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This week the entire marketing department is preparing to go to New York. This is a once a year conference that none of us miss. It is called the “Spring Road Conference” and it is hosted by the Broadway League, just like our League of Chicago Theatres, only for Broadway.We will spend a week in meetings about what’s new in the world of Broadway and Broadway touring. It is generally a time that all the current shows on Broadway show their stuff, and wine and dine the representatives for markets across the nation.

The schedule is generally brutal – from early morning to late at night. Each break is hosted by a Broadway show, so we see the most amazing performances at lunch and cocktail hour, plus they give us tickets to see their shows. The Broadway In Chicago teams makes sure to split up to see the most amount of shows, either shows that are already coming to Chicago or new shows. We compare notes and discuss whether we think they should come to Chicago and if so, for how long. A little like the auto show for Broadway.

In addition to all of this, many of the shows have marketing round tables to focus specifically on their shows and their needs. The day is filled with guest speakers, round tables, town hall conversations and meetings with producers that cover everything from marketing to producing to venue management issues. So by the end of the week, you are filled with theatre and a million opinions on what you must do to keep up with the changing times. But most of all you think that if you go to another cocktail party you will pass out!

I will write to you next after the first day of this conference.