National Conference Education

Conference Education Session information is tentative, subject to change.

All 2024 events and Education Sessions presented at Hilton Milwaukee City Center unless otherwise indicated.

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Updated 6.7.2024

The League's National Conference Education Program includes 26 Tools & Techniques sessions on restoration, fundraising, marketing, operations, facilities, DEIB and film programming along with important case studies demonstrating best practices from around the nation, offering something for everyone.

On Sunday, back by popular demand, we will offer our annual "Early Bird Renovation 101" intensive session for those who can't wait to get started. Two segments of concurrent Tools & Techniques sessions will be offered on Monday, three more segments on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday. A handful of the Tools & Techniques sessions will be repeated following a networking or lunch break to give each person an opportunity to attend as many sessions as possible.

Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC
Official Education Sponsor

Tools & Techniques

Concurrent Professional Development Sessions

Monday, July 8 - Wednesday, July 10 (times vary)

Facilitated discussions, workshops, panel discussions, and case studies provide real solutions to real problems. Tools & Techniques segments on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will offer best practices, emerging trends, and practical information for improving your historic theatre, your business, and your community.

Click where indicated to download the PDF for each specific Tools & Techniques Segment session details and speaker bios.

Monday, July 8, 2024

Tools & Techniques Segment 1
Download the Printable PDF

10:45am - 12:00pm | 6 concurrent sessions

  • Have You Tried Calling Shania? Booking 101
  • Managing Your Theatre's Risk… and Other Insurance Issues
  • Nonprofit Board Governance Best Practices
  • Plaster Ceilings - A Basic Owner’s Manual
  • Structuring Sustainable Success: Building Functional Relationships Between Public Entities and Nonprofit Theatres to Ensure Longevity
  • The Historic Theatre's Service to the Community
Tools & Techniques Segment 1 Sponsor: Stages Consultants
Tools & Techniques Segment 1 Sponsor: Stages Consultants
Tools & Techniques Segment 2
Download the Printable PDF

2:15pm - 3:30pm | 5 concurrent sessions

  • From Dark Theatre to Sellouts & Black Ink
  • Historic Theatre Toolkit for Mindful Community Collaborations
  • Marketing: What Works Best and Facebook Dark Ads
  • Ready, Set, Go Sensory Friendly! Best Practices for Hosting Relaxed Performances
  • Save the Money, Take Them to Coffee. How Donor-to-Donor Solicitation is Easier than Planning a Full Fundraising Event
Tools & Techniques Segment 2 Sponsor: ETC
Tools & Techniques Segment 2 Sponsor: ETC

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Tools & Techniques Segment 3
Download the Printable PDF

(A) 9:30am - 10:45am | 5 concurrent sessions; 3 sessions will repeat in Segment 3B
(B) 11:15am - 12:30pm | 5 concurrent sessions; 3 sessions repeat from Segment 3A; 1 session will repeat in Segment 4

  • Enhancing Patron Engagement Through Integrated Technologies Presented in Segment 3B only.
  • From "Shabby Chic" to "Simply Chic" Presented in Segment 3A only.
  • Historic Theatres Accessibility: What MUST Be Done to Ensure Your Theatre is Accessible and Inclusive for ALL Presented in Segment 3A only.
  • How to Have a Successful HR Strategy without Having a Dedicated HR Professional on Staff Presented in Segment 3A & 3B.
  • Time, Touch, and Treasure: Cultivation Strategies for Effective Fundraising Presented in Segment 3A & 3B.
  • Whose Show is it Anyway? A Panel Discussion on Venue Rentals Presented in Segment 3A & 3B.
  • Workshopping a Building Masterplan: Writing the Script for Your Theatre’s Future Presented in Segment 3B & 4.
Tools & Techniques Segment 4
Download the Printable PDF

2:00pm - 3:15pm | 5 concurrent sessions; 1 session repeated from Segment 3B

  • Film House Group Therapy
  • It's ALIVE! How Vidiots Resurrected the Eagle Theatre
  • Setting the Stage: Modern Marketing for The Historic Theatre
  • Show Me the Money!
  • Workshopping a Building Masterplan: Writing the Script for Your Theatre’s Future Repeated from before lunch in Segment 3B.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Tools & Techniques Segment 5
Download the Printable PDF

9:45am - 11:00am | 4 concurrent sessions; none repeat

  • Capital Campaign Success Story
  • How Historic Theatres Can Leverage Storytelling to Grow and Engage Audiences
  • The Ramova Theatre: Assembling a Historic Renovation Project through Public-Private Partnerships
  • Safeguarding Revenue: Navigating Chargebacks & Fraud in Historic Theatre Management
Tools & Techniques Segment 5 Sponsored by
Tools & Techniques Segment 5 Sponsored by AudienceView

Early Bird Education Session

Download the Printable PDF

Sunday, July 7, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm - Hilton Milwaukee City Center Hotel

This year, the League will offer an optional "Early Bird" education session prior to the official conference kickoff on Sunday evening.

