Audience engagement and relevance in the 21st century
Exploring Interactivity and Personalisation, this article argues that arts organisations must become more relevant to emerging audiences or risk becoming obsolete.
This paper is published jointly by Creative New Zealand and Morris Hargreaves McIntyre as a reader for the 2011 Edition of The 21st Century Conference: This Time it's Personal.
The conference is inspired by Morris Hargreaves McIntyre model, The Seven Pillars of a 21st Century Arts Organisation. Both this paper and the conference address two of these seven pillars: interactivity and personalisation. It is a contribution intended to enrich a debate about the future of the sector.
The Pope himself is at it
Even the Vatican is going interactive: as part of the Easter 2011 celebrations, Catholics were invited to post questions to the Pontiff on the Holy See website and the lucky ones would receive a personal response from the Pope Benedict himself.
The watchwords for organisations that seek relevance and sustainability in the 21st Century are customer-focus, personalisation, porousness, interactivity and even co-production.
For several years now, arts organisations have been exhorted to face up to the realities of a rapidly changing environment, with changing public expectations and changing public behaviour and to embrace new ways of engaging with their existing and potential audiences that are both interactive and personalised.
This paper explores how these trends relate to the arts:
- What is meant by these terms?
- What does such change mean for them?
- Do all arts organisations have to change, regardless of their mission?
- How can being more personalised and interactively engaged help us achieve greater audience-focus?