Events & Conferences Feed

Producers Pool - Dates in the Diary pt1


Towards the end of 2019 I was introduced to the concept of the Portfolio Career and it was a mindset game changer.

2019 was also the year I asked myself, which I often do year on year - "If I won the lottery what would I do?" The answer has been the same for as long as I can remember. To fund and produce independent small scale theatre working with emerging artists and directors.

This time I accepted I’d probably never win the lottery but ya do want to do this.

I know my craft as a stagemanager, my digital learning and project experience has encompassed social media and associated productivity technologies, podcast audio recording and production, I can edit video.

Mobile live-streaming and virtual worlds. Audience and augmentation.

Technology and theatre.

Not for technology but for engaging immersive idea revealing story-driven theatre. Unusual productions in extraordinary spaces. A big part of the lottery dream is to have the money to fund it.

Then there is like-minded professional networking. Nothing is more aspirational than spending time talking, listening and strategically dreaming with fellow producers. All on differing trajectories in their own careers. A community of collaborators. A tribe of mentors.

Chris Grady hosts Producers Pool.

I was, since 2018 forever attempting to synchronise my meetings in London at Equity or events by Cybersalon to draw a three-card trick where I’d get to attend a Producers Pool, Equity meeting and a Cybersalon event. Trump card would be to fit in a theatre show too.

I would augment my attendance at events on occasion, to showcase remote access potential. The immersion in ground-based experience made the strategic split to include cloud-based access hard to make happen when I was the on needing access and not providing the access which was the ultimate aim, to extend attendance.

The value and reward of cloud access were invisible to physical organisers. The concept appealed but in practice, the management of the physical event was enough.

Blending Digital and Physical looked to be a pipe dream. Then came Covid. One of the first to embrace the opportunity to pivot to digital was Producers Pool. Hurrah!

So independent producers and theatre-makers meeting monthly often with an influencing peer speaking currently happens online.

What do you have to offer?

What do you need?

This leads to the momentum and mindfulness of conversations. 

What can I offer? Insights, experience and practice to pivot to digital. What do I need? The blending back to physical with gradually lowering balanced percentage extension option to attend either way and get the same influencer insights and networking dialogue.

I don’t ask much! Am I asking too much?

Monthly on the last Wednesday, until further notice starting January 27th if you are interested in joining Producers Pool find your way to the Facebook Group.

For the mindfully invested. 


The journey starts here
Producers' Pool (UK & International) - next meeting 4.30 pm Wed 27th January

How it went down #SMAconf 2013

I always attack an event with high expectations of getting the best content I can for the intended audience. When livestreaming is involved that tends to be an online audience who for what ever reason is unable to attend. The real-time media, that is capture and post content with no or minimal post production is my objective favouring instagram and audioboo today Vine has found a place in my toolset.Not forgetting of course Bambuser for live streaming and why I'll explain.

SMA helpers in yellow T shirts
SMA Daffodils

Today was an expenses only gig which I agree to only for specific clients. As an ex board member of the SMA and a desire to engage with the services providing sponsorship to the conference I wasn't taking a fee. A genuine networking opportunity in my eyes. Anyone interested, it would have been £380 plus travel, accommodation and expenses. This is 'On the Ground' at its most risky. With no preparation on a basic day rate, I had been following the #SMAconf tag and @SMAssoc account on Twitter so wasn't totally in the dark, and only an email exchange with the organisers for internet provision enquiries I had determined that internet was unlikely. But I had no idea where in the building this would apply. As it turned out the main conference address was taking place in an underground cinema space constructed from concrete. Oh Joy! and sure enough no wifi and no internet ports. Fortunately the zero expectation of a mobile signal proved the salvation of the livestream as in certain locations I did indeed catch a strong 3G signal. Enter the magnificence of Bambuser.

