BLOG 1st December 2017

Data-sharing between venues and producers

Sometimes an audience member will go to a show specifically to see the work of the production company, sometimes they will go because they are loyal to the venue, but usually they buy a ticket and go because they want to see the show. When a customer buys a ticket, you never know which one of these reasons it is for. Therefore, this means that legally no-one owns the customer data, other than the customer themselves. It is important to remember that the show cannot happen without either side - venue or producer, so you should work together to provide the best experience for the audience, which will encourage them to return and spread the good word!


When looking at the concept of data sharing, here at thrive we like to break it down into two words, Data and Sharing. Data can sound daunting and almost ‘mathy’ but it simply means getting to know your audience through facts rather than assumptions. Data can be a name, age, address, ticket purchase, when the tickets were bought, how they were bought, how many you bought…etc. This information is invaluable for building an audience profile which allows you to programme, market, and target affectively.

However, if you are a Production Company who sells their tickets via a venue, this data can be seen as almost mythical - you’ve never seen it so does it even exist? A venue might hold this data from you for various reasons.

Lack of Confidence

Venues put a lot of time, effort, and money into building an audience and reputation. They take data protection very seriously and have a tone they like to speak to their customers in. All these factors need to be taken into account by a production company wanting access to the audience’s data.

Lack of Time

Sometimes a venue would love to give you the data but don’t have the time to do everything else never mind extracting all your data and collating it or changing their marketing/privacy statement on their website for each of their shows.


Sharing is the way around these two factors and we mean sharing in the sense of conversations. First, a conversation must be had within your company. Decide what data you would like access to, why you want this data, what you will do with it, familiarise yourself with data protection and GDPR - where will you store it, how long for, do you have the right of access? Know what you are going to do with the data; are you going to contact the customers? Or profile them, find out more about them? Lots of (exciting) things to think about!

Once this is all decided and there is a clear plan of action, which is compliant with Data protection (soon to be GDPR), then you can have a meeting with a venue to discuss data sharing. If they know exactly what is you want the data for and what you plan to do with it, they will often be more open to sharing it as they know it is in good hands and won’t affect their marketing or relationships with their customers (or only for the better!) Also have a think to see if there is something you can provide the venue with in exchange for the data - if you are mapping or profiling the customers, could you give this information back to the venue so they can compare it to their overall audience or audience to similar/different shows and events?


Getting Consent

Remember that regardless of what the venue thinks about sharing data, you cannot have access to it unless the customer has agreed to third-party consent. However third-party can sound off-putting. Get the venue to name you explicitly in their marketing/privacy statement.

Short on Time?

Getting insight from all your shows across multiple venues can be time consuming for all involved, but we collect data from many of the main NI venues using box office systems, which may include all or part of your tour. Through our Vital Statistics software we are able to analyse booking information on your past shows and pull together a report showing you where your audiences are coming from, what their likely characteristics may be and what that says about your audiences and your product within the bigger picture of audiences for the arts.

If you want to know more about what to put into a contract with a venue when data sharing is agreed check out this document or if you want to know more about Data Sharing, or GDPR then drop me an email.

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