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Two men looking at paintings in a gallery

iBeholder: new ways to gather data and insight for non-ticketed venues

The iBeholder pilot programme was developed to help discover new ways to gather audience data for non-ticketed visual arts organisations and boost the audience experience.  thrive, Northern Ireland’s audience development agency details everything that happened throughout the project and the insights uncovered.

Published: 2023 | Resource type: Research

A silhouette of a head with rays of bright orange light radiating from it

Digital Impact in Museums and Galleries

A review of the barriers museums face in their digital work – from content production to building new websites, from setting up interactives to fundraising online. An Art Fund report with the Museums Association, One Further and Cultural Associates, Oxford.

Published: 2023 | Resource type: Research

The glass frontage of Camden Arts Centre

Creating arts education opportunities and working with the artists of the future

Gemma Wright, Head of Learning at Camden Arts Centre (CAC) talks about the learning programmes she creates to engage learners of all backgrounds. We also learn how CAC nurtures the next generation of artists through residencies and learning programmes. One of a series of podcasts with museum people by For Arts Sake.

Published: 2021 | Resource type: Podcasts

Castlefield Gallery Business Model Case Study

Castlefield Gallery Business Model Case Study

Find out how Castlefield Gallery has increased its attractiveness to partners and customers by clarifying the value it creates for the visual arts sector and the city.

Published: 2016 | Resource type: Case studies

Creating a collaborative digital archive

Discover how a group of cultural organisations across Manchester created a collaborative digital archive, and used it to tell stories about the city’s experiences of the First World War through an app and website. Led by Imperial War Museum North, 26 galleries, libraries, archives and museums combined their collections and archives into one cohesive digital ... Read more

Published: 2014 | Resource type: Case studies

Understanding motivations and usage of the Tate online collection

The Art & artists section of Tate’s website – their online collection – is the most visited area of the site, with around 500 to 600K visits per month. Tate carried out audience research to understand who their users are and what their motivations are for visiting the site. This document summarises the results of ... Read more

Published: 2014 | Resource type: Research

BME engagement with London museums and galleries

This research investigates why London’s museums and galleries do not attract an audience that more truly reflects the diverse multi  cultural and multi ethnic demographic character of the capital’s resident community. The research used non-user research through street surveys and focus groups. The street surveys revealed a general lack of interest in museums and galleries among BME groups. These were followed up ... Read more

Published: 2004 | Resource type: Research

Creating a clear and compelling brand at Manchester Art Gallery

In 2002, Manchester Art Gallery re-opened following a £35 million expansion and refurbishment project. Before the closure they had carried out extensive research and learned that there were issues with the gallery’s brand: a perception that Manchester Art Gallery was unfriendly and unwelcoming, and also lacking in prestige. These were issues they aimed to address both by the transformation of the gallery, but also with a wide-ranging communication ... Read more

Published: 2009 | Resource type: Case studies

Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery 2012

After five years in the making, the National Portrait Gallery’s major exhibition of Lucian Freud Portraits took place in 2012. This major exhibition, which spanned Freud’s seventy year career, was the first to focus on his portraiture. Produced in close collaboration with the late artist, the exhibition concentrated on particular periods and groups of sitters, ... Read more

Published: 2013 | Resource type: Case studies

Heritage retail: museum and gallery shops

Heritage retailing has come a long way in the past few years as museums and galleries rely more heavily on their commercial income streams to bolster budgets. In this article, Michael Richards explores the different marketing methods that can be used to drive traffic to the museum and gallery shop and increase overall profitability, whilst ... Read more

Published: 2013 | Resource type: article

David Bowie V&A flyer

‘David Bowie is’ exhibition at the V&A

This comprehensive case study explores the process and planning of a large-scale exhibition’s marketing campaign from its objectives and target audience through to a percentage breakdown of campaign costs, outcomes and recommendations.

Published: 2013 | Resource type: Case studies


Who's going to the gallery? A case study from the Sydney Metropolitan region

In 2005 Museums & Galleries NSW found that there was little audience research undertaken by organisations within the state – and where it did occur, there was little consistent methodology. The Australia Council for the Arts funded a strategic audience evaluation and development study which took place over two years to benchmark audiences. This report ... Read more

Published: 2007 | Resource type: Research

Gallery research

Results of a pilot shared survey of galleries in the South East, South West, East, East Midlands, London and Wales. Visitors to galleries were asked questions about their age, locality, frequency of attendance, art specialism and art purchasing.

Published: 2011 | Resource type: Research

V&A exhibition testing research

The research quantified the instant appeal of proposed titles, explored the interest in and understanding of proposed titles and exhibition content, determined the likelihood of attendance by visitor type, and explored the dynamics of a visit – how far potential visitors will travel, who they will visit with, willingness to pay. Five exhibitions were tested, ... Read more

Published: 2006 | Resource type: Research


Building confidence in a gallery’s family friendly offer

Alongside a capital programme and the accompanying new creative approaches to programming, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum retains a commitment to its family friendly offer. Communicating the right information through clear channels prior to visits was seen as a priority, especially online, and resulted in new interactive content. The welcome on site was also ... Read more

Published: 2009 | Resource type: Case studies

Participation and engagement in cultural activities

What are the key drivers for participation in with heritage sites? How frequently do people engage with the museums and galleries through participation?  How can libraries deepen relationships with participants?  This analysis of findings across these four important strands of the cultural landscape offers key findings, core data and modelling to help you plan your ... Read more

Published: 2011 | Resource type: Research

Arts Ambassadors: Laing Gallery

A report on the 6 months Art Ambassadors project at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle which aimed to break down barriers between disadvantaged young people aged 16 – 25 and the visual arts experience, and build confidence about visiting the gallery. The report looks at the project aims which included testing perceptions and methods ... Read more

Published: 1999 | Resource type: Case studies

NT Live and Tate audience satisfaction study

This NESTA-conducted research encourages arts and cultural organisations to apply method and rigour to the research and development of new products (shows, online experiences etc). It draws on work with NT Live and Tate during a five-year period, and encourages cultural institutions to put the visitor or audience needs and experience at the heart of ... Read more

Published: 2010 | Resource type: Research

Tate listen, learn and adapt to find a new way for audiences to engage digitally

This keynote provides an insight  into how Tate have listened, learned and adapted to review and redirect its online and social activity and found new and improved ways of engaging with its audience, taking them from 14,000 fans/likes to 140,000 on Facebook; and from 16,000 to 200,000 followers on Twitter. The team give an outline ... Read more

Published: 2010 | Resource type: Case studies

What experiences do visitors look for?

Based on research conducted on more than 10,000 visitors across 65 galleries in England and Wales, this document provides insights into what different audiences and visitor groups expect from their cultural experiences.

Published: 2012 | Resource type: Research