Audience development means different things to different people e.g. achieving new, more, different audiences, reaching specific audiences, encouraging deeper engagement.
Lisa Baxter has spent over ten years exploring audience experience and impacts, motivations and barriers, perceptions and attitudes. What shines through is the importance of relevance and resonance within the context of each person's life in relation to their choices, the quality of their experiences and the impacts of those experiences.
This in no way means audience development should deliver what people say they want or think they need. Rather, it's about creating the means by which we can enhance the value between the art/cultural offer and the audience experience of it.
With this in mind, here are some thoughts on audience development which informs the thinking and practice of The Experience Business.
Audience development is:
- Making connections
- Making connections that create mutual value
- Building REAL, not transactional relationships with people
- Engaging people to inform, shape or co-create the work
- Creating work that people can experience on their own terms
- Creating art and arts engagement opportunities that touch people's lives or becomes a part of their lives in a way that is meaningful to them
- Communicating the right value to the right people