Hand-picked reports on cultural audiences and attendance.
Know who you want to target? Here's how.
The Continuous Household Survey is an annual public survey done by the Northern Irish Government. Here's how to access the results, and why you should read it.
This resource from Tourism NI shows how you can market and create cultural experiences that appeal to older tourists.
10 personas for UK cultural audiences. These are a great way to visualise your audience once you know where they're coming from.
Cultural organisations in England get their overview of cultural audiences from the Taking Part Survey.
If you're interested in arts attendances in the Republic of Ireland this report is for you.
This resource from The Wallace Foundation in the USA gives some refreshingly fact-based strategies for attracting millennials.
This research from Museums Libraries and Archives in England gets to the core of why people use libraries, why they don't, and what would get them through the door.
This 2016 report profiles the visitors to six Northern Irish museums.
Interested in targeting young people? Or increasing loyalty in your current audience of young people? Then read on.
Older people are a growing population - both in Northern Ireland and globally. Here's how to make your cultural offering and marketing appeal to this group.
A look at what Northern Ireland's ticketing data tells us about audience attendance trends across the year.
This comprehensive report from UK Theatre analyses sales data across a wide range of genres and venue types.
This report from NISRA gives the overall picture on who is living in Northern Ireland, and covers population growth, travel and transport, technology use and more.
The Taking Part Survey researches engagement with museums and galleries in England between 2005 and 2016.
Research into the media preferences and habits of over 25,000 US performing arts customers.
Global Web Index's report on millennials' online behaviors and their attitudes to digital and marketing.
How to engage with family audiences - from your programming, to customer experience and marketing.
This report from Culture24 explores after-hours events in museums and their role in the night-time economy.
This report from Arts Connect explores how people aged 10 to 19 relate to arts and culture.
Conversations and views from the public and the arts sector on what Arts Council England should focus on.
Insights into film audiences in Belfast, and ideas for growing cultural film audiences.
Insights into arts and craft audiences in Belfast, and ideas for increasing visitors to your gallery.
A national survey from Arts Council of Ireland looking at attendance and participation in the arts in ROI.
Who is attending outdoor events in Belfast and how you can increase your event attendees.
What's the standard for digital marketing in the arts? Here are findings from a survey of 180 U.S. arts organisations by Capacity Interactive.
Insights from the ticketing data of up to 343 cultural organisations across the UK, Ireland, USA, and Canada.
This in-depth qualitative study looks at arts audiences from 20 organisations across the UK, uncovering why people attend shows, events, and galleries - and what holds them back from engaging more.
Ofcom have released their report into what the people of Northern Ireland are watching and listening - and how and where they are doing it. Here's our quick summary of the report - and the implications for the cultural sector.
How engaged Young Adults (16-24) are in Arts and Culture in Belfast and what art forms they are interested in the most.
How engaged Adults (35-49) are in Arts and Culture in Belfast and what art forms they are interested in the most.
Young adults (16-24), or Gen Z, as marketers like to call them, are often seen as a hard-to-reach group. This report provides more juicy information about their lives and behaviours.
How engaged Older People (65+) are in Arts and Culture in Belfast and what art forms they are interested in the most.
Every year, we mine box office data to uncover insights into audiences for venues and festivals across Northern Ireland. Data includes overall benchmark figures for Northern Ireland, as well as differences by Belfast venues and regional venues.
Report of findings from Act 1 of the 'After the Interval' survey in NI and ROI
Full report of findings from Act 2 of the 'After the Interval' survey in NI and ROI
This report is about the impact of Covid-19 on people's interactions with technology, virtual events, audience expectations and monetisation of digital.
This research explored UK audiences' behaviours during lockdown, their wants and needs post-Covid and marketing opportunities for arts & culture organisations moving forward.
Find out what NI visual arts audiences think about coming back, what they've been doing over lockdown and what they'll feel comfortable doing in the future.
Discover the insights from our Culture Beyond Covid audience research for ticketed and non-ticketed organisations.
