Meet the Conference Team - Matt Akers
Senior Support and Training Consultant
Helps clients get the best out of their system
Knight of the Spektrix Roundtables ⚔️
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at Spektrix
I’m a Senior Support and Training Consultant at Spektrix which involves advising clients on how to get the best out of their Spektrix system – both operationally and strategically – to widen their audiences and increase retention and reattendance. I also curate the regional Spektrix Workshops and Roundtables which are a series of jam-packed sessions with actionable ideas, case studies and gifs(!) every year across the UK and Ireland for operational users and super users. Those of you who attended the last Spektrix Conference in 2016 may also recognise me from the lightning talk I gave on the Agency API.
What were you doing before Spektrix?
I did a degree in Media and Drama at Salford University which naturally lead me to a job at a ticketing agency where I spent a good few years wearing many hats working as an Account/Team/Project Manager handling a lot of high profile festival clients.
What’s an average day at Spektrix for you?
As the majority of the Spektrix team have already pointed out, there really is no ‘average day’ at Spektrix. The Support team get to work across with all our clients and with every single department in the business so there is so much scope for getting stuck into a plethora of exciting projects. My main focus is on helping support client success which means at any one time I could be visiting one of our lovely clients to kick off a development project, conducting a training session on email automation, creating content for a blog, advising on a membership scheme drive or website development project, proactively reaching out to clients, organising beta testers for a new feature, managing the workshops team, improving client resources or finding the perfect gif for a presentation - to name but a few! For me, the only average occurrence at Spektrix is that I learn something new every day.
What does leading for change mean to you?
Not being afraid of change! The phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” can be a really regressive way of thinking, especially in the arts/tech sector where things are changing and evolving so rapidly. There are always better ways of working and engaging with audiences so we shouldn’t be afraid of trying new things - that’s what I always try and encourage our clients to do. With the amount of inspirational content we have lined up at this year's conference I’m confident that everyone will leave as an advocate for change armed with a suitcase full of ideas (an extra large suitcase at that!)
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Spektrix Conference?
I’m really excited to hold a special Spektrix Conference edition of our roundtables. We’ve been conducting regional Spektrix roundtable sessions with small groups of clients for about a year now and it really is the perfect platform for attendees to share their thoughts, ideas, insights and experiences with one another. I’m really excited to see how this model adapts to a conference scale event because there is so much potential for knowledge sharing en masse and you might just leave with an idea for a new collaborative project or partnership.
The Support team will be holding roundtable sessions on ‘The Future of the Box Office’ and ‘Sharing great ideas across the business’ as well as ‘Accessibility’ and ‘Acting as an agent’ during the lunch break. If any of these topics pique your interest or are something you’re already doing or thinking about doing or if indeed you’re just plain curious then I’d strongly recommend you grab yourself some food and pop along to one of the sessions hosted by Spektrix Support professionals. You won’t be disappointed!
In the afternoon we also have a ‘Fundraisers’, ‘One Spektrix, multiple sites’ and ‘Scottish organisations’ roundtable sessions hosted by a range of Spektrix clients and our very own Liv Nilssen, which will be another exciting opportunity to get those cogs whirring and chins wagging.
I’m also really looking forward to Phil Batty’s closing keynote at the end of the day. I’ve seen Phil present a couple of times - once at the “Hull 2017 Conference” and again at “Doing things with data: Building resilience and audiences”, a Spektrix event we held in Belfast last year. Phil is a really engaging and passionate speaker so he’s the perfect candidate to round off the day and leave you feeling inspired and energised to go back to your venue.
What’s your advice for someone attending the conference for the first time?
Get there early and plan what you’d like to see ahead of time. If any of the previous conferences are anything to go by then it’ll be an extremely popular and heavily attended affair, so you don’t want to miss out. Some sessions have limited capacity so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment. There is SO much amazing content this year that I wish I could clone myself in order to see everything. Unfortunately the technology isn’t quite there yet so if you’re travelling with someone else from your organisation, my best advice is to split up and see as much content as possible between yourselves and share your findings over a gin or two at the end of the day.