There is no additional fee, but the Early Bird session will have a limited capacity so it is first come, first served, and will require advance registration. The Early Bird Session is included in the Full Conference Registration fee. If you want to attend but are not registering for the Full Conference, please contact LHAT to determine what the fee will be to attend (if any). Coffee, cold drinks and light snacks will be provided.

Click on the PDF link above to read the full session description and get speaker information.

You will be able to add this session after you register if you are undecided at first.

(Intensive) 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Back by popular demand...

Historic Theatre Renovation 101: A Framework for Planning Successful Projects 

Plenary Session: DEIB

Tuesday, July 9, 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are essential values that should be embraced by all organizations, including theaters. Unfortunately, there is still controversy surrounding the implementation of these values. However, the benefits of creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and appreciated cannot be overstated. This includes not only staff but also patrons, who are more likely to return to a theater where they feel valued. Earlier this year, we awarded grants to three LHAT Theatre Members and challenged them to improve their DEIB efforts. We are excited to hear about their progress and hope that their successes will inspire others to do the same.

Presentations will be given by:

  • Paramount Theater, Charlottesville, VA
  • Delphi Opera House, Delphi, IN
  • Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA

Click here to view full speaker information.

Plenary Session Sponsored by The Compass Group, Inc.
Plenary Session Sponsor:
The Compass Group, Inc.

Facilitated Networking Sessions

Monday, July 8, Intro: 9:00am - 9:15am; Breakout discussions from 9:15am - 10:30am
Tuesday, July 9, Breakout discussions from 5:15pm - 6pm-ish

We'll kick off the first full day of the conference by doing what LHAT does best: sharing best practices from around the nation. We learned during the pandemic that LHAT Happy Hours were a great way for members to stay connected and hear what others were doing to remain relevant in their communities. We started a live version of this type of “informal” networking at the past two conferences and received rave reviews, so we're building in even more time for this type of networking in Milwaukee.

We'll begin the first discussion as one large group, then divide into 4-5 smaller groups based on programming type and theatre size so you can take a deep dive into any topic desired. Share things you have learned since the Kansas City conference or ask questions about topics that are most important to your theatre's future success. Think of it as an in-person LHAT-CHAT Network!

Tuesday afternoon, we'll gather again for more networking using the same format, but this time, we'll all grab cocktails first, then break into smaller groups based on different topics or demographics than the day before. We want to make sure you get the chance to connect with as many different peers as possible to share experiences and ask for advice. There's no better opportunity for you to tap into the League's “Brain Trust.” Whether you're a first-time attendee, new to the historic theatre field, or have been at your theatre for many years, there's always something new you can learn to improve your theatre, solve a problem, or make your job easier so you don't have to “reinvent the proverbial wheel.”

Theatre Tours

Sunday, July 7, Monday, July 8, & Wednesday, July 10 (subject to change)

Pre-Conference Historic Theatre Ramble (Optional)

Sorry! The Ramble SOLD OUT in the first six days! We have started a waiting list in case anyone cancels. Please email to be added to the list.

Sunday, July 7, 8:30 am - 5:15 pm

Optional Activity - Additional Fee Required, Limited capacity - Includes continental breakfast and lunch

 In-Conference Theatre Tours

Monday, July 8, 12:15pm - 12:50pm

Wednesday, July 10

Eye Opener Breakfasts: Peer Discussions and Networking

Monday, July 8, Tuesday, July 9, & Wednesday, July 10 AM (times vary) - Hilton Milwaukee City Center Hotel

Seek advice from your LHAT colleagues and share experiences in historic theatre operations, programming, management and facilities development through highly interactive information exchanges every morning during the conference. A favorite of LHAT conferences, this networking breakfast introduces you to valuable resources within the League's network.

Resource Area - Historic Theatre Information Exchange

Open Sunday afternoon, all day Monday & Tuesday - Hilton Milwaukee City Center Hotel

The LHAT Conference is the nation's largest annual gathering of historic theatre professionals because it's all about peer information exchange. To enhance that experience, we need your help.

Please bring copies of any materials from your theatre that you think a fellow attendee might find valuable -- anything they can look at (or even better -- take home) to add to what they learned during conference sessions and peer networking. We want attendees to leave re-energized, with all kinds of tools and ideas that they can share with their staff and board members back home that will help them forge ahead and plan for the success of their historic theatres.

What to bring

Capital and Annual Campaign Flyers • Volunteer Training Guidelines • Front of House Manuals • Employee Manuals • Emergency & Preparedness Plans / Safety Handbooks • Patron Code of Conduct • Sample Patron Incident Forms • Rental Rates / Sample Rental Agreements & Guidelines • Tech Sheets • Economic Impact and Feasibility Studies • Sample RFPs for Services • Sponsorship and Membership Brochures • Sample Offer & Venue Contract Riders • Season Brochures and Programs