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Tessitura Europe Conference features over 100 presenters in 60+ sessions

Chilina Madon writes about the people power behind the learning and community

Photo of a woman with long dark hair, seen from the torso up, looking forward and smiling slightly.

Chilina MadonMarketing & Sales Director, Birmingham Hippodrome

TitleTessitura Europe Conference features over 100 presenters in 60+ sessions

Published12/11/2019

Read/View Time4 min


I have been lucky enough to attend several Tessitura European Conferences (TEC) over the years

but 2019 was different for me for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, I had just moved into a new role as Director of Marketing and Sales within my organisation; secondly I was on the Content Planning committee; thirdly, I was speaking and moderating for the first time. Finally (and most importantly), TEC19 was being held in Birmingham at my very own venue, Birmingham Hippodrome, along with Birmingham Conference and Events Centre. So it was a big one: go large or go home, right?

People sitting at round tables, facing a person who is standing in front of a screen.

A session at TEC2019

Being on the inside gave me a very different perspective on how things work and the emphasis on people and the human faces behind everything we do, be it behind the scenes planning for the conference itself, the people in our organisations, the people who make the ideas a reality, the people behind the data — our visitors, funders, sponsors or the people that we are missing from our organisations — the people that we want to reach out to.

Three people standing and looking at a display on an easel. One person is pointing at something on the paper.

TEC delegates explore the Tessitura Analytics Dashboard Gallery 

It was with a whole lot of people power that our planning committees, led by the awesome team at Tessitura, organised over 64 sessions including panel discussions, sponsor sessions, peer to peer presentations and training. The conference harnessed the talents, enthusiasm and knowledge of presenters, panellists and moderators discussing everything from audience segmentation to GDPR, fundraising to resource scheduling. A huge thank you goes out to all those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to find presenters, organise, rehearse and submit presentations. What struck me most was the commitment to making sure that every department in every organisation could get something out of TEC.

“The conference harnessed the talents, enthusiasm and knowledge of 119 presenters, panellists and moderators discussing everything from audience segmentation to GDPR, fundraising to resource scheduling.”

A roadmap session

And when 500 people from across the world, from multiple sectors and different departments get together to discuss and deliberate, then great things happen. This was best exemplified in the 34 Open Space sessions with discussions from third party integrations to ticket scanning. Open Spaces provided platforms for collaboration and learning on the topics affecting delegates in the here and now. The sessions were buzzing, inspiring and sometimes plain old cathartic and I couldn’t have been prouder that they were happening under our Brummie roof.

So, people powered the Tessitura conference on all fronts and were put firmly front and centre in Tuesday’s General Session where Andrew Recinos challenged us to aim for a day where “Every human in every community we serve has arts and culture as a meaningful part of their life.” Taking all those “neat ideas” (as Andrew phrased it) that had been swirling about between us and nailing the practical application in order to provide tremendous results is what Tessitura and the conference areall about.

“When 500 people from across the world, from multiple sectors and different departments get together to discuss and deliberate, then great things happen.”

An audience sits in the red velvet seats in the Birmingham Hippodrome.

The TEC audience in the Birmingham Hippodrome 

I would urge everyone to take a role in the conference next year in Southampton, planning content, presenting, or proposing Open Space sessions. It is the galvanising enthusiasm of this event and “unparalleled community” mentioned by Jack Rubin that ensures that the Tessitura European Conference is such a special and relevant event for so many people and organisations and I cannot wait for 2020.

Several people sitting in a row, smiling and applauding
Photo of a woman with long dark hair, seen from the torso up, looking forward and smiling slightly.

Chilina Madon

Marketing & Sales Director

Birmingham Hippodrome

Chilina has worked in various arts marketing roles over the last 18 years.

Most recently, she was appointed as the Marketing and Sales Director at Birmingham Hippodrome where she has worked since 2007. Chilina is an honorary Brummie, commuting in from her home town in Oxfordshire where she is also a Trustee of her local theatre, Oxford Playhouse. 

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