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New Strategies for Success in Audience Research and Development

  • Omni Hotel Nashville 250 5th Avenue South Nashville, TN 37023 United States (map)

Location: Cumberland 2, Level Three

Audience research can be immensely valuable, revealing the behavior and interests of your orchestra’s audience. But making sense of the results—all that data, all those stats—and determining how to proceed can be daunting. This two-part Pre-Conference seminar cuts through the clutter to show how audience research and cost-benefit analysis can give you fresh insights and understanding of your audiences—new and experienced—and how to address the problems of audience attrition, churn, and aging.

Part I: Using Data to Inform Audience-Building Strategies: Emerging Insights

In the first part of this Pre-Conference seminar, Bahia Ramos, director of arts at The Wallace Foundation, will share insights from The Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative, which over the past four years sought to answer the question: “How can arts organizations build new audiences while retaining current ones; how can these efforts contribute to financial health; and can the efforts be sustained?” Based on an analysis of 25 arts organizations’ ticketing data, Ramos and Wallace Foundation representatives will share some emerging trends consistent across the grantees; the deeper questions that were prompted; and the conversations that the data has sparked on the tradeoffs arts groups face when deciding which audience-building efforts are “worth it” for their organization. Orchestra professionals are encouraged to join a conversation about what your organization’s data can reveal, and how to think through audience-building efforts that are aligned with your organization’s values and purpose.

Part II: The Long Haul Model: A New Approach to Audience Development that Solves the Problems of Attrition, Churn, and Aging

Next, we’ll explore how one orchestra has rethought its approaches to understanding audiences—and forged new success. After a calculated change in audience development strategy five seasons ago, the California Symphony has doubled the number of tickets sold annually and nearly quadrupled the donor base. In this workshop, California Symphony Executive Director Aubrey Bergauer will share the details of The Long Haul Model, a disciplined approach across every segment in the database—from first time buyers to longtime donors—to open up the pipeline at all levels of patron engagement. You’ll learn how to implement the model, where to begin, when the model scales up to bigger budget sizes, why the board should care, and what the additional revenue looks like for your organization so that you can in turn better serve the art and the mission

Executive directors, artistic directors and other senior staff members are encouraged to join us for a conversation about what your organizations’ data can reveal, and how to think through audience-building efforts that are aligned with your organization’s core values and purpose.

Building Audiences for Sustainability

Speakers: Aubrey Bergauer, executive director, California Symphony; Susan Nelson, executive vice president, TDC; Christopher Perez, vice president, TDC; Bahia Ramos, director of arts at The Wallace Foundation; Tonya Robles, vice president and general manager, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Christine Yoon, senior program officer, The Wallace Foundation

Cost: $255
$325 non-member

Made possible by generous grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Wallace Foundation.