After a very eye opening experience, I wanted to share with you some thoughts I have on resources for marketing and audience development. If you have been following my posts for a while, you already know that I feel strongly that setting aside resources to build your audiences is crucial for today’s arts scene. If you feel strapped for resources, I have always recommended going through an evaluation process to find out what is and what is not working. Then you can rid yourself of what is not working, and, wahla!, you have some extra resources!
You can partake in a few extra strategic planning steps to ensure you have the resources you need. Here are a few of my thoughts, and please feel free to share by replying if you have a thought to add:
- Do an hours audit for each event and multiply by the number of events you have in your season – how many hours will it take to market and do audience development for your event? You will then get an idea of what hours you need for staff time. This number will help you stay within a realistic budget and help eliminate burnout since you can hire properly.
- Create a per event marketing/audience development budget to ensure that enough money is allocated for marketing and audience development needs. This will fluctuate depending on the season, but at least you will know how much money is needed per season to market properly. I am always surprised to find out that organizations may have an overall marketing/audience development budget, but there is no consideration to how much is allocated for each event. This means the budget may not be enough for the season and/or there is no consideration on an event by event basis to account for differences for each event.
- Maybe this should have been put first – decide on your branding before programming events. You can eliminate wastefulness by not scheduling programs that are not a good fit in the first place.
- Decide on what venues are best for each event. You could save money by relocating certain events to the proper venues. One-size does not fit all when it comes to venues, and you could be wasting money if your event is better suited for a more intimate venue rather than a bigger auditorium.
- Be sure to go over your volunteer/intern resources plan early to make sure you can find and manage properly these extra helpers during the year.
The overall theme to all of these suggestions, more planning! The more thoughtfulness you can put into your planning before the season, the easier it will be to do your best audience building during the season and have all the resources you need to be successful!
Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Chief Audience Builder, Audience Development Specialists
Ends August 24th at 11:59 PM; Use Code: AUG2016