ARTICLE: What Was at bbcon for the Arts & Cultural Professionals?

April 10, 2017

“This will be my third bbcon coming up in October. I attended my first conference on my second week of work at my now dream job. They knew how important immersing me in the software would be as a data manager. I now, two years later, will be a presenter at the conference and its great to see the knowledge come full circle.”
—Brinkley Cox, Annual Giving Coordinator, Missouri Botanical Garden

bbcon was October 17 – 19 in Baltimore, Maryland! This conference brought together thousands of non-profit professionals to discuss current trends, best practices, and outcome‐based solutions that help advance the social good movement.

Every year, bbcon offers an unparalleled learning experience and insights into innovative technology that will help power your passion. Attendees had plenty of opportunities to engage with peers through including networking events and meet one-on-one with Blackbaud experts and industry thought leaders.

So, what was at bbcon for a professional like you? 

There is a lot to tell you! Here are some quick links to skip around this post:


  • Arts & Cultural Track Keynote: The Audience Engagement Journey
    HOST: Nik Honeysett, CEO, Balboa Park Online Collaborative
    Whether you work in performing arts, museums, or zoos, your opportunities for establishing deeper connections and creating signature experiences begin the moment a new ticket buyer enters your doors. We will kick off our arts & cultural bbcon track with an exploration of the audience engagement journey, led by Nik Honeyset, the CEO of the Balboa Park Online Collaborative. Nik will discuss where audience engagement strategies are trending, who’s doing it will, and how you can change the game at your organization. This dynamic session will kick off will a live example of audience engagement that you won’t want to miss! Watch on-demand >
  • The Business of Digital Engagement
    Digital. Is it about websites and social media? Or is it our greatest strategic partner in relevancy, capacity, engagement, and business decision-making? Join this session for a tactical look at how cultural organizations can leverage digital technology to better serve audiences and deliver on missions.
    HOST: Paul Burke, CEO of Guru with Nik Honeysett, Board Member of Guru
  • Bringing Fun to Fundraising: Gamification & Virtual Reality
    With the rise of virtual reality games, what can children's museums do to leverage this new technology to meet their bottom line? We'll explore how children's museums are using Pokemon® and other gamification platforms to expand and ignite their fundraising and membership campaigns. 
    HOSTS: Jennifer Leavitt, Principal Arts & Cultural Consultant for Blackbaud with Courtney Grainger, Altru Sr. Product Manager for Blackbaud
  • Boosting Your Online Sales with Website Optimization
    Do you have clear goals for your website? Is your website effectively communicating your organization’s brand and mission? Does your website make it easy for visitors to buy tickets and make donations? Your website is your biggest asset, and each year it becomes a more important channel: while donations to arts and cultural organizations were flat last year, online giving grew 8.3%. Sacramento Zoo and the Gaillard Center put their website to work for them, and found not only did they grow online ticket sales and donations, but also the project helped their organization clarify their long term goals and vision. In this session, hear from Jaime Wilson, Digital Marketing Manager at Sacramento Zoo and Stephanie Shipe, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the Gaillard Center, on how they transformed their online brand. You’ll also walk away with an understanding of what you can do today to improve your website, from Aga Siuda, the Blackbaud designer and industry expert behind both of these projects.
    PANEL DISCUSSION: Aga Siuda, Principal Arts & Cultural Designer for Blackbaud's Interactive Services team with Jamie Wilson, Digital Media Manager for the Sacramento Zoo and Stephanie Shipe, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Gaillard Center
  • Building Strategic Community Programs 
    Building strategic community programming starts with our youth. The Bock Center for the Performing Arts City Spotlights Teen Leadership Program is one of those programs that empowers youth to become advocates and future leaders. Discover how you can engage your community youth to further your mission and vision. 
    HOSTS: Rosita Bradham, Blackbaud Arts & Cultural Customer Success Manager and Corey Evans, Senior Director of Education of the Boch Center for Performing Arts
  • What Drives Audience Engagement
    Gain insight on some of the critical factors that influence the attendance behavior of cultural consumers, recent research that highlights barriers and opportunities in attracting cultural audiences, and potential implications for strategic marketing decisions. 
    HOST: Zannie Voss, Director for National Center for Arts Research
  • Big Data, Fundraising, and Unicorns
    Let's focus on understanding how big data and analytics can be used to improve fundraising and membership results. This session will not be about chasing unicorns unlikely to drive improved fundraising results. It will cover the basics and the buzz words you need before having a meaningful discussion on what it takes to be successful in the age of big data. Join President Mark Stuart of the Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego and Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud's vice president of data & analytics and 
    HOSTS: Steve MacLaughlin, VP of Data & Analytics for Blackbaud and bestselling author of Data Driven Nonprofits with Mark Stuart, President for the Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego
  • Mastering the Game of Pipeline Fundraising with Target Analytics
    During this session, see how Missouri Botanical Gardens® successfully used a combination of analytics and strong prospect management techniques to fuel fundraising growth and achieve goals.
    HOSTS: Brinkley Cox, Annual Giving Coordinator for Missouri Botanical Gardens with Carolyn Copp, Senior Strategy Consultant for Blackbaud
  • Smart Data, Successful Strategies
    Learn how to implement successful strategies by understanding your donors. This session will help you make sure that your data is lean, clean and ready to work for you. Roll up your sleeves and consider how to collect data, analyze it, make it relevant, and act on what you've learned. 
    HOSTS: Carolyn Copp, Senior Strategy Consultant for Blackbaud with Debora Trumble, Senior Fundraising Analyst for Blackbaud and John Perell, Director of Direct Response and Shared Services for Smithsonian Institute
  • Dreaming Big on a Small Budget: Tips on Marketing Automation, Segmentation, Recurring Giving and More
    Are staff limitations, tech skills, or budget holding you back from your goals? Not anymore! You can boost donor retention, drive engagement, and streamline stewardship processes with the resources that you have right now. Transform your membership communications—and regain valuable timewith tips on automation, segmentation, recurring giving, and more.
    HOSTS: Arielle Bateman, Assistant Director of Communications and Stewardship for Carnegie museums of Pittsburgh with Jonny Thompson, Customer Success Manager for Blackbaud
  • From Raiser's Edge to Altru: What You Need to Know
    In the second year of a five-year $80 million campaign, the Autry did the unthinkable and changed their fundraising database from Raiser’s Edge to Altru. In this session, we will review the reasons that led to the database conversion and discuss the overall process, goals, and impact.
    Hosts:  Jennifer Leavitt, Principal Arts & Cultural Consultant for Blackbaud with Cristian Hamilton, Sr. Director of Development, Relationship Management and Data Sciences for the Autry Museum of the American West