Find out how NI heritage visitors have engaged with heritage organisations and sites since Covid and how you can use these insights to plan for the future.
Find out how NI audiences engage with culture online.
Find out who are the NI audiences willing to pay for culture online.
Find out how lockdown has impacted audiences in NITags: Audience Panel, COVID-19
Find out what NI audiences think of emails and newsletters, and what they want to hear in your communication to them.Tags: Audience Panel, Communication
Our Foundations report shows what the ticketed landscape was like in Northern Ireland in 2019-2020. It uncovers insights into audiences for venues and festivals across Northern Ireland and identifies benchmark figures for our region.Tags: Benchmark, Box office, Tickets, Pricing
In this snapshot, find out what arts and culture experiences represent for NI audiences, why they attend and what it gives them that other things don't.Tags: Audience Panel
In this snapshot, find out how NI audiences' engagement with culture online has changed, what they enjoy about it and what they don't.Tags: Audience Panel, Digital
In this audience snapshot, find out how NI audiences feel about returning to in-person events.Tags: Audience Panel, COVID-19
We ran our first focus group with our Audience Panel and they had a lot to say about how they find out about upcoming arts and culture events.Tags: Audience Panel, Communication, Marketing
In this audience snapshot, learn about NI audiences' summer plans.Tags: Audience Panel
In this audience snapshot, find out what NI audiences first do when going to a venue, their pet peeves and how venues make them feel.Tags: Audience Panel
How do NI audiences perceive arts and culture? Find out in our latest audience snapshot.Tags: Audience Panel
Find out what art form NI audiences connect with the most and what prevents them from engaging with some art forms.Tags: Audience Panel, Art forms
Discover the insights from the Missing Audiences for Northern Ireland - Wave 1 survey.Tags: Audience research, Missing Audiences, COVID-19
Find out the results from our first Culture Beyond Covid for Heritage: The Heritage PanelTags: Audience research, Culture Beyond Covid, Heritage, COVID-19
Find out the results from our second Culture Beyond Covid for Heritage: the Heritage PanelTags: Audience research, Audience Panel, Heritage, COVID-19
Discover the insights from the Missing Audiences for Northern Ireland - Wave 2 survey.Tags: Missing Audiences, Audience research, COVID-19
Find out the results from our third Culture Beyond Covid for Heritage: the Heritage PanelTags: Heritage, Culture Beyond Covid, Audience research, Audience Panel, COVID-19
Get to know Jan, our accessibility persona created from the data collected during our Audience Panel.Tags: Audience Panel, Audience research
Get to know Frank and Nancy, our Older Frequent Attender persona created from the data collected during our Audience Panel.Tags: Audience Panel, Audience research
Get to know Jill, our Young Family persona created from the data collected during our Audience Panel.Tags: Audience Panel, Audience research, Families
Get to know Darren, our Young Infrequent Attender persona created from the data collected during our Audience Panel.Tags: Audience research, Audience Panel
Find out the results from our fourth and final survey for Culture Beyond Covid for Heritage: the Heritage PanelTags: Heritage, Museums, Outdoors
Our Foundations report shows what the ticketed landscape was like in Northern Ireland in 2020-2021. It uncovers insights into audiences for venues and festivals across Northern Ireland and identifies benchmark figures for our region.Tags: Foundations, Tickets, Box office
What does art mean to people's lives? This year, we are going places to meet 100 audience members in all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland to find out. Our first stop was at the Duncairn in Belfast.Tags: Value, Impact, NI in 100 stories, Belfast
What does art mean to people's lives? This year, we are going places to meet 100 audience members in all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland to find out. Our second stop was at the Millennium Forum in Derry~Londonderry.Tags: NI in 100 stories, Value, Impact, Derry
What does art mean to people's lives? This year, we are going places to meet 100 audience members in all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland to find out. Our third stop was at Portico of Ards in Portaferry, Ards and North Down Borough.Tags: NI in 100 stories, Value, Impact, Ards
What does art mean to people's lives? This year, we are going places to meet 100 audience members in all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland to find out. Our fourth stop was at High Rise in Lisburn, Lisburn and Castlereagh City.Tags: NI in 100 stories, Impact, Value, Lisburn, Castlereagh
