If you’d like to introduce new audiences to new programmes of work for the first time, then maybe Test Drive is the right route for you. This simple guide outlines some of the key components of Test Drive – who it’s aimed at, how it works, what the outcomes might be, and gives you a step by step plan from initial concept through to effective evaluation.
Test Drive schemes - those that bring people into the arts, or a particular artform, or specific venue for the first time - have been around as long as there has been "arts" to be involved with. Nevertheless, marketers who have become adept at building relationships with those who already attend or participate in arts activity not surprisingly find it much more difficult to form these relationships, in a planned way, in the first place.
The first essential element of Test Drive is that it introduces people to something in the arts for the first time. The "something" could be the arts generally, a specific artform, a particular theatre or gallery, or a certain company's work. For example, if you manage an arts centre, you could run a campaign for people who attend the local gallery, who have never been to the arts centre. They would be new customers to you, if not new to the arts generally.