5 opportunities for 2021

Reflecting on the rollercoaster year of 2020, I thought about the trends and developments I observed in recent months and what the opportunities and challenges might be to ‘build back better’ in relation to audiences.

Here are my top 5:

  • Thinking hyper local: The limitations of travel brought the importance of local audiences to the fore and ‘buying local’ has become popular. How can we really value the local audience and build and deepen these relationships?
  • Designing for inclusion: In 2020 we heard heightened calls for equity, supporting underserved communities, racial justice and indigenising museums. How can we accelerate the move from talk to action in these areas and be really clear who our organisations are for?
  • Art and wellbeing: Health and wellbeing have been much discussed and art has made many contributions to help us process difficult events, learn, teach and entertain us. How can we continue to make significant contributions to people’s wellbeing? And how can we capture and communicate the outcomes so art gets considered in similar terms to health and education?
  • Phygital: The world has embraced (and is slightly tiring of) digital. How can we be more choiceful with digital content? What are ways to make it sustainable in monetary terms? And how do we maintain meaningful physical encounters not just with art but with and between audiences?
  • Human-centred and agile: Traditional audience development approaches have not necessarily delivered the diversity in audiences we wish for. How can human-centred design be a better, more practical and more agile alternative to developing audiences?

Do any of these resonate? What are your observations, questions, expectations for the year ahead?

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Author: sabine.doolin

Strategy consultant working with the cultural sector

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