About the Santa Barbara Symphony

Margaret Williams

Margaret Williams is an accomplished nonprofit marketing, sales and communication expert with in-depth national experience in increasing earned revenues and building audience loyalty.

Ms. Williams recently served as Interim Chief Marketing Officer at Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) after the retirement of a long-tenured department leader and launched the subscription campaign for all three art forms within a month of taking the helm.  Results of her work with DPAA included a $65k+ accumulated positive variance to sales budget during an exceptionally challenging month including 10 performances of 7 different programs within 28 days between March 2 and March 30, 2019.  Within this month, two programs achieved record sales within their series at the second highest single ticket sales of all time:  The Pirates of Penzance for Dayton Opera, second only to May 2014 performances of Aida, and John Williams for Dayton Philharmonic Pops second only to April 2016 performances with special guest Kenny G.

Williams previously served as Interim Director of Marketing at the Santa Barbara Symphony, where she achieved record single ticket sales during a season with significant disruption due to local tragedy and reversed a six-year trend of declining subscription sales that exceeded any prior subscription sales revenues.  This was accomplished through realistic budgeting based on historical data, focus on cost of sale, and reallocation of the marketing mix.

Margaret’s interim leadership experience also includes service as Vice President of Marketing and Communication at the Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Omaha Performing Arts Society, Vice President of Marketing at the Bravo! Vail music festival, and Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Arts Association. Ms. Williams has also consulted with arts and cultural organizations across the country for more than a decade, offering her expertise in direct marketing, social media, customer service, patron loyalty, and optimizing use of technology and branding together to increase earned revenues.

Williams led Arts Consulting Group’s Earned Revenue Enhancement practice area and has a demonstrated a consistent record of accomplishment in campaign assessment, planning, and implementation, as well as in interim management, executive search and strategic change. With each organization, she has made it a priority to cultivate the skills and talents of staff members, building highly efficient and effective teams.

During her time as Vice President of Marketing and Communication at the Colorado Symphony, Ms. Williams increased paid attendance by more than 50,000 tickets and $2.6M in one year, a 55% growth in earned revenues. Through strategic use of technology during this period, revenues generated through online sales channels were also increased by $1.37M, equaling 158% growth.

Ms. Williams taught as Adjunct Professor of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and has lectured in marketing and/or communication at other universities including Regis University in Denver, Hawaii Pacific University, and University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In addition, Margaret has presented Best Practices in Audience Development for the membership of Colorado’s Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), which comprises the seven-county metropolitan area of Denver.

Ms. Williams holds a Bachelor of Music from Oklahoma City University and is a graduate of Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business and Meadow’s School of the Arts, where she earned Master of Business Administration and Master of Arts degrees concurrently.