Rosie Siemer to Moderate Panel on Becoming Audience-Centric at APGA 2020

At the 2020 APGA conference,  FIVESEED Founder and CEO, Rosie Siemer, will moderate a panel of diverse cultural membership leaders in discussion about "Becoming Audience-Centric: Innovations in Membership and Audience Engagement."

Cultural organizations are at the precipice of an historic shift in audience demographics and mindset. A fundamental transformation is underway that will undeniably disrupt the botanical gardens and arboreta sector—especially in the areas of marketing and membership. At a time of unprecedented demographic and attitudinal change, botanical gardens and arboreta must look toward intentional and innovative strategies for engaging new audiences. 

In this informal and conversational session, moderator Rosie Siemer, Founder and CEO of FIVESEED, will lead a lively discussion with two future-oriented organizations that are rising to meet the challenge of changing audience needs. Caroline Ralston, Director of Marketing, Communications & Membership at Mt. Cuba Center, and Grace Meils, Interim Deputy Director of Institutional Advancement at Newfields, will share their experiences about how their institutions are responding to meet the needs of new audiences. 

In 2019, Mt. Cuba Center launched its inaugural membership program and is experimenting with an inventive new approach to benefits and pricing, including discounts on Lyft rides and a strategy designed to drive interest in its most expensive level of membership. Attendees will also hear how Mt. Cuba is testing membership messaging to understand how audiences react to conservation-, experience-, and perks-based ads.   

Newfields is focused on becoming more audience-centric and the museum is building momentum by utilizing the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) theory to deliver on its mission. In 2017, the museum increased attendance by 72 percent over the prior year with 38 percent of visitors representing what Newfields refers to as “the moveable middle,” a large segment of the population identified as potential visitors. The museum is attracting younger and more diverse audiences, and membership has increased by more than 300 percent to a record high of more than 16,500 households in 2019. 

Throughout the discussion, Rosie will share insights about the influence of behavioral economics and the future of membership based on research featured in her new book Museum Membership Innovation: Unlocking Ideas for Audience Engagement and Sustainable Revenue and will invite participants to ask questions and share their own stories, ensuring a dynamic and relevant conversation that explores the topic in depth. 


Rosie Siemer, Founder + CEO, FIVESEED
Caroline Ralston, Director of Marketing, Communications & Membership, Mt. Cuba Center 
Grace Meils, Interim Deputy Director of Institutional Advancement, Newfields. 

APGA will be held in Portland, OR June 22-26. For more information or to register, visit