This Was the Conference That Was

by Rob Weinert-Kendt

in Critics & Reviews,Events,Tech & the Arts

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TCG’s National Conference in Chicago last week was a record-breaker, with upwards of 900 attendees crowding more than 50 breakout sessions, 17 affinity groups, four plenaries and 16 “manifestos.” One of America’s most vibrant theatre cities proved an ideal host, not only for its theatre-friendliness—epitomized by Mayor Daley’s Saturday morning speech on the value of arts to his city—but for its geographic centrality, which embraced attendees from all coasts (East, West and the Gulf) as well as America’s vast middle.
While we prepare our official story for American Theatre magazine, there are already plenty of reactions, accounts, summaries and assorted other linkable reflections of what went down in the (mostly sunny and gorgeous) Windy City last week.

The Twitter hashtag #TCG2010 got a workout, in large part thanks to TCG’s social media guru August Schulenberg. As we write this, there are 2,210 tweets and counting (feel free use your old friend Control-F to search for key words you might be interested in).

Meanwhile, Chad Bauman’s Arts Marketing blog has some salient takeaways about, among other things,  ticket pricing; Alan Berks at Minnesota Playlist has valuable reflections on the conference, the first of two installments, here, and Seema Sueko of San Deigo’s Mo’olelo company has some thoughts here. Some conference highlights were “pop-up performances” by major area theatres, sponsored by the League of Chicago Theatres, with video evidence gathered here. One of the most actionable breakout sessions had to be Devon V. Smith’s breathtaking update on social media marketing for theatres, summed up nicely on her own blog. For a great collection of quotes from the conference, Kadmus Arts’ Bill Reichblum is hard to beat. Reduced Shakespeare Company went to the trouble of producing a podcast, interviewing some key players on site, while Tami Dixon’s blogged a few days here and here. And on my own blog, I took a few notes.

More to come!

-Rob

Rob Weinert-Kendt is associate editor of American Theatre magazine. He also co-runs the site StageGrade.com and is father to a strapping infant named Oliver.