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On-Demand offerings from Case-Study artists now available

AEP aims to help artist offer “more art, more often” in ways that are unique to them and increase their sustainability. In advance of the public launch, an early team of Case-Study Artists have published an inspiring mix of “On-Demand” experiences, where their fans can engage with their work in new ways.  As the name implies, these experiences will happen when a fan books it, making opportunities available that they never knew were possible.  No need to wait for your favorite artist’s next live show any more!

These artists have created unique experiences, customized for their fans to provide a personalized entrance into what makes their work distinctive. The suite of experience types, designs and features for the artists to use will keep growing alongside the community of artists. Current On-Demand Experiences include: performance parties, original choreography, custom designs, private coaching, and many others!

So come take a look at what they have to offer!

Mar. 21, 2011, Filed under category blog

21
Mar

The “1000 True Fans” concept

A core goal of AEP is to make it easier for artists to provide a more frequent and broader range of experiences for their fans to enjoy. One inspiration driving this strategy is an essay by Kevin Kelly titled “1000 True Fans”. In it, he says…

“A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.

A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.

Assume conservatively that your True Fans will each spend one day’s wages per year in support of what you do. That “one-day-wage” is an average, because of course your truest fans will spend a lot more than that.  Let’s peg that per diem each True Fan spends at $100 per year. If you have 1,000 fans that sums up to $100,000 per year, which minus some modest expenses, is a living for most folks.

A few caveats. This formula – one thousand direct True Fans —  is crafted for one person, the solo artist. What happens in a duet, or quartet, or movie crew? Obviously, you’ll need more fans. But the additional fans you’ll need are in direct geometric proportion to the increase of your creative group.

A more important caution: Not every artist is cut out, or willing, to be a nurturer of fans. Many musicians just want to play music, or photographers just want to shoot, or painters paint, and they temperamentally don’t want to deal with fans, especially True Fans. For these creatives, they need a mediator, a manager, a handler, an agent, a galleryist — someone to manage their fans.  Nonetheless, they can still aim for the same middle destination of 1,000 True Fans. They are just working in a duet.”

Great idea!  But how does this work? AEP is working toward a process and toolset to make this easier.

We aim to facilitate your process, and to provide resources to a community of practitioners leveraging each others knowledge to create and offer “More Art, More Often” through sustainable practices.

Mar. 18, 2011, Filed under category blog

18
Mar

AEP on Technology in the Arts

Technology in the Arts did a feature interview with AEP founder Chris Elam.  Listen to the podcast here to learn more about how AEP can serve you and your audience: Podcast Episode #79.

Feb. 2, 2011, Filed under category blog

2
Feb

Welcome Case-Study Artists!

We are delighted to announce the selection of seven entrepreneurial dance artists and companies who will begin to use AEP with their audiences this February:

Christopher Williams Dances (New York, NY)

DanceWorks Chicago (Chicago, IL)

Gibney Dance (New York, NY)

Leah Stein Dance Company (Philadelphia, PA)

Malashock Dance (San Diego, CA)

Melissa Riker/Kinesis Project (New York, NY)

Rebecca Rice Dance (Boston, MA)

 

These pioneers will start the year off by designing and launching their first events through AEP in the upcoming weeks.  Keep up with the fun by following their progress and check out the innovative events headed your way soon!

Jan. 24, 2011, Filed under category blog

24
Jan

Welcome Jeremy Williams, AEP’s first Community Manager!

A key role in our coming Case Study and beta process will be the Community Manager. We’ve found a great person to fill that role – Jeremy Williams. Jeremy has been a dancer, choreographer, producer, and artistic director, so he has a good idea of the challenges faced by performing artists. In many of those roles he has pushed his group to reach outward both to the audience and to other groups (artists, community groups, schools, etc.) in the community.

He’s only been at work here a couple weeks, but I’m already sleeping better at night!

He’s hard at work preparing for our kick-off Workshop later in January. If you’ve had any communication with us about the beta program, you’ll be hearing from him directly within a few days.

 

Jan. 4, 2011, Filed under category blog

4
Jan

Are you a trailblazer?

Dear Dance Artists,

As we gear-up for a special case-study Beta launch for the Audience Engagement Platform (AEP) starting on January 21st, we are reaching out to extend an open invitation especially for Dance artists to see if you may be a match as an early participant.

