Arts Adventurers: finding and creating community advocates to support marketing and data collection
A useful guide by Creative Scene sharing their work on creating community ambassadors to increase audiences from segments of lower engagement, build audience capacity at neighbourhood venues and increase data collection at events.
Photos © Nathan Towers
Arts Adventurers are ambassadors and champions of the work of Creative Scene. They are employed on a casual basis to collect information about our events and activities out into the community - the sports and social clubs, community groups and schools, shops and family fun days.
The people we want to invite to take part in, and come along to, activities and events often have less experience of attending and taking part in arts and cultural activities. They don’t already go the traditional places where arts events are marketed and where leaflets about what’s on are usually distributed, such as theatres, arts galleries or libraries.
We needed to find a way to make sure that information about our events were available in the places where people live, work, shop and socialise - and that when people picked up a flyer in their local café, pub or chip shop, the owner would be able to tell them a bit more about it and encourage them to go along.
So we needed the inside knowledge about the best places to go and best times to catch people. Where’s the busiest park to find the parents who might like to bring their kids along to a half term show? Which shops are closest to the pub where we are putting on a performance? This deep knowledge comes from being part of the local community and the demographics we are trying to engage with.
As well as getting the word out, we wanted to ensure a warm welcome people to events - we don’t run a venue and so have no regular ‘front of house’ or box office staff to gather data and feedback from audiences. In addition, some of the people who come to our shows might not book online and are wary of sharing their personal data- so we needed new ways to collect data and feedback.We found paper feedback questionnaires weren’t being completed by a good sample of the audience, or they weren’t given us the information that we needed.
We set up Arts Adventurers, a pool of local people who can use their contacts, local knowledge and enthusiasm to make sure word gets out and people feel encouraged to come along to our events. They are casual, but paid, roles, as we believe in the value of their work and what they bring to our marketing insights and audience experience.
Includes sections on:
- What did we hope to achieve?
- What did we do?
- What worked?
- What did we learn?
- What's next?
- Top tips for recruiting and training arts advocates