We are so excited for the product sessions dedicated to Altru users. 

  • Altru Roadmap Review
    Join us for an updated view on the direction your Altru solution will take you in 2018!
    HOST: Courtney Grainger, Altru Sr. Product Manager for Blackbaud

  • Seeing Your Success: Altru Appeal Reporting and OData
    Appeal reporting is an essential part of any successful campaign. This session will review how to create a refreshable OData dashboard in Microsoft Excel® 2013 to help you keep tabs on statistics like total raised, response rate, and average gift amount.
    HOSTS: Rachel Nigro, Altru Onboarding & Adoption Program Manager with Shannon Knight, Principal Consultant for Knight Analysis & Solutions
  • Recruiting and Retaining Members with the Latest Altru Features
    Creating an attractive membership benefit package is crucial for recruiting and retaining your members. Over the past year, Altru has added new functionality to help you make your membership benefits enticing, exclusive, and easy! In this session, learn how to leverage member events, pre-sales, and guest passes to create benefits your members won’t be able to resist.
    HOSTS: Rachel Nigro, Altru Onboarding & Adoption Program Manager with  Jennifer Leavitt, Principal Arts & Cultural Consultant for Blackbaud
  • Are you looking for more Altru tips, tricks and training?
    Check out our NEW Altru track during Blackbaud University Day on October 16! Get ready to roll up your sleeve and build new skills with focused instruction, deep-dive training and practical demonstrations to help you get the most from Altru.

Want to get even more out of your bbcon 2018 experience? Roll up your sleeves and join us on a day early for Blackbaud University Day. Accelerate your learning and build your skills with focused instruction, deep-dive training and practical demonstrations to help you get the most impact from your Blackbaud solutions.  

Blackbaud University Day offers the following solution tracks to choose from:
Altru, Raiser's Edge, Blackbaud CRM, Financial Edge, Luminate Online, MicroEdge, ResearchPoint

Learn more about Blackbaud University Day >

Join us October 9-11, Orlando, FL

bbcon 2018 is heading to Orlando, FL! Sign up now to receive $150 off registration and important conference updates. Registration will open soon!

Start connecting with other attendees in the bbcon Community >

Blackbaud reserves the right to change or withdraw these promotions at any time, without advance notice. Promotions have no cash value and may not be exchanged, applied to, or combined with any other offer. 


Previous >
ARTICLE: Four Podcasts for End-of-Year Giving Success
ARTICLE: Four Podcasts for End-of-Year Giving Success

Next >
ARTICLE: Is Your Digital Strategy Conservative or Revolutionary?
ARTICLE: Is Your Digital Strategy Conservative or Revolutionary?

By Nik Honeysett | Chief Executive Officer | BPOC

Resources for End-of-Year Fundraising

Start learning