I mentioned a while back several people from the OAE office team attended the Association of British Orchestras conference in Cardiff this year. It took place at the spectacular Millenium Centre, a few pics of which are below, and the theme of the conference was sustainability, looking issues such as how orchestras can be financially sustainable in a recession, how we can tour in a sustainable fashion and how we can adapt to a changing society.

I asked around the office for comments on the conference:

Michael Garvey, General Manager:
Dinner wasn’t as good as Brighton! (last years conference)
The Environment and Recession topics were ones I didn’t think I’d enjoy but I was pleasantly surprised because they challenged me to think about things I hadn’t done so before !

Ceri Jones, Projects Manager
The conference was really thought provoking and made me remember that it’s always great to have time out of the office to focus on issues not currently sitting in my inbox!  I went to 4 sessions on my one day there, all on a very disparate range of subjects – how orchestra’s should be ‘greener’, new regulations on work permits for foreign artists, how difficult it is to write about music (decribing music as a sonorous air and that it is as difficult to describe as perfume or wine!), the last session of the day was a brilliant session by DK from Mediasnackers.  Made me realise I’m not quite up to scratch on technological internet thingies (it surely  hasn’t been that long since I was a teenager).
Other highlights of the day were a fantastic Welsh National Opera performance of Salome, a reception in the Welsh assembly building – AMAZING architecture, and also some Bara Brith bread and Butter pudding for lunch and Welsh cakes for afternoon snack (not as good as my mum’s though…)
A great trip to Cardiff!

For my part I went to several great sessions – including one looking at how we can encourage our audiences to take greater risks with their concert going – it’s interesting that it is often the projects that we in the office get most excited about that are the hardest to sell tickets to! DK’s New Media session was entertaining and thought provoking (if he reads this blog I hope he likes it), and I also participated in a potentially dry-sounding but very interesting session on data. Lastly, a bigger-picture session looked at how Orchestras can adapt to a changing world and society – not just what we do and play and how we present it,  but also concert hall architecture .

William Norris, Marketing Director

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