Daily Archives: April 2, 2012

Who are the people in your neighborhood? – arts audience development

This weekend I have been researching for one of my clients to give them ideas about who to invite to their upcoming shows.  For some reason, this Sesame Street song popped into my head:

I am finding that the arts need to start meeting the people of their neighborhood – the people that you meet each day – and build relationships with them.  Start inviting the people of your direct area to your events. What groups in your area would enjoy your next show?  What businesses might be a perfect fit for a collaboration?

One of the statistics I look at when I pull data is the median commute time for people to get to work.  This number is included in your U.S. Census reports.  If the number is around 30 minutes, it is more than likely that people will only want to travel this amount to an event as well.  This means that becoming a part of your community and meeting the people of your neighborhood could do wonders for your audience development.

Another interesting fact I am finding is that most of the time, your neighborhood contains the type of people that would enjoy your events.  There is a reason why you chose that location, right?  The area is more than likely to fit you and the types of programs that you are doing.  However,  I often see arts companies targeting all over the place to try to get an audience, and they forget to make it a point to personally invite the people in their direct area.  If you want to build a more permanent, loyal audience, I suggest you start with your area and then branch out.  Plus, it is easier for the people in your area to become more involved if you happen to need volunteers (since they are so close in location).  You can build a strong foundation in your own neighborhood by becoming part of your community.  This base will in turn become a big part of your support system.

So, who are the people in your neighborhood?  If you don’t know, I hope you will start meeting and inviting people in your area  to get to know each other better!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists



“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

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Filed under Arts, arts marketing, Audience Development