Streets in Action Highlights!

I was kindly invited by Graham Wilson, Chief Executive of the National Authority of British Market Authorities (NABMA for short) to speak at their conference in Birmingham last week on 27th Jan. The theme was Streets in Action, and I was able to present a case study of Talking Shop in Lancaster, where we’ve been putting artwork into empty shop windows around the city.

It was a great opportunity to show market and town centre managers what can be achieved when you work in a creative way in town centres, and I spoke alongside Alice Angus, the artist who worked on the project. See the website for more info: http://www.midpenninearts.org.uk/talking-shop-lancaster

I also got to hear from some speakers that I would never otherwise have come across, working as I do in the arts sector. Here are my conference highlights:

Chuggers Watch Out!

Did you know that a ‘chugger’ (short for charity mugger!) can only take three paces towards you, three alongside you, and three following you in their bid to get your attention? Any more than these nine steps and they are contravening the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association ‘Code of Conduct’ that the charities employing them are usually signed up to. So email any complaints about contravening of this rule to nick@pfra.org.uk – apparently he loves a good complaint, as Head of Standards it means he can make sure he is doing his job!

Character Zones

Apparently this is the buzzword taking over from Cultural Quarters, which are close to my heart as many moons ago I wrote my dissertation about them. I like the idea that an area is celebrated for its ‘character’, which can apply to a wider range of contexts.

Ambush Marketing

Staff from the Olympic 2012 team told us about this and their attempts to control it for the games next year. Ambush marketing is basically when people don’t get permission for advertising in public spaces and hijack a building or public space – so for example projecting images on the Houses of Parliament or parking an empty bus covered in advertising behind news reporters at the scene of an event. Sounds like fun, but I can only imagine the mayhem if they didn’t try to control it.

So some very different perspectives for me gained from the day, and I met several useful contacts too. Also got to meet the lovely Nick Owen of ‘Anne and Nick’ breakfast TV fame who was presenting awards, so a minor celeb-spot too, which always makes my day!

Lucy Green,

Talking Shop Project Coordinator

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