Arts Festival Conference 2012

Chicago, Illinois
Thursday, September 06, 2012

Fourth Annual Arts Festival Conference
Presented by ZAPP® and WESTAF

September 6 - 7, 2012
Avenue Crown Plaza Chicago Downtown

Chicago, Illinois

Draft Agenda –– Last updated 8/23/2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. New York Level, 13th Floor
Conference Registration and Check-In

9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. New York Level, 13th Floor

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Room: Park Avenue
Welcome and Opening Presentation, Storytelling With Data

Events and artists both keep metrics about foot traffic and sales, but people intrinsically understand visual data in a way that many will never comprehend numbers. Artists crunch a lot of numbers on who buys what, where, when, and how. Sponsors are itching to find out their number of impressions. In the opening presentation, data visualization expert Cole Nussbaumer shares advice for helping you both show and tell your numbers, whether for nonprofit boards or business plans, for grant applications or sponsor recaps, or on websites and other projects.

Presenter: Cole Nussbaumer

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Room: Park Avenue
Who? Who? You: Building Your Brand

Who is your audience? Who would you like to reach? What are your goals? There are many options when branding your event or business, but Facebook and text messaging are radically different tools specific to reaching certain demographics and audiences. Tech geeks might find QR codes and Twitter enticing, while others prefer an e-newsletter. This session dives into marketing strategies to connect the dots of how to use the most relevant marketing tools for your audience to further your mission, drive sales, engage new customers, and increase event attendance.

Presenters: Ali Marie Geiman, Dolan Geiman, Kelly Kindred, Mark Rowland

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Room: Madison Avenue
ZAPP 2.0 presentation

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Room: Lexington Avenue
Art IS My Real Job: Art Business for Artists

Want to sell more artwork? Think like a salesperson. Art is your business and––in addition to being a place to sell––arts festivals can act as marketplaces for promoting that business. In this session, artists share success tips to strengthen sales and beef up your art business. Strategies like maximizing consumer data, analyzing event markets and your medium, choosing the best events to sell and showcase your work, knowing your audience, creative marketing, and engaging patrons in person and online, can all lead to better, stronger sales for you, and also help the shows to succeed.

Presenters: Daniel Grant, Neil Estrick, Teresa Merriman, Adrienne Outlaw

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Room: Fifth Avenue
Ingenious Innovation: What Shows Do Right

Experimentation, transformation, innovation––all can support the evolution of arts festivals. By identifying and effectively using novel, consumer-focused means (like QR code scavenger hunts, creation stories, fashion pavilions, and personal shoppers), events are poised to use interactive and participatory marketing and partner with artists to continue success. Shows that actively partner with artists via receptions, open jury processes, poster contests, and artist appreciation, and those actively promoting their artists using galleries, poster signings, and meet-the-artist events, among other ideas, build healthy engagement with both the artists and the community.

Presenters: Deb Bailey, Michael Brown, Ann Ostermann

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. New York Level, 13th Floor
Afternoon Snack

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Room: Park Avenue
Extending the Exhibit: How Public Art Can Benefit the Arts Festival and Artists

Public art is a great venue for artists to create long-lasting impressions and artworks. Public art provides festival administrators a valuable addition to great events and creates community engagement. What else can public art do? Public art can build a year-round presence for artists and events alike. This session discusses the business side of public art for artists, including how to balance creating works for both arts festivals and public art commissions and ways to integrate public art into your art business life. Public art has evolved in exciting ways in our tech-forward world, and this session also explores how festivals can incorporate public art into their events and use what’s new and cool in public art to continue creating community-centered festivals.

Presenters: Sam Bower, Toby Fraley, Barbara Goldstein

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Room: Park Avenue
Tech Trends and New Tools to Benefit You

The digital world changes pretty quickly and new tools and technologies are entering the landscape all the time. Hardware like tablets and smartphones have become ubiquitous. New social networks like Google+, Pinterest, and Instragram offer us new ways to connect. Trends in crowdsourcing and e-commerce benefit our ability to finance business endeavours and sell directly to the marketplace. This session features leading tech-conscious panelists who will discuss how these fabulous new tech tools can benefit artists and the festival industry.

Presenters: Beth Hayden, Jennifer Rapp Peterson, Casey Sheppard, John Spokes

5:00 p.m. Adjourn Day 1

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Jean Albano Gallery
Opening Reception

Please join us after the day-one sessions for a cocktail reception to kick off and welcome all attendees to the fourth annual conference. The reception will take place at the Jean Albano Gallery, 215 W. Superior St., located in the beautiful River North district of Chicago. Attendees will have an exclusive first preview of Chicago-based artist Gladys Nilsson's solo exhibition before the gallery opens the exhibit to the public!


Friday, September 7, 2012

8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. New York Level, 13th Floor
Conference Registration and Check-In

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. New York Level, 13th Floor

9:00 a.m. – Noon. Room: Park Avenue
The ZAPP® Symposium: Community, Collaboration, and the Creative

First introduced at the 2010 Conference, the ZAPP® Symposium provides a forum for high-level discussion around trends and industry changes, cultural policy, and the larger arts and culture landscape, and a platform to introduce inventive ideas. This symposium-style discussion of contemporary cultural policy issues that impact art festivals and artists is moderated by Stephen King, the director of the Des Moines Art Festival. Presenters and discussants participating in the symposium are: Sam Bower, ArtHERE; Amelia Northrup, TRG Arts; Adrienne Outlaw, Seed Space; and John Spokes, United States Artists.

Presenters: Sam Bower, Stephen King, Amelia Northrup, Adrienne Outlaw, John Spokes

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. New York Level, 13th Floor
Coffee Break

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Room: Madison Avenue

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Rom: Park Avenue
Jury Duty: Public Portfolio Critique

In this mock jury, a panel of professionals will discuss image submissions in terms of composition, technical presentation, artistic presentation, or image quality. This session presents a great opportunity for emerging artists to submit work and for all artists to submit new bodies of work or images and see how they appear in the projected jury format.

Presenters: Terry Adams, Jerry Gilmore, David Rench, TBD

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. New York Level, 13th Floor
Afternoon Snack

3:30 p.m. Adjourn

Contact Information

  • Email:
    Phone: 303.629.1166

Payment Instructions

  • All payments must be made through RegOnline via credit card. Check payment arrangements can be made directly through ZAPP staff only.

    Registration Rates:

    • $265 per person through Sunday, August 5, 2012
    • $315 per person as of Monday, August 6, 2012
    Group Rates:
    • $215 per person for groups of 2 or more through August 5, 2012
    • $265 per person for groups of 2 or more as of August 6, 2012.
    Day Pass Rate:
    • $165 per-person day passes are available for either Thursday or Friday sessions.


    Conference registrations that are canceled on or before Monday, August 6, 2012, will receive a 50% refund of the fees.

    No refunds will be given for any cancellations made on or after Tuesday, August 7, 2012. No refunds will be given for day pass purchases.

    Please direct any payment questions to the attention of Leah Charney via email:
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