You want to build an audience? Follow up for arts audience development

I’m still on semi-vacation.  In my time off, I have again come to the conclusion that one of the biggest reasons artists and arts organizations are having trouble building their audience is due to poor to non-existent follow up.  We are dropping the ball.

  • We are not returning our customer phone calls in a timely fashion.
  • We are not following up after the show to connect again with our audiences.
  • We are not asking the right questions on our surveys to get to know our audiences.
  • When we do get data, we are not implementing programs from what we have learned about our audiences.
  • We are not thanking our audiences sufficiently.
  • We are not connecting with them enough to ask them if they would like to become supporters.
  • We are not communicating with them adequately to create two way conversations.
  • We are not being clear about our support needs, and we are not giving them ample options on how to support us so they are more comfortable to give.
  • We are not checking in with our audience members and supporters.
  • We are not making a big enough fuss over our volunteers, donors and sponsors.
  • We are not building relationships with them before, after and during our events.

Some of us are doing better than the majority.  I think the big reason for the differences are the follow up skills.  Good customer service, the ability to show you care for your audience members, and the genuine desire to get to know your audiences and have them become your partners can make a huge difference.

If you want to build an audience, and a happy and loyal one at that, start following up and see what happens!

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 management, Audience Development

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