The iBeholder pilot was developed to help us discover new ways to gather audience data for non-ticketed visual arts organisations and boost the audience experience. This report details everything that happened throughout the project and the insights we uncovered during the pilot.Tags: Visual Arts, IBeholder, Digital
What does art mean to people's lives? This year, we are going places to meet 100 audience members in all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland to find out. Our fifth stop was at Antrim Castle Gardens in Antrim, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough.Tags: NI in 100 stories, Antrim, Impact, Value
What does art mean to people's lives? This year, we are going places to meet 100 audience members in all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland to find out. Our sixth stop was at Millennium Court in Portadown, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough.Tags: NI in 100 stories, Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Impact, Value
What does art mean to people's lives? This year, we are going places to meet 100 audience members in all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland to find out. Our seventh stop was at Canal Court Hotel in Newry, Mourne and Down.Tags: NI in 100 stories, Newry, Impact, Value
Earlier this month, we were invited to take part in the Festivals Forum, where we presented some of our findings on festival audience attendance over the last 4 years. The meeting provided us with great insight into trends from across NI festivals. Eve discusses in this report.
What does art mean to people's lives? This year, we are going places to meet 100 audience members in all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland to find out. Our tenth stop was at Carrickfergus Library in the Mid and East Antrim district council area.Tags: Mid & East Antrim, Impact, Value, NI in 100 stories
What does art mean to people's lives? This year, we are going places to meet 100 audience members in all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland to find out. Our eighth stop was at Coleraine Town Hall in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough council area.Tags: Causeway Coast and Glens, Impact, Value, NI in 100 stories
What does art mean to people's lives? This year, we are going places to meet 100 audience members in all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland to find out. Our eleventh stop was at Seamus Heaney Homeplace in the Mid Ulster district council area.Tags: Mid Ulster, Impact, Value, NI in 100 stories
What does art mean to people's lives? This year, we are going places to meet 100 audience members in all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland to find out. Our ninth stop was at the Fermanagh House in Fermanagh.Tags: Fermanagh and Omagh, Impact, Value, NI in 100 stories
In its second year, the North West Audience Survey is currently gathering data on arts and heritage audiences in Derry and Donegal. Please find our first snapshot of our findings, which looks at audiences with disabilities.Tags: Disabled Audiences, Northwe
In its second year, the North West Audience Survey is currently gathering data on arts and heritage audiences in Derry and Donegal. Please find our second snapshot of our findings, which looks at the impact of age on audiences.
In its second year, the North West Audience Survey is currently gathering data on arts and heritage audiences in Derry and Donegal. Please find our third snapshot of our findings, which looks at the impact of who audiences attend with.
Our Foundations report shows what the ticketed landscape was like in Northern Ireland in 2019-2023. It uncovers insights into audiences for venues and festivals across Northern Ireland and identifies benchmark figures for our region.Tags: Foundations, Tickets, Audience research, Box office
Uncover the insight in your box office data.
Have the confidence to gather the data you need.
Surveys, postcode mapping, focus groups, and visitor profiling.
Strategy, reporting, and campaign delivery.
Get an evidence-based strategy to deliver your objectives.
Mystery shops to understand and improve your visitor experience.
Spark ideas and reach solutions.
Evidence the impact you make.
Our free events give you the practical skills to unlock your potential audiences.
Unsure where to start? Book a free one-to-one audience development session.
Practical ways to create an email strategy that increases sales and improves customer loyalty.
Book a free one-to-one chat about your audiences.
A webinar to share our findings for NI and ROI with the sector, 3 weeks into the 'After the Interval' survey.
