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Kids and Cash/ Fric et Frimousses : Children’s Programming: creating a niche market for Alliances Françaises. Katharine Branning, FIAF New York Federation of Alliances Françaises US Washington, D.C. October 24, 2014. Children: a growth opportunity for Alliances françaises

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Katharine Branning, FIAF New York Federation of Alliances Françaises US Washington, D.C.

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Katharine branning fiaf new york federation of alliances fran aises us washington d c

Kids and Cash/ Fric et Frimousses:Children’s Programming: creating a niche market for Alliances Françaises

Katharine Branning, FIAF New York

Federation of Alliances Françaises US

Washington, D.C.

October 24, 2014

Katharine branning fiaf new york federation of alliances fran aises us washington d c

Children: a growth opportunity for Alliances françaises

  • to attract new members

  • to create a niche market

What s up with kids

What’s up with kids?

  • Kids use in the FIAF Library has exploded this year; up to 23% of circulation from 5% three years ago

  • Adult membership numbersat FIAF are stagnant, if not receding; seniors now represent 54% of FIAF adult membership buyers

Other considerations

Other considerations

  • Changing trends in cultural consumption. Everything is changing! Decreases in traditional venues like opera, even college football ticket sales are down by almost 10%!

  • How do these changes affect us in Alliances?

Culture track 2014

Culture Track 2014

  • Last April, Arthur Cohen, CEO of the arts marketing firm LaPlaca Cohen, presented the results from its 2014 edition of Culture Track, the largest national tracking study focused on the attitudes and behaviors of U.S. cultural consumers, including trends in attendance, motivators and barriers to participation.

  • His findings give us much to think about! Among the highlights of Culture Track 2014:

Katharine branning fiaf new york federation of alliances fran aises us washington d c

Finding #1: Since 2011, increase in the percentage of people who visit museums and attend performances of classical music, jazz and musical theater—but there were decreases for plays, classical dance and opera.

Finding 2 frequency of attendance in decline

Finding #2: Frequency of attendance in decline

  • The individual rate of attendance has dropped since 2011, with about half of respondents continuing to attend cultural activities once or twice a month, but only 15% attending three times or more—down from a previous 22%.

  • NY Philharmonic : 15 years subscriptions comprised 83% of ticket sales…today, 54%

Finding 3 blurring boundaries culture now seen in broader terms

Finding #3: Blurring boundaries: culture now seen in broader terms

Culture now goes beyond the confines of traditional disciplines presented by museums and performing arts organizations.

Almost 80% of respondents defined a visit to a public park as a cultural activity.

Food and drink

Food and drink!

64% define attending a food and drink experience as a cultural activity.

Finding 4 need for shared experience

Finding #4: Need for shared experience

  • People value cultural activities as opportunities to spend time with friends and family—a benefit that they rank second only to general entertainment or enjoyment value (83% and 93% respectively)

  • Not attending solo: 28% of people overall state they will not attend if they have to go alone—a figure that rises to 43% among Millennials (ages 18 to 30)

Finding 5 motivations for attendance

Finding #5: Motivations for attendance

What does it all mean

What does it all mean?

  • According to Arthur Cohen, “These findings reveal audiences that are restless, curious and ‘culturally promiscuous’—eager for new experiences they can share in person with friends and family. We have also learned that people rely above all on their emotions to tell them what those experiences might be, outside of traditional definitions of culture. If something enriches their senses, if it enlarges their world, and if they can do it in company they like, they are open to it. This is challenging news for institutions that are trying to retain the loyalty of audiences, but good news for organizations that are willing to listen to what the public has to say.”

So what does it mean for an af

So what does it mean for an AF?

  • We must maintain our brand image:

    • France

    • Quality

    • Affordable programs

    • Enjoyment

  • We must rethink our cultural offerings (blurring!)

