Audiences London

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Planning and strategic thinking for audience development

Some mini case studies of work we have done for clients in this area:

The London Borough of Haringey, together with Haringey-based voluntary organisations and the Friends of a public park, needed to work up a robust audience development plan to support their Heritage Lottery Fund application. We delivered a full-day of training for them, based on ACE’s resource ‘Not For the Likes of You’, and a follow-up recommendations report. As a result the Council recruited a short-term Audience Development and Community Liaison Officer. We continue to offer support and feedback to Haringey for the ongoing development of its plan

Write to Ignite, Hackney’s Word Festival, aimed to increase involvement in literature events among people who usually face barriers, while promoting better understanding of different people, places and cultures, encouraging volunteering and bringing communities together. But they weren’t sure how to prove whether this had been achieved. Festival producers Maya Productions commissioned us to evaluate the festival, which we did through qualitative and quantitative techniques. The organisers used our findings to develop their later festivals, and have come back to us to repeat the evaluation process.

Kali Theatre was thinking ahead about audience development, and wanted to use a future production to re-connect with London audiences. They allowed enough time to work with us to reflect on their aims and track record, analyse their audiences and assess the benefits and possible impacts of new audience approaches. With Kali’s senior management team we devised an action plan, and with the Board we facilitated a discussion to promote a unified message about audiences organisation-wide. We continued to work with Kali to monitor how they got on.

As part of the development of their new business plan, innovative children's theatre company Fevered Sleep were looking for some short and sharp assistance with the audience development section. We devised and facilitated a workshop for the whole staff team which helped them identify their current position, articulate a vision for the future and translate this into audience development objectives. They are now putting the business plan into practice, and have been successful in obtaining Paul Hamlyn Foundation funding to test out a new model of touring children’s theatre.