Formal/Informal Training

Our Training, Our Plans: An Informal Survey of the Field


How did you learn to market a show or market your business?

Did you study marketing in school?

Do you follow a marketing plan or organically make a plan when a need arises?

Is your focus on a marketing plan or "marketing strategies" right now based on the size and scale of your organization?


These are common questions that many administrators and business owners wonder but are a bit timid to ask! So - I took a chance and reached out to ten colleagues around the country to ask them the questions. (Please note that I reached out to a small pool of colleagues at predominantly modern/contemporary dance schools, companies, and festivals.) This small sampling aims to open the window into a larger conversation and through-line on the blog about training and marketing plans.


On training. Here's what these 10 marketing professionals shared:

The group of 10 hold titles as marketing/communication associates, managers, and directors.


When asked about their training (college degrees, graduate degrees, internships, workshops, etc):

  • Only 1 out of 10 had an undergraduate degree in business, marketing, or arts administration
  • Only 1 out of 10 had a graduate degree in business, marketing, or arts administration
  • 20% of the group engaged in a marketing-related internship
  • 80% participated in continuing education workshops and conferences in recent years related to marketing

When asked, "Did you 'grow' into your marketing position through having a prior job at your organization/school?":

  • 6 of 10 arts administrators talked about internships or prior positions at their org before their current marketing/communications role

When asked, "What informal ways ways you have developed as a marketer over the years?" the 10 administrators surveyed shared:

  • Learning by doing
  • Learning from colleagues and supervisors
  • Webinars, LinkedIn Learning Courses, and YouTube videos
  • Online resources and articles
  • Books
  • Americans for the Arts Conference
  • Following other marketers on social media
  • Working with a marketing consultant
  • Transferring personal experience from being a choreographer and producing my own shows into my current job


On Marketing Plans. The 10 administrators surveyed were equally split between "project-based plans" and "yearlong plans." While doing this survey, I also stumbled upon this great article about marketing plans: How to Create a Crystal Clear Marketing Plan (+ Templates) by Katrina Balmaceda .


Let's keep the conversation going! Please add below your thoughts and questions about training for marketers and about marketing plans.