I may have blogged about this before, but due to all the arts cuts scares and conversations, I felt that this topic needed to be resurrected. Audience development can be the answer for obtaining support in challenging times. In order for audience development to work its magic, you need these ingredients:
- A good plan
- The time and effort to carry out the plan
- The commitment to stick with the plan (tweaking as needed)
- A good team to carry out the plan
All of these components are important, and one of the most important ingredients is your team. Audience development is a team effort. This means that you absolutely need a team or group of people to help carry out the plan. Audience development will not work unless you have this team of people. During my trial and error days, this became quite obvious when working with organizations and artists that lacked people support.
You now know that you need a team. Who are the people that would be good for your team?
- Board Members
- Dedicated Media
- Sponsors and Business Partners
As your support grows, this list of team members will grow too. Now what types of people do you need on your team?
- Dedicated and passionate people
- People that will put in time and effort – people that are not afraid to do the work it takes
- People that enjoy spreading the word
- People that are not afraid and are good at asking for monetary support
- People that enjoy volunteering
- People that are connected to your art and arts organization
If you are lacking in any of the above, it is time to seek out new team members. Audience development needs to not only have a team, but the right members on the team to support your art.
The main reason I focused on this topic for today is because I am seeing artists and arts organizations that lack the proper team support. Without the proper team support, most artists and organizations will lack audience and monetary support. In times of arts cuts, we need audience development more than ever, and we all need a strong and dedicated team to support our efforts.
Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Audience Development Specialists
“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”