There is a two-way relationship between you and your most loyal audience members. Understanding this relationship thoroughly and using this understanding to develop similar feelings of loyalty with other members of your audience is the key to increasing retention. Let's Talk Loyalty at our next free workshop!Tags: Loyalty, Audience development
Book a free one-to-one chat about your audiences.
Book a free one-to-one chat about your audiences.
Customisable social media calendars, research toolkits, and more.
Our latest news.
Real-life examples of how focusing on the audience can unlock an organisation’s potential.
The latest news and views from thrive.
Today is a new chapter for Audiences NI as we launch a new brand but also a new name – Welcome to thrive.
In this podcast we hear from the museum guides and curators on what the process was actually like and how glad they are they done it!
Sarah interviews Katy Raines, a well known arts marketing expert. Katy explains what segmentation is, why it works and includes case studies of successful segmentation.
Some audience development controversy from the Theatre 2016 conference.
Musing on the language around cultural audiences - can we borrow some ideas from sport?
Advice from MOMA on using digital to connect with visual arts audiences, and a spotlight on creating a digital plan for heritage organisations.
A guest blog by Kim Mitchell from MoMA New York. Kim talks about communications at the top end of the art world, and the challenges of working with a world-renowned brand.
A guest post from Robert Jones of brand consultancy firm Wolff Olins. Robert talks about how a clear purpose is becoming more and more essential for cultural organisations.
Our strategic insights director Chris Palmer blogs on his return to thrive after three years away.
Amanda Neylon from NHS Digital tells us what exactly 'digital' means and what it means for the everyday person.Tags: Digital, Support
The lowdown on the newest ways cultural organisations can use digital to connect with their audiences.
Our Client Programme Coordinator Sarah updates us on the All Ireland Performing Arts Conference.
Confused about GDPR? Here is a quick and easy guide to what you need to know to get started.
Three proven ways to get performing arts audiences to re-attend.
Thrive's Sarah Blake Knox shares the latest arts marketing news and resources from this year’s Arts Marketing Association conference.
Maurane Ramon shares her thoughts as an arts marketer new to Northern Ireland’s geographical, cultural, and political landscapes.
Kelly-Anne Collins from Dance Resource Base writes on the importance of taking the time to understand and communicate the ‘why’ of your organisation.
Good writing can be the difference between an amazing show, exhibition, or event enjoyed by many, or an amazing show in an empty venue. Here are our top tips.
Robert Jones from brand consultancy Wolff Olins chats to Thrive CEO Margaret Henry. They discuss branding in the cultural sector - who is getting it right, and where brands are going wrong.
Duncan Webb asks how we can cross the cultural political divide.
Author: Duncan Webb, The Clyde Fitch Report
How receiving venues can make the most of their visiting companies' fans.
Author: Sian Dudley, Arts Professional
How Dorset County Museum used focus groups to make their museum more accessible for visitors with autism.
Author: Jack Welch, Medium
Spektrix ticketing on building loyalty through a great customer journey.
Author: Ben Park, Spektrix
Learn about the effect online ticketing, particularly on mobile, can have on ticket sales and customer experience in the arts.
Author: After Digital
The Audience Agency give their top to-dos for venues who want to start attracting cultural tourists.
Author: Anne Toreggiani and Helen Palmer, The Audience Agency
Limited time to get the word out about what you do? Or not sure where to start? Download our communications plan template and get all angles covered.
How Buxton Opera House used audience feedback to make their venue and events more family-friendly.
Author: Kate Mroczkowski, Spektrix
How group visits can be used to increase engagement from hard to reach audiences.
Author: Jane Wells, First Art
We ran Hitchhiker's Guide to the Arts in 2014 to see if planned group visits could increase engagement from those who don't normally attend cultural events.
An interview with visual artist Ellie Niblock on her first experience making work for and with an audience.
Confused about consent for GDPR? Whizz through this checklist and see where you're at.
Want to get started on your GDPR journey? Use this template to complete a data and confidentiality audit for your organisation.
