Brad Walker's blog

Getting Bums in Seats

As an Executive in Residence (Arts Marketing) at Calgary Arts Development, it has been a complete honour to meet with nearly twenty-five arts organizations and individual artists over the last two months. You can learn more about the Executive in Residence program here.

Generally, there is one consistent question: “...We’re/I’m looking for ways to sell more tickets and get people through the door, we are the hidden gem in the City of Calgary!” So, with much anticlimactic fanfare, this is the first of a few personal blogs over the coming weeks with what I hope will act as knowledge/background/tools for...GETTING BUMS IN SEATS.

TOOL #1 | Publicity: You want it, you desire it and you think everyone should know everything you are doing. But who cares about you...or your work?
You have to make them care; make them want to be a part of something they can’t refuse, something they feel passionate about and something they can’t live without. In order to do that, think of the time you put into your publicity strategy—and yes, it is a strategy—as building community, either for yourself as an individual artist or for your organization and its various stakeholders. We all want to engage and be engaged in community, including our stakeholders—which includes your audiences and patrons, who are, or who want to be, part of your community. 
How does what you say about your work affect patrons’ potential engagement and expectationsHow do you prepare your community for a challenging theatre piece? How do you change community opinion when your company is experiencing transition?
These are the big questions that my blog will address over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, if you are interested in meeting with me one-on-one as part of the Executive in Residence program, request a consultation here.


Bradley Walker is Vice President of Bottom Line Productions Inc., and works with many Alberta theatre artists and companies. Bradley is currently an Executive in Residence (Arts Marketing) at Calgary Arts Development and individual meetings can be booked with him.

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