Case Study participants will have early access to the service and hands-on engagement with the AEP team. Not only will you be using the system to create new and interesting experiences of your own, you will also be shaping and defining the types of experiences that other artists will be able to create when the system goes live for others to use. As part of the documentation of the case-study process, your group’s early adoption and co-creation of new experience types would be shared with the national dance community.

Therefore, it is important that you understand not only our goals, but also the responsibilities that you will have as a participant. Please take a few moments to read through the information below, and then contact us so that we can consider you for participation in the program.

Please note that we are aiming to select the initial 8 case-study artists before the New Year, so if you’d like to be considered, let us know. We’ll also offer future rounds early spring leading up to the public launch. If you have any questions or would like to participate, feel free to email AEP’s Product Manager, Bill Seitz at Bill@aeplatform.org.

Thanks,
The AEP Team
AEPlatform.org

BACKGROUND – Why are we doing this?
Ahhhh…..the creative experience. We choreograph, rehearse, prepare… and then? The audience sees the show and loves it! They are inspired. But… the show ends. The audience leaves. And when can they see you next….?” Next year. The momentum gets lost….

364 days of work for a single engagement with an audience member. All that work for One experience. Is that the best we can do? No.

While presenting a show is a rare occurrence due to the high costs or production, in those other days of the year there are many experiences that an artist could share that would be high-value to their audiences, but low-cost to the artist. AEP will help artists to develop, package, share, and manage these offering, in a way that is easy, fun, and replicable.  Imagine instantly having a full suite of experiences that express your artistic vision which you could offer to your audiences at various costs, lengths, and on-demand?  What if you could benefit from seeing all the innovative events and experiences that other artists were coming up with an sharing, and easily design your own in minutes? Welcome to AEP.

How will AEP help you with this? Through:

– A system that helps you design, offer, and schedule unique experiences and events;
– A Learning Community for Artists holding such events, to share knowledge and support;
– An interface with a ticket-seller system to handle those logistics;
– A process of leveraging social media and the Artist’s existing email list to promote the event;
– A post-experience social media process to promote the artist so that future events will be even easier to promote.

– An approach to turning a one-off offering into a series, and to test you audiences’ interest in a type of experience before investing in it.

What we will be doing during the Case Study is:
a) Gather and codify these experiences
b) Discover how to present and market them effectively
c) Test tools to simplify and automate the process

Requirements
In order to be considered for participation you must meet the following criteria:
___ You are a dance-producing artist or organization

And you must agree to take the following actions:
___ You put on at least 3 experiences using the AEP platform* before the end of June.
___ You provide data about the events you hold during the Case Study period.
___ You provide feedback regarding the platform and the experiences you create with it
___ You agree to be interviewed at the start and end of the process
___ You participate in the workshop and webinar sessions
___ You report any bugs/errors that you find
___ You share new ideas for experiences or product development
___ You communicate with AEP during the Case Study period
___ You participate in the Case Study community by reading and interacting on the forums
___ You look forward to having a marvelous, fun, and exploratory adventure!

* For more information on AEP experiences, please visit: http://www.aeplatform.org/aep-audiencebook-plan/2010/11/

Case Study Schedule
Apart from your individual work, the following milestones will be part of the schedule:

Item #1 – Initial interview
Our Case Study research consultant will interview you about your past/current audience engagement activities, and your plans for using AEP.

Item #2 – Workshop, Intro to AEP
The workshop will take you through the system and teach you the basics of the AEP platform, including what tools are available, what event types you can choose to create, and how you will go about the process of marketing and performing one of these experiences. At the end of this workshop, you will be asked to think about what type of event you would like to create and you will be asked to participate in a short video interview in order to begin tracking progress before, during and after the beta. Based on your feedback during the workshop, we’ll make some adjustments to the software and documentation/materials before the “launch”.

Item #3 Case Study Materials via Email
On the day of the launch, you will be sent materials that you can use as a reference. These materials will include links to the resource library, your login credentials, and other information you will need in order to participate in the Case Study.

You will be expected to have selected an experience that you would like to try to put on, and AEP staff will be following up with you to make sure that you are ready to go. You will also have access to forums and other methods of communication so that you can ask us or members of the community questions you might have. If you decide to change your mind and try a different experience type after you learn more about the system, you will be able to do that at any time.

Once the process has started, AEP staff will be in contact periodically in order to make sure everything is going smoothly, you have all the information that you need to proceed, and that there are no issues that you are encountering that are affecting your ability to participate.

To increase your comfort/experience at holding these events, and provide ever-more-informed improvement ideas for us, the plan is for you to repeat this process for 3 events before end-June.

