Audience development agencies
About the Audience Development Agencies
There are 12 Audience Development Agencies across the UK (lists and links below). All these agencies provide support to arts and cultural organisations to grow and develop their audiences.
The Audience Development Agencies have developed different specialisms in response to understanding the needs of the cultural organisations and audiences in their own specific geographic areas.
The kinds of support the agencies provide include:
- Organisational Development
- Collaborative Audience Development Projects, including intitiatives like 'Family Friendly' and 'Not for the Likes of You' (see below)
- Market Intelligence and Audience Profiling
- Conferences and Networking events
- Marketing and Communications support
- What's on websites
- Print distribution
Because they respond to needs where they are based and because of the unique ways they are funded, each agency works in a different way, and they do not all offer the sames selection of services.
Examples of current work:
A Family Friendly toolkit has been specifically developed by Arts Council England to assist arts organisations in becoming in becoming more family friendly. The toolkit draws on extensive research and interviews and provides support on how to develop a Family Friendly audit, a family friendly policy and SMART action plan. The Family Friendly Toolkit is currently being rolled out nationally, for more information click here
Not For The Likes Of You (NFTLOY)
NFTLOY is a programme for arts organisations to explore the most effective ways to attract a broader audience, with a particular emphasis on leadership, organisational development and change management. (The agencies involved in this initiative include Audiences Central, Audiences London, Audiences South West and Audiences Yorkshire)
Benchmarking projects enable organisations to compare themselves with other, similar organisations helping them to understand their audiences and their performance in a wider context. They also help organisations to track changes in their audience profile, allowing them to assess whether or not their marketing strategy is delivering the desired results.
Maximise aims to develop audiences for black and minority ethnic work in the mainstream and is an Arts Council England funded project. Maximise works to support mainstream organisations in diversifying their programming and products to include culturally diverse forms not simply because they are 'different' but because of their creative value. It also aims to support organisations to develop audiences for work that reflects a culturally divserse society.
Many Audience Development Agencies hold annual conferences and regular networking events to support arts professionals to consider innovations and share current practice in public engagement, market intelligence and audience development.
Working with the agencies
The agencies have grown unique and independent approaches responding to the needs of their location or region and to the funding infrastructures around them. They therefore work with their clients in different ways, e.g. some are member organisations, some run subscription schemes and some are funded to work with particular types of organisations.
Network is the umbrella organisation for Audience Development Agencies operating across the UK. It is a national membership association dedicated to collaborative audience development and marketing.
Network brings together the expertise of its member agencies and enables them to make connections with each other and to share best practice in audience development across the arts and cultural sector, and across the regions of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Network's member agencies are leaders in the fields of research, training, marketing and audience development. Whilst each holds different areas of specialism expertise, grown out of the needs of their geographic location, they are also committed to working collaboratively, through Network, to share the collective market intelligence they hold.
Network works with the agencies to develop and support national initiatives, including providing new leadership to the Audiences Data UK programme (see below).
To find out more ........
Visit www.audiencedevelopment.org or contact Network's Development Director, Jenny Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Network's Administrator, Sophie Thornberry at email@example.com
The agencies are:
Arts About Manchester (AAM)
Audiences North East
Audiences Northern Ireland
Audiences South West
Glasgow Grows Audiences (GGA)
The Audience Business (TAB)
Audience Data UK (ADUK)
The arts and cultural sector has a wealth of audience data at its fingertips, gathered from box offices, visitor surveys or other research projects. Audience Data UK (ADUK) provides guidance and clarification on collecting, processing, analysing and interpreting all that data.
We hope that this guidance can help individuals and organisations to work more effectively, by understanding their audiences, visitors and customers.
Our new ADUK resource website launching in July 2008 provides all kinds of support to help, including:
- Case studies that show how arts organisations are using audience data to meet their own objectives
- A 'jargon buster' to demystify the terms used when working with audience data
- Advice on benchmarking to measure success
- Guidance on sharing audience data between organisations
- Information on training courses to equip professionals with the skills to gather and understand audience data better
- A directory of support resources and organisations
- An opportunity to subscribe to find out about the latest developments in understanding audience information
Audience Data Uk is supported by the Arts Councils of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is directed by Network, with guidance from a Steering Group which inbcludes practitioners working within arts organisations, and the key strategic partners engaged in the programme.