Are you a theatre company or producer showing your work in a receiving venue? The toolkit will help you prep all the info you and your venue need to market your show effectively.
Make sure your research delivers the results you want. This toolkit will help you design a research brief to do just that.
Culture Hive's quick guide to developing a vision and mission for your organisation.
This toolkit from the Tourism NI walks through how to market your cultural product as a tourism experience.
Social media taking over your life? Simplify things and save time - plan your posts with our easy-to-use excel sheet.
We worked with Shannon Yee to find an audience for her immersive theatre installation. An example of how communication with box office and front of house staff is vital for marketing alternative theatre.
How the Grand Theatre in Blackpool put the audience first when designing their website.
Author: Andrew Howard and Markerle Davis, Culture Hive
Durham Cathedral's lego-based fundraising campaign shows how arts, culture, and heritage organisations can create engaging fundraisers that appeal to families and young people.
Author: Catherine Hodgson, Durham Cathedral
How London Symphony Orchestra changed their mindset and activities to make sure they are inclusive of all families.
Author: Fabienne Morries, London Symphony Orchestra
Thrive's visitor profiling project to learn more about the visitors to six Northern Ireland museums.
How you can use images to connect with your audiences.
A step-by-step guide to putting together a press release that will get you noticed. Contains ideas on where to send your story, and story angles that will appeal to journalists.
Sadler's Wells explain how they increased their membership scheme while at the same time reducing the membership discounts.
Author: Sebastian Cheswright Cater, Arts Professional
Social media 'stories' are pictures or video that usually disappears after 24 hours. So why would you bother using them? One reason is that they are very popular with younger audiences.
Author: Paul Hanrahan - Culture Republic
Clever use of social proof can help you use your current audience to encourage new visitors to your cultural venue or events.
Talking to your audiences online and encouraging them to post comments and interact is a great way to draw attention to your offer, and increase audience loyalty. Here are the best ways to get started, and deal with any negative comments too.
If you're a producer that brings work to receiving venues, you may think it's difficult to get a hold of your audience data for those shows. This blog clears up who has a right to the data. Plus, you'll get tips on how to work with venues to share this data, and increase audiences for everyone.
How East Durham Creates used an audience-led approach to change the low levels of arts engagement in the area.
Author: Nikki Locke, East Durham Creates
Our strategic insights director Chris invites NI festivals and venues with box office systems to take part in a returning favourite, our Foundations bench-marking project.
A run-down of all the ways to find out about your current and potential audiences. These range from simple and no-cost solutions, to more sophisticated box office systems.
There is wealth of free information about your current and potential audiences available through your social media and website. Here's how to access it and build a picture of your online audiences.
It's easy to measure financial gains, but how can arts organisations with a social purpose measure their value?
Author: Matthew Brown
Struggling to get responses to your online survey? Here's how we worked with EastSide Arts to improve their response rate by over 500%, along with our top ten tips for improving your own online surveys.
Avoid the awkward when you're writing surveys that ask about gender, and be sure you're asking about the right things in the right ways.
This short piece argues that defining company values can be a practical tool - not just a box-ticking exercise.
Author: Carter Cleveland, CEO of Artsy
Mark Zuckerberg recently announced major changes to how Facebook prioritises content in newsfeed. How is this going to affect cultural organisations, and what can we do about it?
GDPR has had a major impact on email marketing. There are new and more rigorous standards on who you can email to. Here's what that means for marketers.
'Legitimate Interests' could be the saving grace for many arts and culture organisations who want to hold on to their marketing lists.
Use this toolkit to create your own GDPR compliant privacy notice.
If you're confused about who you can market to via email under the new GDPR regulations, this handy flow chart will help you identify what you need to do.
Colleen Dilenschneider argues that free admission matters less than we may think - and backs it up with ticketing and attendance data from the US.
Author: Colleen Dilenschneider
In this guest blog Alan Ballany of Culture Republic gives his thoughts on what stricter standards around data anonymisation mean for cultural organisations under GDPR.
