Art Administrator Isabella Sun Stays Adaptive and Responsive For The 77th National Conference League of American Orchestras

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Hosted by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in partnership with the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, League of American Orchestras 77th National Conference finally took place in Los Angeles in June 2022 after two years of suspension in offline convenings. To ensure the efficient engagement of participants, it took the team nearly a whole year to plan the conference, according to Isabella Sun, the Essentials Program Coordinator at the League of American Orchestras.

Known as a national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, League of American Orchestras has a diverse membership of more than 1,800 organizations and individuals across the country. The conference targeted various future leadership programs, as well as artistic planning and business practices, among other topics.

As a core member of the team at League of American Orchestras, Isabella Sun has successfully coordinated 30+ programs and events, including database creation, PR materials management, strategic planning, contracting, and servicing, etc.

“This is our biggest event in America. Each year, we pick a city in the U.S to host our national conference,” Sun shares, “The participants included hundreds of conductors, composers, musicians, and symphony orchestras. We organized more than 20 group meetings of different categories and levels. I was in charge of the session of composers and art management.”

The delegates attending the meeting were all chief officers, including executive directors, board members and vice presidents, which put great pressure on Sun and her team. Despite the fact that the conference was only going to last for three days, they spent a year on planning it all out, beginning with the sponsor fee needed. 

Besides having negotiations with the CEOs and directors from the host party, Sun also reached out to potential sponsors from other organizations to present her proposals and ideas, trying to find as many advocates as she can to increase sponsorship revenue. Eventually, Sun’s hard work paid off by successfully achieving more than $240,000 sponsorship, ensuring a good start for the next steps. 

“People like me, we need to make sure every slight issue can be responsively solved and each department will have a smooth interface when communicating,” Sun explains,“Even though me and my team were very well prepared, I knew that some unpredictable emergencies would occur when the conference came about.”

And Sun is absolutely right. When the marketing department had some miscommunication with the freelancer they partnered with, Sun worked as the bridge between the two parties and planned an effective proposal so they could move forward with the project. It is obvious that the success of any events cannot be guaranteed without paying attention to how well the details like this worked out. 

Sun also emphasized on the importance of being prepared for potential changes right before the conference. For all the meetings and conferences, the most common contingency people will encounter is someone being late that can be caused by a delayed or canceled flight. And Sun took the initiative to take the responsibility of keeping everyone in their place, starting with a timely welcome speech. 

A welcome speech shows a warm greeting and a thanks for attendance, which is the best way to make the attendees feel respected and valued. At the same time, Sun moved up a video viewing session that was supposed to happen later. In order to get enough time to communicate with the IT department, Sun cleverly arranged for the LA Orchestra, the host of the conference, to give a presentation on their history after her welcome speech. Her ability to quickly and properly respond to unexpected events is the critical reason why Sun is qualified for this position.

With the joint efforts of everyone in the League of American Orchestras, the national conference turned out to be a complete success in the music industry. Sun is very proud that she could be involved in the process from the very beginning and meet with a great number of artists from around the world, which is the biggest inspiration for her to continuously pursue her career in art administration. 

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