Here's a bit of a summary of learnings from the process...
While comparing audiences for different areas, we've found that there have been several factors that have recurred:
- Most places had a similar picture of the number of events increasing faster than income or ticket sales in the pre-pandemic picture (i.e. ‘running faster to stand still’), although earned income did seem to be rising in most areas.
- Most had much higher concentrations of local bookers in December than other times of the year (but especially summer), but even in tourist hot-spots, local audience was the majority of attenders.
- Most had seen, and especially saw post-reopening, a rise in family groups (e.g. Trips & Treats and Frontline Families) and a decline in older segments (especially Home & Heritage).
- All areas showed a higher proportion of White attenders than were in the local population.
- We also consistently heard of a picture of later, and unpredictable bookings (and the pressure and practical difficulties that brings).
The enhanced Audience Spectrum segments have made clear that even places with apparently similar profiles can differ significantly at that more detailed level. For example, we’ve got used to spotting the different effect of:
- having lots of the Experience Seekers group E1 (‘Socially minded mid-life professionals with varied artistic tastes’)
- rather than lots of E2 (‘Students and graduates with adventurous attitudes in diverse urban areas’).
We’ve also noticed differences in the venues available in the area that have fundamentally changed the types of analysis we could do.
- This has sometimes been about the specific coverage of venues within Audience Finder, but is particularly reflective of the different types of infrastructure that is available in different parts of the country.
- More importantly than affecting the analysis, it affects the choices available and dynamics of engagement within the local area.
- It also gave us even more admiration for small venues which can sometimes be an important hub for a huge area.
- Where we had more venues, we could also see some of the competing catchments for different areas (the extent to which Nottingham venues reach into Derbyshire as the most popular destination was striking, for example).
Other differences we’ve seen include a range of experimentation going on with pricing and offers, with varied results (but these often varied within areas, as well as between them).
The overall picture was much more challenging in some areas than others (notably better in London, but more difficult in areas with older and largely rural audiences).
We will though be offering the opportunity to commission a bespoke event for your area at a competitive price point in the near future - more on that soon.