Rebuilding audiences is an obvious concern for arts and culture organisations in current times. The missing audiences are, of course, a major challenge in relation to revenue and sustainability of organisations.
Live cultural events in particular have been suffering. New UK research suggests that “up to 14% of regular arts attendees may not return to venues until Covid-19 is history”.
In a recent CreativeNZ webinar Andrew McIntyre (one of the Ms in MHM, the cultural insight consultancy) suggested that organisations with deeper audience roots, i.e. those who have built a community around their organisation, got support from their audience and found it easier to weather the storm than those with a more transactional relationship with their audience. Data also suggests that people are craving experiences with others after long lockdown periods, so wrapping the cultural offer around social experiences can be a way to re-attract visitors.
On the positive side – some cultural organisations have become more welcoming and are attracting new and different audiences, which helps with efforts to make audiences more diverse.