Artists Need High Quality, Accessible Marketing Resources

Last week, my regional booking consortium organized its first Zoom conversation for marketing staff to share questions, ideas and just generally converse. I lurked around for most of the conversation with my camera off, popping in to comment on occasion. One of the topics of conversation was around marketing and promotional assets that artists provide.  The quality of video and images is an increasingly important topic given the role social media plays with both show promotion and associated sharing.

When I was at a booking conference last month, a panelist mentioned that they look at two things when evaluating whether to book an artist. The first was whether the tech rider was within the capacity and the second was the quality of their promotional assets.  While there was some people in the Zoom meeting last week who said their every use of promotional materials was being closely scrutinized by a tour, far more others complained by the dearth of quality images and video.  Many artists have video which is poor lighting, framing and sound quality.  Still images and logos are often small and can’t be resized without severely bitmapping.

Someone on the call shared an article from Capacity Interactive about how to make static key art more engaging  by adding some subtle animation, using the animation to do some storytelling and provide information.  Obviously, you need to get permission from a performer before adding any animated elements, but I thought that this was a good way to cope with the lack of good materials and catch some attention.

Later in the afternoon, the venue managers and programmers met and some of my enthusiasm deflated a little. One of the topics of conversation was some accessibility legislation that is set to roll out in Colorado in summer 2024. Under those rules we need to pay attention to things like how accessible our websites and ticketing systems are for screen readers. This will mean making sure images have robust descriptions for alt text and videos have captioning. One venue manager said they are already telling renters that logos are not sufficient to represent their shows given the amount of detailed description the law will require.  In this context, I realized the animated key art idea might not pass muster.

While they might not entirely encompass current 2023 standards, Drew McManus did a whole series on web accessibility on ArtsHacker in 2019 which will provide a good start. Bonus: A post on all the lawsuits and accessibility plug-in scams to watch out for.

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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