Audience Development

Understanding who your existing and potential audiences are is critical to all museums if they are to grow and improve their reach and engagement.

The South West Museum Development Programme is offering a new service for museums for 2015-18 to help them improve the ways they collect, understand and apply audience data to support their audience development.

We can offer advice and guidance on collecting and using your own existing data and free secondary data more effectively. Information, advice and guidance will be provided regularly through this website, via Twitter and our blog.

Briefings and training on understanding and engaging with audiences will be provided through museum county networks and the South West Museum Skills programme with resources published in the resource section of this website.

We are also offering museums funding and support to participate in Audience Finder, an audience development programme which provides tools for collecting and analysing audience data in a standardised way. Audience Finder is a national audience data and development programme, it has been developed by the Audience Agency with funding from Arts Council England and is currently used by 100s of organisations across the cultural sector.

Audience Finder will help you:

  • Collect robust evidence about who you are reaching, and the impacts you have on visitors to inform your funding applications, reporting and advocacy.
  • Identify the potential among existing visitors to develop them into financial supporters.
  • Understand where visitor development opportunities are, so you can focus your resources more efficiently.
  • Understand the effectiveness of different communications, thereby using your marketing budgets more effectively.
  • Understand your visitor’s motivations and how they rate their experience to help ensure your offer remains relevant and engaging.
  • Benchmark your performance against comparators.

If you are interested in participating in Audience Finder you should contact your local Museum Development Officer, we can then arrange an introductory workshop to explain the Audience Finder process and establish your research priorities. There are currently clusters of museums participating in Audience Finder in Bristol, Cornwall, Somerset and Swindon.

Contact Tom Newman for more information on our work supporting museums with audience development or if you would like to access advice or support.