Daily Archives: May 21, 2012

Why wasn’t I invited? Audience development for the arts

I haven’t been online that much this weekend.  I needed some time away to recharge my batteries (as well as the batteries of all my iStuff).  Today, I was looking at ARTicles and discovered that our Mahlerfest happened this weekend.  I had no idea!  I knew that this local festival was in May, but I completely did not see it on the radar.  I happen to be a big Mahler fan.  I am a horn player after all.  I have even gone to a past Mahlerfest.  Why wasn’t I invited?

I am a slightly younger audience profile than their typical audience member.  These are the reasons why they missed me this year:

  1. I do not buy a newspaper.  Sorry newspaper industry, but I usually get my information online.
  2. I did not see any online ads, so I had no idea.
  3. I had bought my ticket at the door the year I went.  They did not have my information from that transaction.
  4. I did not see any posters around town.
  5. Despite knowing a few people involved with this organization, I did not receive an email about it.
  6. The free weekly I usually pick-up was not available at the locations I went to over the weekend.  So if they placed an ad here, it was missed.
  7. They didn’t reach out to other organizations to collaborate. I was involved in a classical music event a few weeks ago.  A trade would have alerted me to their festival.
  8. Perhaps they don’t have an ambassador program to spread the word around town.
  9. They probably do not have an audience development program to get to know the people in their area that enjoy classical music, and more to the point, people that love Mahler.
  10. Your guess here…

You see, I fit the profile of someone that would enjoy their concerts.  I am directly in their area.  I am involved in the arts community, and more specifically, the classical music community.  I have even been to a concert in the past.  Without audience development, all the yesteryear marketing in the world did not reach a younger generation potential audience member like me.

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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