Asset is researching theatre audiences in five European cities: Zagreb, Vienna, Sofia, Prague and Helsinki. The project will result in a world-first segmentation of those audiences.

February 10, 2020
Photo of the author - Jonathan Goodacre

Jonathan Goodacre

This spring sees the second main phase of the research in which the 20 theatres are using a survey-based methodology in order to understand who is attending and could attend. By working together at the city and the international level, it has been possible to compare and contrast the different theatres involved by ensuring that most of the questions used are benchmarkable (measuring the same factor). It has already revealed some fascinating differences such as the older profile of theatre audiences in Finland compared with ‘younger’ theatregoers in the Czech Republic or Austria.

For some participant organisations, it is the first time they have undertaken any audience research and they have found the results enlightening and useful. With webinars exploring the implications for action, they have been able to put changes immediately into practice.

Asset is led by the Department of Arts Management, Theatre Faculty of the Academy Performing Arts in Prague. It has come out of a collective of theatres which run a ‘European Theatre Night’ that takes place on the third weekend of November in around 8-12 European countries, though not currently in the UK. It aims to introduce people to theatre who would not normally be engaged and also involves a range of special activities providing insight into a range of aspects of theatre.

The greater ambition involves the development of a segmentation system by The Audience Agency at theatre, city and international level looking at how audiences can be logically grouped together. This goes beyond demographics to consider the frequency of attendance, preferred genres, motivation to attend and attitude to theatre more generally. The outcomes will be published in the autumn of 2020. Watch this space for more details.

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