Alan Ballany of Culture Republic explains who is responsible for GDPR in organisations, and what the penalties can be for non-compliance.
Bristol Culture's museum and gallery shops were losing money, but by using audience data and testing new strategies they were able to turn things around.
Author: Zak Mensah, Arts Professional
Use this template to create a powerful one-page persona that helps you focus on your target audiences.
In the cultural sector, we're often advised to diversify our income streams. Here's how Chickenshed were able to turn something they already did into a revenue source.
Authors: Lily Elizabeth Davies and William Porter, Chickenshed
Change in the cultural sector is often associated with fighting funding cuts - but organisational change is essential to survive and thrive in our fast-paced environment. Our CEO Margaret Henry shares her thoughts and experience on the challenges and benefits of change.
Margaret Henry talks about the importance of looking after your own well-being in the arts, culture, and heritage sectors and brings the top five tips back for increasing your resilience from this year's CO3 conference.
Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we've been getting from the cultural sector on GDPR.
Open House Festival is in the unusual position of having moved location from Belfast city centre to the seaside town of Bangor. We explore why they made the move, and how it has affected their audiences.
Fiona Bell asks whether arts venues go out of their way to be truly welcoming to everyone - or are we in danger of simply talking the talk?
Learnings from the Hull UK City of Culture conference around how we measure and talk about the benefits and impact of culture.
How much will your audience pay for a show or experience? And do lower prices de-value your product? Here's the research behind effective pricing strategies.
We've talked audience development with hundreds of organisations across Northern Ireland (and further afield!). So here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear about understanding and growing cultural audiences.
Our definitive guide to audience development for arts, culture, and heritage. Use this guide to develop your own unique audience development strategy.
Nicholas Penny, former director of the National Gallery in London, questions the attention paid to visitor numbers in determining the success of cultural institutions.
When you're starting any kind of research - the first thing to do is to check what's already out there. Here are our top free online sources of audience information.
Margaret Henry reports back from the Creative Industries Federation Brexit Conference and asks if we're missing some Northern Irish voices in the debate.
Interested in digital and user-generated content? Here's how the Royal Ontario Museum used visitor photos as part of their visitor experience, and as a data source too.
Author: Ryan Dodge, Digital Engagement at Royal Ontario Museum
Our CEO Margaret attended the Westminster Media Forum event recently, and came away with a lot of ideas and questions for digital transformation in the NI arts, culture, and heritage sector.
VR is an exciting new opportunity for arts, culture, and heritage. But is there really an audience for it, and can it be used as an audience development tool? Fiona Bell reports from the Culture Geek conference.
We sent Fiona off to Culture Geek in the sweltering London heat. Here's some of what she brought back - the best examples of games to engage audiences in galleries and museums
Advice and checklists to make sure your venue or event is accessible to disabled people.
The Age Friendly Guidelines from Family Arts Campaign provide practical steps to welcome older audiences.
Are cultural organisations too focused on new audiences - at the expense of encouraging and rewarding loyal visitors? Here's how and why arts organisations should be promoting audience loyalty.
How Hull Truck Theatre improved the accessibility of their website and online booking process.
Author: Danielle McLoughlin
An interview with Sarah Hughes, on how business partnership can be as an audience development tool.
Libraries are routinely reaching audiences that other cultural organisations struggle to. What can we learn from libraries about attracting a more diverse and representative audience?
How using focus groups helped The Crescent understand how their audience sees them, and led to a new brand and website that's showcasing the best of what they offer.
Practical steps that arts and cultural organisations can take to get more working class people employed and leading in the sector.
Author: Danielle Rose
Practical advice and case studies on cultural democracy from 64 Million Artists.
The action-research report from Cinegi profiles their efforts to bring filmed theatre, ballet, and opera to libraries and village halls across England.
Your website is often where your audience member starts their visit. If it's not accessible - what message are you sending to potential disabled and d/Deaf audience members? Here are some practical steps to make your website more accessible.