Bambuser is a mobile app which enable live streaming of events directly to the web. It's web interface enables an external camera and independent audio source to be used as well as providing a time stamped chat time line using the in app IM (Instant Messaging) facility. This is achieved using a laptop and for best results a hard wired ethernet connection negotiated with the venues IT team. In a worse case scenario (this was a worse case scenario) with a strong 3G signal a mobile phone can be used relying on the video and audio from the phone itself. This meant I had no audioboo, instagram or vine capabilities. I have yet to review the stream but I think the online audience (there seemed to be 4 at anyone time) got the buzz. As one tweet put it

"Amazing #SMAConf session on work/life balance being streamed at Great to hear so many SMs experiences." via @NickHaymanSM

Some people do live blog. A skill I wish I possessed. My skill is to relay media and with a little more forward planning engage an audience who are unable to be there in the flesh but have time to set aside to spend a little time as part of the online audience.

Collecting the tweets from @SMAssoc and the #SMAconf tag was RebelMouse.

For a overview of the day and interviews captured off line take a look at the event's Storify.

OK now I do have to off set this with a paying gig! Any takers?


I use QR Codes - event lanyards & name badges

A conference I attended at Leeds Open Space last year set this challenge to its delegates. "Make your own badge, make it unique and be creative."

What should a conference badge be? This was a great opportunity for self expression and the creation of visual elevator pitch to wear around your neck or pin to your lapel. Conversation objects are so valuable when you need to stand out from the crowd.

I was in information sharing mode so on reflection my badge is lacking creative flare.

Connecting identities online and offline is important to me so my name, my Twitter name and my Twitter avatar were vital components. Job title is a defacto but I loath it. The simplicity of my previous job, stagemanager was a role title. Within that role depending on the company, venue, director and production manager I worked under defined my actual duties.

Over the years these were wide ranging and diverse from lighting design to production relights, props and furniture acquisitions, prompt 'book' development and show calling to production running and Stagemanagement.

Now my preferred role title is Internet Adventurer and Explorer. It acts as a conversation starter and at its core is what I do. Advising and assisting business get the most from social media is what I do to generate an income to support my exploration of social technologies.

The nice thing about creating your own event badge is being able include shareable information, reports, eBooks or contact information.

A more recent TEDx event (TEDxNottingham) the organisers created every delegates badge by hand giving a welcoming attention to detail as they completed each badge with your name. Nice touch.

What innovative event badges have you encountered?

Introducing - The Lace House - Notttuesday June 2012

2012-05-25 13.45.28The discovery of The Lace House was delightful. The potential for casual co-working is tangible. The light is wonderful, the seating chic and comfortable, the hospitality warm and engaging, the space absolutely perfect for PCM style events. I like the place! Sach the owner is treading a path of sustanable realistic development mirroring the FibreCamp ethos of sharing and word of mouth to get thier 'show on the road'

Get an event in ASAP, I thought... So,

This months Notttuesday is being hosted by The Lace House a new cocktail bar specialising in Rums and is super close to PCM HQ at Lace Market House. 

As ever Nick Barker has lined up a speaker to provide perspective on our technology driven businesses and insight to those interested in tech in general.

This month is Ian Fletcher Chief Technology Officer of Workflow and Playout. He was formerly CTO at OmniBus Systems and is responsible for the development of the iTX automated playout system used in many TV production houses around the world.


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The hefty co working table (shown above) lends it self to group dining too. Bhooka, 'Hyper Local' gourmet curry, lunch time delivery service have offered to deliver later in the day especially for us. There are 12 places at the table, would you like to eat before the main event? Cost: £3 a head << use this link to reserve a place. Food will arrive at 5.45.

More info about The Lace House...
The venue is new, the website is not live yet... FaceBook is though

Whether you want to join us for food or to attend as usuall for drinks and a good speaker, this venue will I hope, delight you too. Our usual venue has an in-house event preventing us from hosting there this time. I hope you will find your way to The Lace House. See you Tuesday!

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Jubilee round up and reflection

IMG_1874Activities at PCM & FibreCamp seem to have been punctuated by the UK's Jubilee festivities. So I got out my little boat to join in the festivities. I had hoped to follow along on Twitter but although the tweets tumbled down my screen there was no officially curated stream. There was little engagement from the mainstream stream media in the wider social digital consciousness.

I was wondering if my twitter spiddy sense was a miss but it seems it wasn't only me who experienced this frustration. 

Why is there a need for a curated stream? I finally ended up tracking Jubilee, DiamondJubilee, Jubilee Nottingham, Jubilee Sneinton across Twitter and dipping in to ZeeBox on my iPad.