  • We must start to seriously focus on families

  • We must think in terms of being social

  • French education for kids in nyc

    French education for kids in NYC

    • I don’t know how it is in your town, but competition for kid’s education in French is tough in New York City

    • There are French language schools, nursery schools and daycare centers now in every neighborhood of NYC

    Family programs on the rise in nyc

    Family programs on the rise in NYC

    • Family-oriented programs are now the new cultural darling and potential money-makers: There is programming for kids everywhere in NYC:

      • Art museums

      • Kid’s Theater companies

      • Individual artist concerts and programs

      • Health clubs and YMCAs

      • Libraries

      • Birthday parties with themes

    Katharine branning fiaf new york federation of alliances fran aises us washington d c

    • Overachieving parents push their kids relentlessly to attend these activities, and pay hefty fees ($50-60 and above per ticket).

    • Note: many of these programs are family program activities, not just drop-off programs for kids, but events where the entire family participates.

    New york botanical garden

    New York Botanical Garden

    Programs for Kids and Teens

    Every day at the Garden, kids and teens can embark on an exciting adventure – the adventure of discovering the world of plants.

    Across the Garden and in two gardens designed especially for kids, the Everett Children's Adventure Garden and the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, hands-on activities introduce youths of all ages to the thrill of science exploration and of seeing what seeds and soil can become.

    There's something fun for families every day!

    Metropolitan museum of art

    Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Look at art together and get creative during free, interactive drop-in programs for kids and their parents or caregivers. For more information about Family Programs, please call 212-570-3961 or email familyprograms@metmuseum.org.

    Jewish museum nyc

    Jewish Museum NYC

    • Family Programs offer a unique, engaging, and often unexpected museum experience, full of fresh perspectives, playful activities, and numerous opportunities for artistic and cultural enrichment. Our diverse offerings for families include lively concerts, innovative art workshops, immersive gallery tours, and fun-filled Sunday programming.

    Daniel boulud loves kids too

    Daniel Boulud loves kids, too!

    Last month he treated six 2nd graders from PS 295 in Brooklyn to a $220, 6 course tasting menu!

    Yet we at afs can give something unique

    Yet, we at AFs can give something unique!

    • BUT…the two put together, i.e., a quality French-language exposure experience + a fun event for kids AND parents- and there is only one: and that is us

    • Kids programming in French is truly the product that the Alliances and Alliances alone can offer

    • Play on our well-known brand name and develop this program

    Strategy 1 start with membership

    Strategy #1: start with Membership

    • Follow the example of museums, which all offer family memberships, all AFs must offer them as well. Many of you do, but if not, do it!

    • For those of you that do, focus on developing this potentially rich base

    Why develop family memberships

    Why develop family memberships?

    • This will enlarge your data base of members! This is easy and no-cost solution to create greater traffic into your building and events.

    Family members at fiaf

    Family Members at FIAF

    • FIAF has a special category called FAMILY membership: for the same price ($150), cards are issued to all family members. FIAF has 276 family memberships, and the average here is @ 4 cards per family

    Family memberships for kids students

    Family memberships for Kids students

    • In addition, a decision was made this year to offer Family memberships to all FIAF students in the youth classes (under the age of 18), which represents 488 toddlers and 605 kids and teens

    • A card is sent to the registering parent and the child student, with an invitation to submit the names of other family members for additional cards

    Counting by potential feet in the door

    Counting by potential feet in the door….

    • Family memberships: the average number of family membership cards distributed per family = 4 ; 276 x 4 = 1,104 which then brings the percentage of potential FIAF member visitors up to 54%

    • Student family memberships: the average number of cards distributed per student family = 3; so the average number of Family cards issued per student is 1093 x 3 = 3,279 or 33%

    Fiaf memberships fy 2014 17 r evenue for families

    FIAF MEMBERSHIPS FY 2014: 17% revenue for families

    Family memberships don t earn much money but earn more than money

    Family memberships don’t earn much money:, but earn more than money…

    • Gets their feet in the door to discover your quality family and kids programs!

