Marketing/touring NO TABS - Arts Council England

Marketing/touring NO TABS - Arts Council England

Communicating with audiences

Top tips

• the venue and the company go hand in hand in the audience’s perception

• audiences will reject or shortlist an event by looking at the images

• discuss with the venue before producing print to ensure it is tailored to

their needs

• print should reflect what the audience perceives they are actually purchasing

– a night at the theatre

• sending venues overprinted leaflets saves a great deal of time and money

• combine several methods of communication to get people to buy tickets

• ensure you have sufficient reserves of production photographs to respond

to press requests at short notice

Communicating with audiences

Communicating with audiences 61

Different local conditions, targets and objectives need different marketing

communication tools and different messages. To choose which will be the

most effective:

• identify each target audience you want to prioritise

• identify the message (the benefits or selling points) that each will find

most persuasive

• choose the most effective tool for communicating that particular message

to each target audience and invest in it

Choosing the message

Audiences perceive the arts product as ‘a night out at the theatre’. They do

not tend to separate their experience of the performance on stage from their

experience of the venue. A small number of enthusiasts will be motivated by

wanting to see a particular company’s work. Most audiences, though, find it

difficult to recall the names of companies or the titles of shows they have

seen – even the ones they liked. This means that most audiences will be

motivated by the venue brand first of all and that companies need to invest

in communicating to potential audiences what to expect from their work

rather than assuming knowledge.

See the online version of this guide at

for top tips on choosing messages about new or challenging work.

Getting the message across

The most important communication tool in marketing touring events is the

season brochure – research repeatedly shows that it accounts for between

65 per cent and 80 per cent of the audience. This should be targeted at the

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