Acknowledgement from Unexpected Quarters

Last week I received an email wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving from one of the B&Bs we stayed at in Ireland this past summer. Thinking back to my discussions about developing emotional relationships with customers over the last few weeks, I thought that was a particularly clever gesture.

A lot of social media software tracks your friend’s birthdays and anniversaries, so I wouldn’t be surprised to receive an email for that occasion. These folks are apparently paying attention to holidays that have some significance in the country of their former guests. I received plenty of domestic Thanksgiving greetings and wishes, but it is the one from Ireland that sticks in my mind because you don’t often receive acknowledgment of an occurrence which holds little significance to another.

I have no plans to return to Ireland in the next year, but there is a pretty good chance that should I do so in the next five years, I will remember this gesture as I recall my last visit and make plans to return.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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