Story So Far
My journey to this point has not been a straight line. I actually never set out to be where I am now, but now I am here it feels right.
Arts Marketing: I began my career in the arts in 1994 at Warwick Arts Centre, the then largest arts centre in the UK, working my way up from stuffing envelopes to acting Head of Marketing.
Qualitative Research: The freelance world beckoned in 1999 and I spent a few years working on marketing and brand development for a varied client base. This variety made me realise how divorced many arts organisations are from their audiences. I decided to address this by investing in Qualitative Research training (www.mrs.org.uk , www.aqr.org.uk) in order to bring the audience voice back into arts and cultural organisations.
Creative Thinking: Move on a couple of years and there came a new frustration that despite the rich insights my clients were accessing there was resistance to change. So began my journey into Creative Thinking and Facilitation. Thanks to some further training, two inspirational mentors (Caroline Fraley www.totheheart.com and Gregg Fraley www.kilnco.com), and Creative Thinking Camps in Canada (mindcamp.org), I've learnt and embedded Creating Thinking and Facilitation into my practice, supporting arts organisations to address the challenges and opportunities they face.
Audience Experience: In 2008, I became the lead researcher in a significant programme of Arts and Humanities Research Council/Arts Council England funded research. Its aim was to identify innovative ways of understanding the audience experience and impacts and was a huge turning point for me. It took me to a whole new level of audience insight which has informed my work since.
Experience Design: Inspired in part by my work with the National Football Museum - www.nationalfootballmuseum.com - and through extensive reading around the fields of Design Thinking and User Experience Design, I decided last year to do something to bring new ideas, new processes and renewed purpose to my work. And here it is, The Experience Business.
The Experience Business: It's all grown quite organically and perhaps even serendipitously, one thing informing the other; Marketing and Branding, Audience Insight, Creative Thinking and Experience Design. If it weren't for those clients (you know who you are!) who placed their faith in my abilities and the way I think, I wouldn't have achieved and learnt all the things that have led me to this point … THANK YOU.
What next?: I am always on the look out for new ideas, new approaches, new opportunities and now, new associates that can add value to what The Experience Business offers. I invite anyone with a question, an idea or a skill they'd like to share to get in touch. My door is open.