At the Broadway League Conference – Day 1/Wise Words about We from Jonathan Tisch

The first sign of Spring for me isn’t shorts, or sun dresses, or even that half of the business has already started taking Friday afternoons off.

The first sign that Spring has sprung is . . . the Broadway League Spring Road Conference has begun.

Every year about this time, hundreds of Producers and Presenters and Marketing Folks (insert, “Oh My!”, here) from theaters all over the country descend upon New York City to meet, mingle and dissect everything that’s wrong with our biz and discuss how to fix it.

Oh, and they see a lot of shows (it’s during this period when many of our out-of-town Tony voters make their final decisions on what to vote for AND what they are interested in bringing to their hometown venues).

I’m at the conference every year . . . and as I’ve done in years past, I’m keeping eyes and ears open for you and will report on interesting things that I hear so you can get an idea of what goes on.

Yesterday, we kicked the conference off with a keynote from Jonathan Tisch – hotel and hospitality guru, part owner of the NY Giants, and yep, the guy whose name is on my alma mater.

Jonathan has also written quite a few books, including a nifty one called The Power of We, which I do recommend for any of you out there who count on collaboration for a successful business.



Oh wait, that’s all of us.  Because we’re in the theater.  We ALL count on collaboration for a successful business.  (It is not a coincidence that this year’s conference is themed “The Power of We.

Jonathan had a whole bunch of smart things to say including things like . . .

You can’t be all things to all people.

And . . .

You have all achieved a certain level of success.  Now, inherent in your success is a responsibility to help others to get to the same place.

As well as my favorite . . .

You can do well and do good at the same time.

But there was something else he talked about in his intro to his talk that resonated with me, that I also think will resonate with you, wherever you are and whatever you are trying to do.

Jonathan’s theory of the P of We is about partnerships . . . with your community, your co-workers, and yes, even the other C-Word, your competition.  (I’ve been screaming that it’s time to sit down with the Ticket Brokers for years.)

In his introduction Jonathan talked about the Spring Road Conference and how it was so great to see the membership in our trade association growing with such committed and devoted members.  Because, as he said, “Associations run our country.  And to achieve success, it’s imperative that we put aside our individual differences and come together for a common good.”

For example, he talked about how the largest hotel chains came together to help create BrandUSA to promote our country to our international friends.

And then I remembered how a group of California milk makers banded together to create the “Got Milk” campaign.  (Visit that link and scroll down and click “about” to read the story.)

But you don’t need to be a milk maker or a group of big Broadway producers to form an organization.

Groups of community theaters can do it . . . on a national level, state level, or even local.  Regional theaters.  Actors.  Bloggers.  Entrepreneurs.

Wherever you are, and whatever you, there is power to be mined from more than one mind.

Stay tuned for my report from Day 2 of the Conference tomorrow!


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.