Arts Patrons: Mobile Preferences | 2012 update to ongoing longitudinal study

What are arts patrons doing with their mobile devices? What are their feelings about mobile devices at arts and cultural events? What devices are they using, and what information do they want?

[Image: 2012 arts patrons: mobile preferences report cover image]

Download the 6-page report (PDF)

      In 2009, Arts Council Silicon Valley commissioned Group of Minds Arts Marketing + Technology Consultants to research the mobile preferences of arts patrons. A sample of 45,000 patrons were contacted via email selected from the half-price ticket email lists of six regional online arts calendars in six U.S. cities. The goal of the research was to:

  • Discover current usage of mobile phones in relation to arts activities
  • Measure potential near-future usage
  • Explore expectations to prepare successful arts-related mobile channels

In September 2012, Group of Minds independently commissioned an update of the research, with a goal of measuring changes in mobile preferences over the previous three years, and will continue to update the research every three years moving forward. All six original cities and their respective half-price email lists participated in the 2012 update to the research. The same questions were used in the 2012 survey, although several answer options were updated for relevancy. The sample size and method of distribution were repeated. The analysis shows that arts patrons have made large gains of interest in and acceptance of mobile devices as preparatory, participatory, and logistical companions to the arts experience.

One recommendation is that arts organizations need to program different experiences based on different patron technology preferences. So, we’ve made the mobile preferences report available in two formats:

Special thanks to our partner researchers on this project: Arts Council Silicon Valley, Jeff Trabucco, Josh Russell (San Jose); Matt Lehrman (Phoenix); Ann-Marie McKaskle, Marcy Hoen (Austin); Jennifer Schwartzenberg, Erin Hornsby (Nashville); John Mcinerney (Philadelphia); John Beck, Jennifer Falk (Boston).


Thoughts on the psychology of social media

Institutions don’t talk, passionate people who work there do.


By Ron Evans

There is a lot of content on the web on “how to create stronger social media connections.” A simple Google or Bing search will show a ton of articles (when I checked for that search term, Google actually had 129 million results it thought relevant — even if it is only 1% correct, that’s a lot of articles!). I know that a lot of arts organizations struggle with best practices for social media. In preparation for my upcoming webinar with the National Arts marketing Project on July 10 on the psychology of social media, I thought it might be useful to get away from all of the technical aspects of using social media, and talk about the human side. The interaction side. The “what happens in the brain” side.

Why do people “like” you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter?

Do you know the answer? They like you or follow you for a variety of very human reasons:

 Read more

You’ve got the new arts technology, make sure you have the behavior change

As an arts marketing and technology guy, I get asked about tech a lot. I help people choose online ticketing systems, new website content management systems, email marketing software — if it is online technology, I’ve probably helped an arts group choose and implement it. When I first started consulting, I thought my job would be to help people make the right choices, and then be on my way. But I’ve found over the years that this is only half of what’s needed to implement new technology.

Changing Technology means Changing Behavior

Say you’ve got a brand-new ticketing system. It can do all the things your old system could never do. You get it installed, and you get training from the company on how to use it. You’ve received a great start! But where I see staff at organizations fall short is when they apply their old behaviors to the new system, and don’t create new behaviors. The motivation and follow-through on behavior modification aren’t there.
 Read more

Strategy discovery: use Apple’s Siri to help patrons find your arts organization via mobile voice search

I recently got the new iPhone 4S. One of the most interesting features of the new iPhone 4S is “Siri,” the phone’s digital assistant. Siri is pretty amazing, and I feel that she represents the “next big thing” in how people soon will find information about your arts and cultural organization. 

If you’re not familiar with the concept of Siri, watch the short demo video from Apple:

So, it’s clear that Siri is already pretty darn good at scheduling your appointments, texting people via voice, reminding you of tasks you need to do, and pulling up generic web information. On top of that, she’s just plain fun to talk to. The fact that I refer to her as “she” should say a lot about how much personality she has. Just ask her a knock knock joke.

All of this got me thinking: although Siri is very new (and officially still in “beta” by Apple), what capabilities does she already have for helping a patron connect with arts and culture?

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Siri, what’s playing at the San Francisco Symphony tonight?

Siri, what’s playing at the San Francisco Symphony tonight?

You’ve come to the right place, Siri user!

Tonight at the Symphony:

Katharine Hanrahan Open Rehearsal: Esa-Pekka Salonen and Leila Josefowicz

Thu, Dec 8, 2011 10:00am
Davies Symphony Hall
$22 to $39
Leila Leila Josefowicz 1112Josefowicz, violin

Experience a San Francisco Symphony concert in the making! Open Rehearsals offer audience members a unique perspective on the creative dynamic between orchestra and conductor. Each Open Rehearsal begins with 8:30am coffee and complimentary donuts followed by a half-hour informative talk at 9am.

Two ardent champions of contemporary composition, Maestro Salonen and violinist Leila Josefowicz have collaborated numerous times, and in fact, his Violin Concerto was composed for her. A four movement work that covers a wide range of emotions, the piece, with its “brilliant surface and wonderful sound” (The New York Times), presents a vivid complement to the ever-reverberant sounds of Wagner as witnessed in excerpts from his unforgettable Ring cycle. 

Katharine Hanrahan Open Rehearsal is a working rehearsal. The pieces rehearsed are at the conductor’s discretion.


Esa-Pekka Salonen

Christine Brewer

Leila Josefowicz

San Francisco Symphony


Pohjola’s Daughter
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Violin Concerto
Orchestral Excerpts from Der Ring des Nibelungen

Last night:

Siri, what's playing at the San Francisco Symphony tonight?

The San Francisco Symphony Presents American Orchestras
The Boston Symphony Orchestra has a long and storied history of presenting world premieres and of supporting contemporary composers. Elliott Carter’s Flute Concerto, a recent BSO commission, will feature principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe, who was soloist in the American premiere performance by the BSO earlier this year. Also soloing with the orchestra is Richard Goode, performing one of Mozart’s best known piano concertos, No. 25 in C major, a work that later influenced Beethoven’s writings.

For more information, visit the Symphony’s site

This is a test of Siri’s ability to find this page based on the web search “Siti, what’s playing at the San Francisco Symphony Tonight?”

This post will be taken down once tests are complete. Curious about the results? Contact me. And please, go to the Symphony!