There was lots of shouting but no coherent conversation or chat.

I've returned from Audiences Europe's final "Extending the Margins" program event which was the international element of Rotterdam Festivals' Performing Arts Congress. FibreCamp's Phil Campbell has headed to the US taking a road trip from Tampa Florida to New York for Blog World Expo 2012.

'On the ground' is a phrase we both use when working on projects out of the Lace Market House office and studio. The aim and objective of these outings is to share an experience, offer a perspective to an event, capture it's essence and reflect on the content presented to stimulate engagement and generate interest. This is for both those who attend and those who did not. The collected media consequently provides a picture and record of the moments, people and presentations that took place 'On the Ground'

Why didn't people attend?

There are multiple reasons.

  • Previous work commitments
  • Lack of finances
  • Alternative priorities
  • Geographic or physical access ability
  • Employment position
  • Family

Social technologies and its resulting media published in real-time across digital channels such as Facebook, Twitter, or niche social network is relatively inexpensive and 'Extends the margin' of engagement exponentially, reaching an audience unprecedented prior to the emergence Of Social Media.

Mass media is lazy, passive with ease of access leading to consumer apathy. (ZeeBox is a great antidote to this with its related content links and twitter filter but there is no voice.) It is also expensive and it's production mechanism expensive. Comprehensive coverage be it mainstream production or our 'on the ground' insights require planning and preparation before the delivery of the experience.

That's what I'm thinking on.

Back to work tomorrow.

Strategy & Policy for the year ahead - ARC 2012

On May 19, 20, 21 around 200 Equity members gathered in Birmingham to debate, discuss and vote on the motions submitted from across the association which will shape the next 12 month of Equity's policy making, campaigning and industry contract negotiations. It was also a valuable opportunity for members representing their Branches and committees to meet each other to talk shop and drink beer!

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From the arrival at Birmingham New Street Station I was 'on the ground' making media... as I do, when I can. I can't help it. Why? I'm compelled to share. No one can be every where and remote audience engagement is a fascination of mine. This event was special. One, its a direct way I can contribute to the industry closest to my heart and two, it's an opportunity to scrutinise social media adoption and application amongst its workers and practitioners.


As the ARC (Annual Representatives Conference) is not a public event certain confidentiality's must be respected. This meant that as I was intending to blog I wasn't permitted to photograph representatives without explicit permission. I never like posed photos there for no pics with people. The Stage reported on the main debate on the agenda which will redefine the democratic structure of the union.

IMG_1737Did this mean no social media? Not in the least, Equity selectively tweeted, posted to Facebook and the hashtag #ARC2012 was initiated, monitored and engaged enabling interested tweeters to follow the main activity of the conference. The beauty of twitter is it's function as a back channel, being able to connect with fellow representatives and those unable to attend and exchange pleasantries. 

Having watched the twitter activity over the last few years it was heartening to see a mark increase of chatter before and during the conference. The interest in social media, especially twitter has increased too. The concern how ever was the development of skills with a fear of personal networks mixng with professional and fan base connection was high.

Although the FEU (Federation of Entertainment Unions) do provide web training the entry level and resulting real skills Equity members need is that of entry level, absolute beginners with access to the hardware not to mention the connectivity being voiced as the hurdles to engagement.

But it wasn't all work (read Equity's ARC reflection and motion results), there was an opportunity to play. This year the after dinner entertainment was a charity casino night in aid of ICAF (International Committee for Artists' Freedom) I did take a few pics here. It was great fun and for a great cause.



Equity have posted a short article "Equity's conference backs change" gives an overview of the serious business that was carried out over the 3 day conference. The Stage have reported on the structure change too. "Equity restructure plans gain conference go-ahead"

For me I wanted to blog to attempt to give an impression of the event itself from 'on the ground'.


Without Wall... the art of conversation curation

Four days before May's Notttuesday I was asked to talk. A subject of my choosing. I wanted to show a piece of my self and offer an insight in to what PCM has be up to, on-line community development and real-time engagement. Late in to the night ideas bounced around ably fielded by @danielroseart and @philcampbell.

It became an opportunity to reflect on the recent work PCM has supported and helped to grow. 

