Building Blocks for Equity – Assessing Your Current Audience

Assessing Your Current AudienceAssessing Your Current Audience

In order to determine future goals and direction, it is vital for an organization to know who its audience members are today. For some, audience demographic data may be readily available, while for others it may require some time and work to uncover the details. Small organizations with limited resources and staff may choose to move forward modestly at first. The data gathered in this building block is the starting point in evaluating progress as it provides a snapshot of the current audience and helps assess whether and where progress is made along the way. Future data collection will be compared to this starting point. 

Assessing your current audience may include more than gathering demographic data. Audience measurement tools can also uncover useful information such as attendance frequency, motives for participation, how patrons learned about an event, or what they liked.
Resources and Tools
Population and arts audience data already available that are helpful for establishing baselines, making comparisons, and identifying trends include some of the following:
Software programs can automate the process of gathering audience data. Some examples are:
  • Total Info: a fully integrated box office database program designed for performing arts organizations that manage ticket sales, audience and patron data collection, and financial reporting.
  • Tessitura Arts Enterprise Software: software developed for nonprofit arts and culture organizations that manage transaction and relationship data, marketing/communication efforts, and tracking of audience data and preferences.

If resource constraints present a roadblock to success with this building block, consider hiring an intern to conduct research, collect data, or even assist with project planning and management. Our region is home to several universities and colleges which are excellent resources for finding qualified interns. 

An extended view of this building block is available in PDF format. LEARN MORE