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Frontline 2013 - The TMA's Annual Front of House Conference

:event details

Frontline 2013 - The TMA's Annual Front of House Conference

Time: September 12, 2013 from 10:30am to 5:15pm
Location: Birmingham Hippodrome
Street: Hurst Street, Southside
City/Town: Birmingham B5 4TB
Website or Map: http://www.tmauk.org/Events/B…
Event Type: conference, westmidlands, social, economic
organised by: Theatrical Management Association
Latest Activity: on Saturday

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:event description

Frontline provides those working in front of house with excellent opportunities to network and learn from each other as well as hear about and discuss ley issues in front of house operations.


Leonora Thomson, Director, Audiences & Development, Barbican Centre, will chair the event along with a line-up of speakers, keynotes and panel discussions that will include:


  • Trip or Treat? Welcoming families
    - Anne Torreggiani, Executive Director, The Audience Agency

Family friendly arts have been a priority for many organisations for over a decade. What do we know about family audiences?  Anne will share new research specially commissioned by the Family Arts Campaign as well as some fascinating insights gleaned from the last ten years on how expectations and needs of families from arts organisations alter when they think they are going for a ‘treat’ rather than just a ‘trip'.

  • Learning to relax – key findings from the Relaxed Performance Project
    - Kirsty Hoyle, Programme Manager, Relaxed Performance Project

A relaxed performance is about welcoming children with special needs (including Autistic Spectrum Conditions and/or learning disabilities) and their families to the theatre to a performance where those needs are accounted for with a more relaxed atmosphere.  Kirsty will present the findings from the ten theatres across the UK that took part in the Relaxed Performance Project and share what did and didn’t work including customer-facing issues. 

  • My Theatre Matters!  Front of house staff at the frontline of the battle to safeguard public funding of the arts
    - Alistair Smith, Deputy Editor, The Stage
    - David Brownlee, Executive Director, TMA 

David and Alistair will discuss the My Theatre Matters! campaign and give examples of how different theatres have got involved to date.  Anyone working in a customer facing role has the potential to be key advocate for their organisation’s brand and values and this session will share ideas about how to help your audiences better understand the impact your venue has in your community.

Panel discussion

  • Always On
    - Leonora Thomson, Director, Audiences & Development, Barbican Centre
    - Mark Shenton, Theatre Critic, The Stage and the Sunday Express
    - Emma McLean, Digital Manager, AKA
    - Charlotte Handel (previously Head of Open Stage, Theatre Royal Stratford East)

This panel discussion will explore what we should expect from audiences now and in the coming years regarding the use of ‘devices’ in the auditorium.   Should we allow customers to check their mobiles, tweet and take photos during shows?  Chaired by Leonora, this session will also delegates to share their ideas and experiences.

Afternoon workshops

Delegates have the choice of attending two of the following three workshops:

  • Coping with the Unexpected
    A practical session about how to plan for the unexpected and to ensure you and your colleagues have the skills and systems in place to deal with ‘unknown unknowns’ when they happen and the approaches to take. 
  • Motivating Staff
    How can you develop a positive culture to ensure you get the most out of your team? 
  • The Realities of Access
    We all want to make our venues as accessible as possible, but how can we best show respect to disabled people in venues that weren’t designed with them in mind?

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