Item #4 Webinars
There will be two webinars held to review the progress you’ve made, answer any questions you might have, and share feedback with the Case Study community.

Item #5 Launch
You will need to have completed your 3rd event by June and provided feedback regarding the event’s marketing and execution. Our Case Study researcher will then interview you a second time about your AEP experience.

Interested? Questions? Email Bill@AEPlatform.org

Dec. 15, 2010, Filed under category blog

15
Dec

We’re recruiting Beta testers

If our plans sound exciting, please apply to join our beta tester group!

Dec. 7, 2010, Filed under category blog

7
Dec

AEP is hiring a Community Manager

Manage AEP’s Community of Artists and Fans!

Are you passionate about the arts? Familiar with social networks, the web, and all the different ways that people stay in contact? An excellent communicator, friendly and sociable? If so, we would like to talk with you!

We are building the Audience Engagement Platform (AEPlatform.org), a platform designed to strengthen the connection between artists and audiences. Our tools aim to help artists make and share art more easily, and to allow audiences to gaim more access to the arts. As we enter our beta phase, we are looking for a community manager to help us manage and grow AEP’s online community.

Responsibilities

  • Host live workshops and online webinars
  • Creatively and proactively assist customers
  • Serve as the initial point of contact for inbound requests
  • Identify and analyze issues, patterns and trends in customer requests & product performance. Escalate individual items immediately as appropriate.
  • Transfer the information to the appropriate staff so that they can respond accordingly, including: bugs to quality assurance,  new ideas to product development, messaging effectiveness to marketing, frequently asked questions noted, identifying user generated content
  • Author blog posts, articles, other text-based social media
  • Collect metrics on a weekly/monthly basis including recommendations
  • Stay up-to-date on new social media tools, best practices and how other organizations and companies are using them
  • Participate in professional networking by following the prominent relevant bloggers and online writers & attending events

Experience/skills/traits

  • Have experience managing and hosting both live and online events
  • Have an arts background (dance in particular is a plus), with at least 1 year of work experience
  • Love helping people and find it rewarding to solve people’s problems. Then you love to proactively use that experience to make the whole service better
  • Like working hard and thrive on the excitement of a goal oriented team
  • Are an independent, creative self-starter who loves running with things while keeping everyone inside and outside the company in the loop
  • Love to write & enjoy sharing your ideas with others
  • Have excellent verbal and written communication skills, including presentation skills
  • Are organized, and know how to set break a project up into pieces to make progress.

To Apply

To be considered for the position, please email the items below in one PDF-formatted file with your name as the filename to aep.hiring@gmail.com and include “Community Manager” as the email’s subject line.

  1. A cover letter including the following information: your interest in the position and the organization, the date you are available to start, your salary requirements and contact information for two professional references.
  2. A résumé no longer than 2 pages outlining your educational and professional experience.
  3. Links to any relevant examples of your online presence/work (personal and/or professional), with a description of what to attribute to you.

Dec. 7, 2010, Filed under category blog

7
Dec

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

18
Nov

Update on AEP

We’ve been relatively quiet recently, so we wanted to share an update.

After completing an Alpha test of AEP we had some ideas which we felt would be good to explore incorporating into the first release. So we put development on hold for a while, reducing expenses while we figured this out. The result is that we now have a refined plan that we are excited to share with you, as well as a few new members who we are welcoming to our team.

The role of VP of AEP Development has been divided into two positions. We brought in two new employees to drive the completion and future development of AEP.

Bill Seitz is our new AEP Product Manager. He’s responsible for our strategic plans and coordinating the daily execution of those plans. He has built the technology/teams for 4 internet startups in the past 15 years (and he’s an ex band-geek.)

Rob Capili is our new AEP Marketing Manager. He’s responsible for the details of design and communications, and will be hiring a Community Manager to help artists get the best use out of AEP. He comes from a dance background and, among other things, was on the Dance/USA Board of Directors and served on the Dance/USA Technology sub-committee.

During this time we also made changes to our Board of Directors and added to our Advisory Board. You can read about both those groups on the “Boards” tab of Misnomer’s site.

We expect to go into Beta test mode in January, with our public release in March. We’ll have a separate announcement shortly about our new product plans.

You’ll be reading more frequent posts from all of us here, and we are excited to share the next steps of this process with you.

That’s the word from AEP.

Nov. 2, 2010, Filed under category Announcements, blog, featured, team

2
Nov