Organisations in our community have been telling us about their experiences adjusting to these unprecedented circumstances, what their COVID-19 response strategies are, and how they're playing out.


Stories from our community:

Opera North | March 2021

"We’ve done audience surveys after each of our major events to learn and improve following audience feedback. Every single survey we did resulted in at least one change to our approach or offering. With ONDemand, audience surveys were vital and we took the first livestream survey results and responded to them with changes to the booking and logging in process, and to our communications, to increase audience satisfaction by 26%."

Litchfield Garrick | March 2021

"We have been looking at the Audience Finder resources as key tools for us in reaching audiences in their “natural habitats”. We know that the future success of the venue relies on us adapting our model; our core audiences may have changed and we would like to reach new ones as well if possible. We have chosen to work with The Audience Agency beyond the Audience Finder platform and tag our database using the Audience Spectrum Licence. This is going to be so useful for us to plan campaigns and identify where and how we can communicate with our database in the best way. The tagging will let us deepen our understanding of their needs as audiences - it will certainly be a key part of our recovery."

The Beacon | March 2021

"Our team will use reporting and development modules to map out our intentions for the coming months and how we adapt at each stage as restrictions begin to lift. At this stage, Audience Finder provides an invaluable tool – allowing us to benchmark our own ticketing and customer data against national data, and so inherit a deeper understanding of audience intentions, booking patterns and profiles as we navigate our way through the effects of the pandemic on our communities and organisation."

Nottingham Playhouse | February 2021

"During October and November 2020, Nottingham Playhouse staged the Unlocked festival of live and live-streamed events, to both in-person and digital audiences. In the run up to the festival, our team re-designed our customer service and auditorium seating to be both Covid-secure and retain our warm welcome for in-person audiences. Following the festival we used The Audience Agency’s survey to assess the success of the festival, including the Covid-19 specific measures we’d put in place. The survey findings are being used to help us prepare for our re-opening in 2021."

The Torch Theatre | January 2021

"When you’re in the normal swing of things you’re full force and every department is working flat out. Now we’ve been given an opportunity to sit down and listen because everything normal has gone. Now is our time to talk to audiences and let them know we can hear them. We can engage in new conversations. We will work with local stakeholders, charities and organisations and just sit back and listen. We’ll be asking: What do you want from us? When we reopen what do you want to see? What have we not given you in terms of artistic offerings, or as a community hub? What would YOU like us to provide?"

Spot On Lancashire | December 2020

"Feedback has been fantastic. One reader immediately responded: 'Whose idea was this? Brilliant, thank you so, so much for sending this my way'."

Ignite Imaginations | November 2020

"We have learnt that people still want and need to be creative, that Zoom can actually help us reach new audiences, that evaluation is hard when you aren’t handing someone a piece of paper to complete, that each person has their own version of safe, and that Slack is the best way to chat when not actually chatting!"

St Helen’s | October 2020

"39% of our audiences come from the most deprived and least engaged Audience Spectrum segments. It's incredibly important to us that we continue to engage and support that significant but often culturally under-served section of the community, so we began including hand written letters in their home deliveries, inviting them to write us back if they'd be keen to carry on a correspondence."

Barnsley Museums | September 2020

"All of the projects, and the data we captured off the back of them through the Digital Audience Survey, offered us an essential learning experience to build on. We have subsequently developed our techniques in how to present content and showcase collections, strengthened our digital platforms, become more comfortable in hosting live events, been bolder in investing in digital content and expanded our skill sets as a team."

The Point | August 2020

"The Internet was flooded with free content – we had to think not just about how we could be heard, but rather what our community needed and wanted to see. This allowed us to focus our energy on relevant and useful content. As with our usual campaign activity, ensuring that it’s sent to targeted, segmented audiences drives engagement."

The Writing Squad | July 2020

"The situation plays into all our strengths. We have always been a dispersed, virtual organisation. For us building is a verb and not a noun; digital is not a platform it is energy, currency, it has always been how we meet, talk, share and reach."



Interested in contributing a Community Story of your own? Download the template HERE.


If you have any questions or are ready to send over a story, please get in touch with vanny.lambert@theaudienceagency.org


Image of COVID-19 Community Story | Opera North
COVID-19 Community Story | Opera North

Image of COVID-19 Community Story | Litchfield Garrick
COVID-19 Community Story | Litchfield Garrick

Image of COVID-19 Community Story | The Beacon
COVID-19 Community Story | The Beacon

Image of COVID-19 Community Story | Nottingham Playhouse
COVID-19 Community Story | Nottingham Playhouse

Image of COVID-19 Community Story | The Torch Theatre
COVID-19 Community Story | The Torch Theatre

Based in Pembrokeshire, the Torch Theatre is a vibrant centre for the arts, priding itself on extending a warm welcome to all visitors. We spoke to the team about their Covid-19 response strategies and how they have been coping in the face of a pandemic.

Image of COVID-19 Community Story | Barnsley Museums
COVID-19 Community Story | Barnsley Museums

Barnsely Museums, owned and operated by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, represents Cannon Hall, Worsbrough Mill, Cooper Gallery, Elsecar Heritage Centre and Experience Barnsley. The team has been telling us about their experiences adjusting to these unprecedented circumstances, what their COVID-19 response strategies are, and how they are playing out.

Image of COVID-19 Community Story | St Helens
COVID-19 Community Story | St Helens

St Helens Borough Council's Library Services is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and one of our Pathfinder organisations. The team has been telling us about their experiences adjusting to these unprecedented circumstances, what their COVID-19 response strategies are, and how they are playing out.

Image of COVID-19 Community Story | Spot On Lancashire
COVID-19 Community Story | Spot On Lancashire

Spot On Lancashire is a strategic, grassroots arts service run by people who love to support volunteers in isolated communities and in urban library settings. The team has been telling us about their experiences adjusting to these unprecedented circumstances, what their COVID-19 response strategies are, and how they are playing out.

Image of COVID-19 Community Story | The Writing Squad
COVID-19 Community Story | The Writing Squad

The Writing Squad provides workshops, 1-1 support and investment for young writers. The squad's free two year programme is for writers aged 16-21 who live, work or study in the North of England. Director Steve Dearden has been telling us about their experiences adjusting to these unprecedented circumstances, what their COVID-19 response strategies are, and how they are playing out.

Image of COVID-19 Community Story | Ignite Imagintations
COVID-19 Community Story | Ignite Imagintations

Ignite Imaginations is a Community Arts organisation, based in Sheffield. The Ignite team has been telling us about their experiences adjusting to these unprecedented circumstances, what their COVID-19 response strategies are, and how they are playing out.

Image of COVID-19 Community Story | The Point
COVID-19 Community Story | The Point

The Point, Eastleigh - one of our Pathfinder organisations - has been telling us about their experiences adjusting to these unprecedented circumstances, what their COVID-19 response strategies are, and how they're playing out.