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Spektrix Conference 2018: Leading for Change

On Wednesday 26th September 2018 Spektrix turned Leeds green. We hosted our client conference at the striking Leeds Town Hall and welcomed hundreds of senior arts professionals from across the UK and Ireland. 

Building upon the tradition of previous years, we wanted the 2018 Spektrix Conference to continue to be part of the Cultural Sector's professional event offer, stimulating and leading conversation around sector issues. 
It’s vital for us to have a dialogue with our clients and the wider sector about more than ticketing software, challenging ourselves and the sector to inspire, be ambitious and drive change. We do this through our whole events offer, you can see more on our events calendar.

Spektrix Conference is our biggest event of the year, bringing together hundreds of the best minds in the arts community. As Partnerships Manager at Spektrix I am particularly thrilled that we welcomed so many great thinkers, movers and shakers from the cultural sector. 

2018 has really felt like a year of turmoil. It feels like there is change happening all around us that we don’t have control over – Trump, Brexit, Global Warming which as particularly obvious over the summer. Working in an arts organisation often feels like we have little impact on what goes on in the wider world and we can feel a bit helpless. So, we wanted to provide an opportunity for the leaders in our client organisations to come together to feel empowered to make change, in whatever way they can – from small changes in their teams, to revolutionising revenue generation. Our theme was Leading for Change.

We wanted to create programme that inspired, challenged and encouraged collaboration and positive change. We want to support our clients to lead in a way that is relevant, responsive and resourceful. So, we devised a range of sessions from our team, keynotes from Clare Connor and Phil Batty, workshops from Baker Richards and TRG Arts, sessions focusing on change projects delivered by clients in collaboration with partners like Activity Stream, the AMA, and a range of digital agencies. If you weren’t there but you’d like to know more then keep your eyes open for more blogs coming soon that will share some of the brilliant content from the day. We hope this will stimulate further conversation and ideas!

"Really enjoyed our day. Inspirational, came away with some ideas big and small. Some big questions to ask ourselves but also a few little tidbits we could put into practice straight away. Lovely venue too."
- Spektrix Conference Delgate

At Spektrix we also gained a new understanding of what agile working can look like. As anyone in the session delivered by Spektrixers Abbie and Annie would know, agile working is all about breaking down big projects into manageable chunks and responding to change, and well… you guessed it…being agile. It usually applies to developing software or managing projects but during the conference we put it into practice for event production - co-creating the programme on the day with the help of the delegates. One of the sessions was really popular and not everyone could get a space in it, so we scheduled an additional session during the lunch slot  (thanks to Debbie Richards of Baker Richards for delivering 3 sessions in as many hours!) so as many people as possible could enjoy the session. The amazing Sam Biscoe (of Nuffield Theatres) also had an idea for a roundtable on the morning of the conference - so what could we do but add it into the programme and enable it to happen!

My personal favourite takeway from the conference, though, was the number of times I heard the leaders of the organisations we work with talk about Spektrix as a “partner” or the team here as their “colleagues” or “team.” Most of us Spektrixers have come from working in arts organisations, so knowing that we are all striving together as comrades in arms with the arts organisations we serve to lead the cultural sector to success is immensely rewarding.

All that’s left to say is an enormous thank you for the hundreds of you that came, and dedicated time and serious thought to your participation. Thanks also to the amazing workshop and session leaders and keynotes who made the day so impactful and valuable.