An analysis of Audience Finder box office data for classical music events 2014-2016
Audience Finder is the Arts Council England commissioned audience data and development programme, enabling cultural organisations to grow audiences and revenues by sharing, comparing and applying audience insight. The aggregated dataset provides a unique and hitherto unavailable level of audience analysis and benchmarking across the nation, regions, organisations, artforms and performances.
An Audience Finder classical music cluster was set up in 2013-14 which agreed specific areas of focus. Those it has been possible to address in this report are:
What are audiences like? Using Audience Spectrum segmentation. o How do tastes differ?
What are the booking behaviours of classical music audiences?
- How frequently do people book?
- How much do people pay for their tickets?
- How late do audiences book?
- What are the trends in party size?
Are audiences for classical music ageing?
This guide to audience development planning reflects the views and experience of The Audience Agency team and is based on a combination of documented theory and our observations and experience of what helps organisations to develop thriving, sustainable audiences.
It is vital to note that there is no single, right way to create an audience plan. Organisations play different roles in the “cultural eco-system”, and any audience development plan should reflect the scale, resources, personality and purpose of each. Organisations try to reach different audiences for different reasons and do so in different ways. This diversity is the sign of a healthy, creative and audience-focused eco-system.
What this guide suggests is a flexible process that can help organisations surface and test its ambitions for developing audiences and then take realistic steps towards achieving them with a good chance of success. The framework for building a plan is a simple one, suitable for all sorts of experiences, artforms and types of organisations, regardless of scale, resources or mission.
The audience plan – and phases of the planning process - can be more or less integrated into other plans, as long as it is commonly understood and used. This process is embedded in our online audience development planner. The tool offers a simplified 6-step process (as detailed in this article) guiding users through the process of creating their plan. Plans can be saved and downloaded as word/pdf documents in Audience Finder www.audiencefinder.org/plan/
The Audience Agency
The Audience Agency is a leading UK-based cultural support agency, a social enterprise working with hundreds of cultural organisations large and small, and specialising in enabling them to understand and grow their audiences and stakeholders more effectively. They have a track record in the design and delivery of training and leadership development in the UK and internationally, most recently developing The UK’s leadership programme From Them To Us (commissioned by Arts Council England), and the ADESTE programme (Audience Developer Skills and Training in Europe) programme, funded by Erasmus+, the European Union programme for Education. Facilitators draw on the wide experience of a team of 50 specialists who work with clients and partners as diverse as Arts Council England, BFI and other agencies, large cultural institutions such as Historic Royal Palaces, Science Museum, Opera North, Southbank Centre, National Trust, Manchester’s Home and Wales Millennium Centre, as well as midscale organisations and innovative and emerging companies across the UK. The Audience Agency works across the cultural sector – performing, outdoor, digital and visual arts, museums, archives, heritage and more.
Various staff across the Audience Agency have already been involved in the following European training:
• Commissioned to deliver training workshops in Poland and Georgia
• Member of the Pedagogic team of The European Diploma of Cultural Project Management since 2010 is run by Association Marcel Hicter (http://www.fondation-hicter.org/) in Brussels, Belgium. Since 1989 it has trained more than 600 participants, many of whom now hold major roles in European institutions, arts organisations and networks.
TAA has a regular e-bulletin that is sent out to around 5000 contacts in the UK.