    • With this widened membership base, you can increase @20% more potential clients in your door

    • It creates an image of your AF as a kid’s provider of quality programming in French

    Katharine branning fiaf new york federation of alliances fran aises us washington d c

    • It enlarges your image for programming and membership from beyond the traditional venues

    • It fosters a pattern for cultural consumption, encourages fidelity. Makes the customer want to come back!

    • It creates a new demand that wasn’t there before

    Strategy 2 engage the entire institution in the effort

    Strategy #2: engage the entire institution in the effort

    At FIAF, all departments work together for family programming:

    • Library increased the total number of items that can be borrowed; increased budget line dedicated for the acquisition of children’s materials; increased the number of kids story and activity programs

    • Language Center creates workshops specifically for kids and parents

    • Cultural programming plans specific family events and budgets fund raising efforts and percentages to this activity

    • Membershipseeks to offer free or discounted offers to local vendors of French kids products or restaurants

    • Marketingworks to specifically promote children’s activities (brochure, flyers, targeted advertising)

    No kids teaching program in your af

    No kids teaching program in your AF?

    • No problem, you can still do quality kids programming. Play on the AF brand recognition in your town and build on it!

    • Alliance française= French = quality

    Strategy 3 sponsorship

    Strategy #3: Sponsorship

    • Work on cultivating new sponsors that perhaps you never approached : Jacadi, for example, gives ($12,500) for FIAF kids cultural events and snacks in the kids classes

    Strategy 4 establish partnerships

    Strategy #4: Establish partnerships

    • Don’t have a theater or much space in your AF? Reach out to your other cultural venues in town (what we do in Montclair), local bookstores or restaurants

    • Look for like-minded partners: BAM wants to develop more programming in schools, especially in the bilingual schools

    • In-house: think of programs that unite the language center + library + cultural events: story tellers, cooking, fashion shows

    • Délégationgénérale, AF Fédération, Fondation AF

    Strategy 5 advertising

    Strategy #5: Advertising

    • Social media works! FIAF won the Red Tricycle’s 2013 “Most awesome Kids Language Classes in New York” poll

    • Tweet and Facebook and other specific social media for kids in your community

    • Create a kid’s corner on your website (what we did for the Library and Culturethèque as well)

    • Create a kids flyer, even if it is only a simple listing

    • Print a separate Kids brochure if possible

    Kids programming at fiaf today

    Kids programming at FIAF today

    • Family Saturdays: an all-day open-house of activities for families

      • Performance event +

      • CinéKids+

      • Library activity

    Development trends for kids for 2015 at fiaf

    Development trends for kids for 2015 at FIAF

    • More programming for the little kids, ages 1-2-3: high demand, need to program more

    • Finding the correct balance between iconic kids programs (Guignol, Babar) with more current contemporary artists

    • more cooking workshops

    Looking ahead for families at fiaf for 2016

    Looking ahead for families at FIAF for 2016

    • kids birthday parties

    • cooking classes for kids and parents

    • Creation of World Nomads Kids: to present high-quality work for children in partnerships with various Francophone countries

    • Work closer with French partners: for example, the department of cultural affairs at the Mairiede Paris is very keen on children’s programming

    And even bigger dreams

    And even bigger dreams!

    • FIAF wishes to develop more robust programming for children in order to bring to New York the extraordinary, child-oriented work that is being developed in France and around the world for kids by cutting edge French artists (Olivier Py, for ex).

    • And why not dream big? Commissioning of a special performance piece that would create a platform of presentation for children’s programming; from both French and American artists

    • FIAF wishes to establish itself as a leader in the presentation of new productions for children with the staging of major theater/music productions in FGH



    • Bank on the AF image in your community

    • Enlarge your membership base by offering family memberships

    • Expand children’s programming

    • Create specific programs for families

    • Market to kids and families and create your image as a quality provider to this group

    • Be creative and open-minded!

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