for a visit. Like many clever ideas, it’s stupid simple.

Adaptistration People 198A similar program implemented by a Foundation could help arts organizations tackle some of the more common hurdles to attendance or simply provide an otherwise cost-prohibitive opportunity to create direct connections between the organization and potential patrons using actual artists, not telemarketers.

Based on the clips included in the advertisement, there’s plenty of opportunity for the Foundation to create regularly updated video channel featuring highlights from ongoing efforts. Sure, there are plenty of detail to sort out but in the end, they don’t rise to the “devil” level and are simply questions with answers.

What would you do with a platform like this if you had the opportunity? Conversely, if you’re the type of manager who likes to solve problems by preventing them, what would you want to avoid in order to maximize success?

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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1 thought on “Hey Foundations: Here’s A Great Idea For Your Next Project”

  1. I love this idea so much that one of my groups is implementing it! We have already sourced the hardware and communications locally, and even hired a novelty bus to bring folk from downtown to our venue. If it works in the Fall we’ll be repeating for six shows a year! We’re also selling ads for the display to pay for it. Thanks for sharing, Drew!

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