Search marketing, which consists mostly of SEO (search engine optimization) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is essential to any business because it remains the most cost-effective marketing in most cases. The multitude of options and the growing complexity of each option make step one merely prioritizing by cost-effectiveness. This presentation will give you an executive understanding of the search marketing field, prevent pitfalls, and prioritize the top tactics. The second half will entail Q&A and will review audience members’ websites to find immediate improvements.

Rob Laporte and his firm DISC have specialized in search marketing since 1997, and Rob is the most published author in the top print/web magazine in the field,

This workshop is intended for anyone — artists, businesspeople, civic leaders and staff, and the general public — who wants to become more comfortable, proficient and effective at public speaking. When your goal is to persuade, inform, entertain or inspire an audience, your focus, and your audience’s attention, should be on your message, not you. Audience participation in this session is encouraged.

The City of Pittsfield in Berkshire County has transformed itself from the “hole in the donut” to a bustling creative hub in less than a decade through a strong focus on creative placemaking and cultural revitalization, and we’re still in progress. The role of city gov’t & the establishment of an Office of Cultural Development was key. We’ll tell you how it all happened. Anticipated audience: Blend.

The face of America is no longer white. It is composed of an ethnic mix that drives the economy. Whether you’re a business, a solo artist, or a government entity, you must think in multicultural terms in order to grow. This workshop will discuss 1) the importance of marketing to multicultural audiences for personal and/or business growth and 2) will provide the digital tools needed to reach this burgeoning audience.

We all know that social media is a powerful tool, but who is doing it well? This presentation will show the best ways to use Twitter, Facebook and regular blogging to get your business out in front of a wider audience.  Using specific examples of successful Social media promoters we will explore the advanced tools you can use to make it easier and reach more people. Discussion included.

Tens of thousands visit the small New England Village of Shelburne Falls yearly. How do they do it? Learn from those who make it happen. The Shelburne Falls Area Business Association with the towns of Buckland & Shelburne have a strong ongoing relationship that fosters planning for the future. There’s always challenges, staying ahead of the game is what makes the difference!

Montague (with its village of Turners Falls) is the only town in Franklin County to incorporate cultural development into its official economic development strategy. Find out why the town government embraced this approach, what departments spearheaded it, its’ success in a small town in a rural county with limited resources and low population, future plans, challenges, and implementation examples.

A talk and workshop-based discussion with John Bechtold about the converging worlds of teaching and practice in the arts.  Many of us in the arts work in some capacity as educators.  Often, these two roles seem to compete as much as converge with each other.  How does one reconcile vocation with avocation?  John is the Department Head for Performing Arts at Amherst Regional Middle and High Schools and the Director of DASAC – a large, postmodern visual and performing arts program for teens at Deerfield Academy.  His work in theater encompasses direction, devising of original works and stage/lighting design.

The workshop will describe two signature initiatives of Pro Springfield Media, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the conversation about Springfield. This 501(c)3 was formed by TSM Design, a marketing and brand development firm. We believe artists/businesses and municipal leaders will find the workshop informative.


This workshop will be geared for people interested in working with youth, particularly by creating partnerships that provide youth opportunities in the arts for community benefit.
1. We will first provide an overview of Youth Action Coalition (YAC) programs and mission. YAC has 5 arts-for-change programs in 3 towns in Western MA. All programs aim to empower youth through art making, social justice education and community engagement. Our 4 pillars are “I AM, I CREATE, I BELIEVE, WE CONNECT”. (15 minutes)
2. We will continue on to describe a few of the partnerships that we’ve created, such as Girls Eye View’s work with the Domestic Violence Task Force, Get Up Get Down’s creation of murals for local businesses, visiting artist programs and youth art exhibits with, at and for local businesses. (15 min)
3. Next, we will outline a framework for thinking through these collaborations by sharing our experience and discussing key considerations. (10 min)
4. Then, we would like to break out into small groups by community or region so that audience members have a chance to brainstorm and come up with potential projects and collaborations. Each group will have a chance to share their idea. (30 min)
5. Last, we will allow time for Q&A (15 min)