With lockdowns part of our life now, I thought it might be helpful to list the research that’s available about audiences and Covid. Thank you to all the organisations that are so generously making their data available for free.
Most relevant (not just in a New Zealand context) I find:
- Culture Segments and Covid Audience Mindsets: Useful for organisations that are working with Culture Segments and Audience Atlas, MHM have looked into how the segments engaged during lockdowns and their attitudes to re-engaging after openings. Attitudes to re-engaging seem to be roughly in line with the segments’ general attitude to taking risk with culture.
If you are new to Culture Segments, there is a lot of information freely available online that you can use, see more here.
- Dexibit offers Recovery Index, a free dashboard that allows you to compare your visitation to the equivalent time in previous years and rate of recovery, and to put it into context globally and locally.
In a live video in February 2021 Dexibit shared Secondary reopening trends for visitor attractions who are reopening after lockdown including visitation recovery, visitor behaviour like attrition and spend.
- New Zealanders’ cultural participation in 2020 and future participation in a post-COVID environment (May 2021): Research undertaken by Manatū Taonga Ministry of Culture and Heritage to understand current and anticipated future participation, COVID-19 related concerns about participation and how to alleviate these, and new participation behaviours (including digital).
- COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor Australia: This is a study by Patternmakers in partnership with international research partner WolfBrown. It tracks how audiences feel about returning to events in the context of the pandemic and was conducted several times with the latest findings from July 2021, with three more phases planned for 2021. It includes data about audience attitudes and behaviours, and how they are changing over time with indicators like attendance, ticket buying and spending, and measures things like comfort at different types of venues and confidence in different safety measures. It includes an interesting fact sheet on disability and factsheet on digital engagement.
- New Zealanders and the Arts is the latest longitudinal study about New Zealanders’ attitudes to, attendance at and participation in the arts and, given it was conducted in 2020, touches on the impact of Covid-19.
Interesting data from other parts of the world – UK:
- Evidence about how arts, culture and heritage audiences have responded to online content during the crisis from the Audience Agency.
- Culture Restart is a tracker of cultural audiences and visitors during Covid-19 by the Insights Alliance (a collaboration by Indigo Ltd, Baker Richards and One Further). In their Culture Restart webinar (September 2021), they look back on 18 months of data gathered from cultural audiences, lessons learnt and how to use this insight to build resilience and innovative ways to engage with audiences.
- Indigo’s After the Interval and Act 2 surveys asked audience members about their attitudes to missing live events during Covid-19, how they were engaging with culture during lockdown and when they anticipated returning to live events in the future. Coming Back to Theatre – Prioritising the Audience Experience (May 2021) looks into how food and beverage options impact people’s decisions whether or not to re-attend theatres.
- The Family Arts Campaign and Indigo have worked together to look specifically at family audiences. There are a few key areas in which families differ significantly, these are price sensitivity, social distancing, digital content, outdoors and Christmas.
- Indigo also released a special report on disabled audiences. The headline finding is that “77% of disabled audiences consider themselves to be ‘vulnerable to Coronavirus’ whilst only 28% of non-disabled audiences do”.
- Cultural Participation Monitor is the Audience Agency’s nationwide longitudinal and ongoing panel survey of changing views about participating in creative and cultural activities through the pandemic and beyond.
- The Patrons’ perspective is research undertaken with 3,000 members of the TheaterMania community in the UK and US to better understand the impact of the pandemic on the performing arts industry.
Data from the US:
- Wilkening Consulting has some great infographics about museum audiences in the US. I found these particularly interesting: Spring 2021 and increasing vaccinations, Communities and our Post-Pandemic Future, Respite and Museums, Relevancy in Tumultous Times and Virtual Content.
- Audience Outlook Monitor for the US (part of the same initiative as for Australia, mentioned above).
- LaPlaca Cohen shares Culture + Community in a Time of Crisis: A Special Edition of Culture Track, a national research and strategy initiative for US cultural organisations with Key Findings documents, raw data tables and an interactive tool.
- And Colleen Dilenschneider shares data from Impact’s research with US visitor attractions in a Covid-19 section on her Know Your Own Bone blog.
- Lastly, you might want to conduct your own research. But what if there is no budget to outsource research? Well, with some careful planning it can also be done in-house. MHM helpfully shared their 5 tips to get the most from in-house evaluation:
- Starting thinking about evaluation early
- Start by asking — what are you trying to achieve?
- Take an audience-focused approach
- Mix your methods to cover a range of outcomes
- Push for objectivity – challenge your assumptions
Have you come across other useful data? I’d love to expand the list and share what you found useful. Please get in touch.
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