AEP’s unconventional-experience booking: More Art, More Often, with Less Work.

We’re excited to share our plans for a new feature that will be a core service for our Beta launch in January. Its purpose is to help you (the artist) create new types of bookable performances and experiences, benefiting both you and your audiences. 

These events aim to offer a unique, up-close, personalized experience for audiences and provide them direct interaction with artists. For you, these experiences offer a more broad range of interactions to offer your audiences between productions. We intend to focus on experiences that give you more chances to perform and share with your audiences, while creating new income opportunities through your art.

Think about it… there are often long down-times between performances. During this time there are limited opportunities for audiences who were inspired by your show to interact further. Producing a full show is expensive, but there are many experiences you could offer to audiences that would be low-cost to you, yet rich and fulfilling for your fans.

Right now… how much is on your website’s event calendar that your audiences can actually attend? What if you could instantly multiply the array of live and virtual events that you, and the artists that work with you, could offer to your audiences, adding experiences that were really cool to them and they didn’t know you could provide?

But how do you 1) package and describe these experiences, 2) make your audiences aware of them and 3) manage their execution?

That’s the problem we will address – to get artists performing and interacting with audiences more frequently, in ways that build earned revenue and cultivate audiences, and that aim to create unique, fun, and inspiring experiences for audiences and artists alike.

Some examples of types of experiences we are exploring include:

  • attending rehearsal showings (often involving introductory remarks, Q&A, and after-rehearsal socializing);
  • “show-hearsals”: similar to a paid-attendance rehearsal, but including a short, more formal performance section;
  • “Through Their Eyes”: a group of fans paying company X, to go see another company’s performance with one of the dancers from company X, and then discussing the show over drinks/dinner afterwards (this allows audience members to get to see art through an artist’s eyes);
  • Impromptu group romps around town;
  • master classes;
  • collaborative creation events;
  • virtual Q&A: live Skype video chat with artist with a group (school, organization, etc.);
  • private teaching/mentorship sessions (shadowing);
  • private short-form, low-cost performances;
  • custom choreography workshops, where a small work is created on you to give you a taste for the experience of the artist.
  • and many more that we will come up with together…..

For many of these experience types, artists can:

  • commit in advance to offering a particular experience on a specific date (such as a “Rehearsal Showing”), or have it packaged as an “on demand” service (available only if an individual or group requests and commits);
  • sell tickets, or have it hosted (or sponsored) by an individual and made free to others (such as a person hosting an after-party, covering the costs for other attendees, or hosting a workshop for school children);
  • have the event booked by a group, or by an individual (events can be 1-on-1, for small or large groups).

AEP will provide templates for these types of experiences so that they are 1) codified and recognizable to audiences as a familiar type of event over time, and 2) described/pitched in a way that is positioned to be most enticing to audiences. Each experience template will be flexible enough to allow for substantial customization and personalization by the artist, so you can really express your own tone and artistic point of view. AEP wants to co-design with you experience types that are low-work/low-cost for you, and repeatable (so that doing the 2nd and 3rd ones are easier than doing the 1st one).

AEP’s Learning Community will be a place to share tips about which types of experiences are most effective, and where artists and audiences can promote and suggest types of events they would like to see take place within the platform. We see a lot of ways to grow the learning community over time so that exploring different ways to engage audiences can be a social experiences for the artists preparing them.

Audiences are now demanding more unique, interactive experiences at unusual times, that add social, learning, and inspiring moments to their everyday. Our belief is that, as artists, a lot of us already conduct ocasional non-traditional event/experience formats, but have largely delayed actually holding them consistently as core offerings because:

  1. we fear that getting the first few done will take lots of time/effort/learning;
  2. we fear embarrassing ourselves by not doing a good job at holding events;
  3. we fear we will lose money on the efforts.

By working together in this shared model, we think we can reduce those barriers.

Some key features/benefits of this feature will be:

  • we will use automation (customizable structured forms, reminders) and information (documentation, support groups) to walk you through the process of creating and holding these experiences;
  • we will integrate with a ticket-seller system to automatically create entries in their system;
  • we will use automation and information to help you promote these offerings and build audiences, through:
    • your existing email list;
    • AEP emails to fans who start following you;
    • your social media accounts (which we will help you set up, if you aren’t using them already).
  • we will structure/reinforce post-event social media: soliciting check-ins (e.g. FourSquare), testimonials, sharing of photos/videos uploaded elsewhere, etc. to capture/spread fan’s enthusiasm;
  • we will track fan behavior in such a way that the most “rabid” fans (those who do the most attending, promoting, reviewing, etc.) are more visible to you, making it easier for you to thank/recognize them.
  • We will link you in with a community of investive artists and audiences, so you can see and learn from what others are doing, and get ideas from your audiences.

Our hope is to give you a service to more easily create, position and execute more events and experiences for your audiences, so that they can subscribe to and be wow-ed by your unique, experience series between performances.

If this idea excites you, and you want to give more experiences with less work, please sign up – we’ll be picking beta community members over the next few weeks!

Nov. 18, 2010, Filed under category Announcements, blog


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