Thursday, June 10, 2010

Opera America Conference Day 1

So the first day of the Opera America conference has passed and it was a good one.

The Aria Serious crews was ensconced all day in a "Making an Impact With Social Media and Technology" seminar, held in a freezing ballroom with, ironically, the worst wifi this side of smoke signals.

It was a great day however, filled with presentations from the leaders of Social Media.

It was nice to hear we're doing many of the same things they are, and humbling (and a little bit scary) to hear that many of them look to us for guidance and inspiration.

Presentations were by Marc van Bree, Ling Chan at Vancouver Opera, Margo Drakos of Instant Encore (maker of our iPhone ap. We have an iPhone ap? You betcha) and Ceci Dadisman from Palm Beach Opera. While everyone had different and intriguing ideas, it was clear that the goal for all of us is the same; how can we create an online community and engage the community to provide a meaningful relationship to our art form and organization. And here is where I guess I should ask you, dear reader, since you are the direct audience we seek.

How can we make your online experience with San Diego Opera a better one? Are we providing you with meaningful insight into our art form and our organization? If so, how? And if there is something you'd like to see more of, what is it?

After the session it was time for a quick shower and then it was onto the welcoming reception at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion where we were graciously welcomed by Maestro Placido Domingo who talked about collaboration and communication between Companies.

This year's theme of the conference is "New Realities / New Strategies" which I read as "Bad Economy / What The Heck Are We Doing Now?" and walking from conversation to conversation during the meet and greet reception it was clear that although Companies are reaching goals and balancing budgets they're having a hard time doing it.

I heard at least a dozen times "well it's nice to know were all in the same boat," and indeed - it is nice to know that the troubles shared by one are troubles shared by many, but I wonder if this is what the passengers of the Titanic also felt cruising through the night...

And lets hope some of the solutions are shared as freely as he problems.

After the welcome reception, the Aria Serious crew made their way to the Marketing and PR dinner where we sat with colleagues and talked work while eating bad Chinese food.

And here is where we'd like to propose making us the Director of Food for Opera America, or at least direct them to Chowhound for future conventions.

Some of the best information is shared after all the formal events, and last night was no exception when the above mentioned Ling Chan, Florida Grand Opera's Brendan Glynn and our own director of Marketing explored The Edison a post industrial steampunk bar a few blocks from the hotel and talked late into the night.

We're a bit tired but day #2 is looking just as good with an Opening Session with Daniel Catan (Rappaccini's Daughter), a conversation with director Achim Freyer, a panel on "Critics, Bloggers and the Changing Media Landscape" a break out session with PR/Marketing professionals, and more.

It's going to be a good one!


Marc van Bree said...

Hope I made sense. I tend to have things clearer in my head than come out of my mouth...

I'm making a resource sheet that I'll be e-mailing to Patricia so everyone will have it.

But always feel free to let me know if you have any follow up questions.

San Diego Opera said...

Marc, I thought it was very informative but I was surprised at the varying degree of knowledge the participants had - at one point a gentleman turned to me and asked "what is twitter and how do you do it?". You did a good enough job of keeping it general while still providing applicable knowledge. Good work.

For those readers that are interested in seeing Marc's presentation: