AmbITion North East Roadshow – Tyneside Cinema – The AmbITion Approach

This post forms part of a series live blogged from the AmbITion North East Roadshow of 5th March.

Here’s the introduction by AmbITion project facilitator Dave Moutrey and keynote by Bill Thompson BBC and Guardian freelance journalist.

Read about a real AmbITion case study as Jamie Wooldridge from Ludus Dance presents the dance company’s digital journey before and after joining the AmbITion pilot.

The Participation workshop by popular digital maverick Christian Payne is liveblogged as is Caron Lyon’s well-attended Social Media workshop.

After the workshops, the AmbITion Approach was presented by project director, Hannah Rudman and the day ended with a plenary session featuring a question and answer session with the workshop presenters.


At the final session at the AmbITion Roadshow event at the Tyneside Cinema, Hannah Rudman shares about the AmbITion model.

Worked with a number of organisations, some the biggest in their regions and some the smallest.  Pilot project with Blue Coat Theatre.

How the AmbITion Approach works:

  • Risk Assessment – if your board is in the middle of a fund raising effort might not be suitable
  • Audit – find out what you need…
  • Diagnostic – which areas will be best
  • Develop a formal Business Case – explain why you would like to implement the developments.  What the benefits will be.
  • Managed implementation – owned by you.
  • Continuous reflection

It works because it is not just about the technology.

Here are Hannah’s slides:

What Digital Developments?

Not all about ‘sexy’ technology.  A lot of work on:

* CRM, CMS driven websites, database integration, intranets, wifi, remote working, connectivity, ticketing, back-up
* Productivity tools
* Broadening digital channels
* Digital content capturing
* Networking….

Show me the money.

Some redirected their own funds, some received money from the AmbITion funds, some didn’t get any money at all, used free tools.

AmbITion project will now share and disseminate info from the case study organisations.   Some went through staff turnover changes, it wasn’t all easy.

Where that content will live?

Re-developed Arts Council website,, our social network on Ning, Arts Professional who are hosting video content


Know your market


Build relationships


Twitter debate – to tweet or not to tweet – some feel like it’s for inanely narcisstic people like Bill Thompson and Christian Payne.

However, it can be very useful for getting the word out about events.

How to ease in: listen to Bill Thompson’s Digital Planet programme to learn about the impact this has on culture.

AmbITion finishes later this year.  Hannah is moving onto envirodigital, helping the arts develop sustainably.

A successful outcome for today is about you taking ownership for digital development.  Don’t just call your web developer, experiment with these platforms, find out what works.

Almost there now… the last, plenary session is up next.


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