The condensed presentation from 28 slides is available above. The key points which I attempted to reinforce with the network example slides guided the flow of my delivery.

Architects Journal, Pilot Theatre's Shift Happens, Get Amb:IT:ion, Audiences Europe, Lace Market House and The National Theatre of Wales being drawn upon to illustrate conversational input to social media audience development.

I finished the session without taking questions. Glancing round the room and not wanting to break the tone I suggested beer and continued conversation. I thought it went quite well.

I seem to have another two talks coming up. A workshop on Internet Safety for a Brownie pack and a fringe session at Equity's Annual Representative Conference to lead a discussion focused on the organisation's website usability, adoption and development.

May concludes "On the Ground" with Audiences Europe in Rotterdam for Audiences Inside/Out

Audience Participation - App...lause in the arts


picture credit

My attention has recently been turned to the behaviour and expectations of audiences and cultural social activity. This post is a train of thought. Social Media is about connection, conversations, amplification. Bums on seats are not enough? Footfall is not enough? We want updates, checkins, comments. We build apps. We post on social networks.

Apps are useless unless you can convinced the audience they have to use them. Do they need them? Why should they? Is there a need for the resulting engagement. From an audiences point of view?

What value do successful apps and resulting engagement contribute to the event experience?

Is the app even meant to initiate legacy? Is it throw away? One hit. 

The creation of an app around an event is to provide cohesion to an experience, an enrichment of the 'on the ground' engagement. The digital resonance providing the online enticement to participate from the wings, consequently exposed ambiently to amplified social media content.

I want my audiences to experience richly, and the emergence of social media offers that promise. 

How do you convince someone they are missing out in a personal way. I don't want to evangelise I want people to get it in there own way. I guess that where the 'Internet adventurer and explore' tag line came from. I don't want to make anyone do anything but to chose a rich way of living.

Event tech needs embracing and introducing to audiences. 

Night classes in:

  • Twitter for audiences
  • Path for your family
  • Smart Phones on Holiday
  • Blogging as a legacy (family history)
  • Facebook discussion nights

When do we stop education the business community and start informing the consumer community on how to make better demands on the technology they have access to?

Business gets its value but their holy grail is a compliant consumer market. They want our 'likes', +1's , and praise. Where's the social? You can't turn consumers in to social conversationalists with a desire to connect beyond their daily world by salesmanship. They have to want it. It has to be meaningful and engage as a result.

It is tangible, the use of hashtags in current affairs. The election debates or Question Time. Trending keywords reveal all sorts of pulses.

Does a cultural audience have a social conscience? Entertainment is very self serving. Social Media could be seen as a Camera Lens capturing content. Recreational participation of culture is about the direct experience. Seeing theatre, watching a film or experiencing environments (art galleries and museums) The creation of real time social media is not why audiences attend. Having an 'on the ground' blogger's experience through the social technologies of social media is the best solution. They aren't there to document experiences of delegates or an audience but to be a delegate or be in the audience while telling their experience story.

How can future audiences benefit from that? How can attending audiences enhance their experience of the event? If a venue creates a media archive how do they digest it, make reference to it.

Sxswi SCVNGR keynote by Seth Priebatsch. Ted is a great event reference. Does making slides available with out the keynote commentary have sufficient value? An experiential archived audience perspective reference has to be the way to go.

The audience needs educating, empowering, informing about accessing active participation records. How do we do that?

Connecting to your stars - audience engagement

What is the modern equivalent of the famous visiting-star photo wall in the theatrical local drinking establishment?

It has struck me that audience development dialogue rarely mentions the personalities who visit their venues and a continuing interest of what becomes of them. Is this not the gift of social connection inherent to social media, maintaining connections. Do you think of making social connections to follow visiting companies and the company members? Actors now have a community connection opportunity with each other after companies part ways like never before.

I envy the current touring community with in the entertainment industry for this digital connectivity. Sadly I'm not sure how much they are able to make use of it to it full potential. The reality is that inside the performance world of the industry there is not a strong IT savvy community. Generally if you are successful your IT skills are weak. Unless you have a technology leaning computers are a bit of a mystery. Smart phones have opened a new world of communication. That a large proportion are excellent at, communication and reflected self expression. A world of potential. The fragmented duel personality segmentation of private and public, personal and professional, the digital world demand we negotiate is familiar ground and executed with exquisite ease by the best actors working in theatre.

This is especially true of actors who work in independant theatre. By Independant I mean organisations using the Independant Theatre Council contract or should be if they of a certain size. It includes theatre-in-education companies, rural, small and mid scale touring.

What is this opportunity for art centres with performance spaces?
What promotional opportunities does this present to the theatre companies?
What opportunities does this provide actors?

Celebrity is so remote. It is distant admiration with little possibility of reciprocation. The companies booked to fill a schedule bring with them talented performers, each has a story each is on a journey perusing their chosen career as a working actor. They have a personal and professional outlook. It may not be well defined online so be respectful. Social media is about people not marketing strategy. You need a strategy to layout objectives and establish achievements but for social media content you need stories and the development of stories to maintain engagement.

While I toured, especially to art centres and village halls the organiser often welcomed back actors who had visited on previous occasions with other theatre companies. They are your celebrities. It's not only about being on 'telly', actors emerging on broadcast media have begun a career either in theatre or low budget films. A theatre company returning to a venue with a new production may contain established cast members but many actors will move on and explore artistic avenues.

Whether you develop a rappor with returning actors or follow others as they climb their career ladders it's an opportunity that can sustain a social media community, the (your) audience. You are their connection to the stars.

Indirectly you will benefit working actors you connect with connecting them to the people they perform for. It's a link I think is lacking at present from my observation with audience development professionals.

They are your venues' flesh and blood attraction.

Connecting to your stars - audience engagement

Connecting to your stars - audience engagement

A microsite solution for your events - Twoppy

When is an app not an app? When its a mobile optimised dedicated miro-site. Twoppy sits perfectly on most web enabled mobile devises. No multi-platform designing necessary just a few more steps to install than the one click 'install' command app store users are familiar with.

twoppy® was founded in 2009 and is based in Leusden en Leiden, The Netherlands. With every event you organise the possibility to offer an easy to use and affordable mobile event guide is a reality. twoppy® can be used for festivals, exhibitions, conferences, amusement parks, zoos, sporting events and more... check out the Twoppy "Dream Team"

The New Technologies for New Audiences has a Twoppy event guide. The Audience or attending delegates use the event guides for free, to modify the branding as CultuurNet Flanders has done requires a basic upgrade at a cost of £152.27 for a year. The intention of this post is to get the New Technologies for New Audiences event guide on to your devise for you to get great added value when you attend next week's events. The method my vary from devise to devise. These screenshots are from an iPhone.

This is the event guide once installed.

ETM_ghent twoppy 1Program: Lists the programmed sessions scheduled with date and times. When multiple sessions are taking place at one time the event guide enabled you to indicate 'wanna go' and builds a personal itinerary for you. Brilliant!

Speakers: Tells you who is speaking, what session they are presenting and the 'wanna go' button adds the session to your personal itinerary.

Map: Plots on a local map of the event area the venue, hotels and near by establishment the organiser wants to hi-light.

Wanna Go: This is where your personal session schedule is created and stored for a quick glace showing only the sessions you selected to attend.

Information: Everything you need to know about the event itself.

Visitors: Who is attending which sessions and doubles as a checkin service to indicate who was there.

Tweets: All the hash-tagged tweets without having to go to twitter or even have a twitter account.

Partners: Who has made the event possible? Who has supported the project? Local organisation or businesses with special offers to delegates. This is an acknowledgements board.

Here is how.

Open your mobile devise's browser and enter the URL but don't follow the instructions immediately.

Scroll down the list without cancelling the pop up box and tap the New Technologies for New Audiences event icon before carrying out the instructions starting by tapping the button indicated and 'Add to Home Screen'

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Next you add the text to appear beneath the icon when it appears as the app on your devise. Tap return!

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Locate the icon on your devise. Explore the Event Guide enjoy the New Technologies for Audience event. If you are in Ghent find me, tweet. If you are unable to attend join me on the live-stream, there is direct chat on the livestream viewer and there will be a chat room running on the Audiences Europe Network.

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