Located in Brent, the Tricycle is a local venue with an international vision. They have a theatre, an independent cinema, a vibrant bar and café, plus three rehearsal spaces which are used for productions, workshops and creative learning projects. They present high quality and innovative work, which provokes debate and emotionally engages. With Indhu Rubasingham as Artistic Director, the Tricycle Theatre continues its reputation for world-class British and international work, reflecting the exceptional diversity of its local community.

This case study shows how they used a tagged survey to combine quantitative and booker data to better understand their audiences.


The marketing department at the Tricycle Theatre are continually working to understand more about their audiences; who they are, where they live, why they attend, how they find out about activities and what they think of the organisation and its programming. Like many arts organisations they collect a variety of audience data, including audience surveys and box office patron data, however these can often feel quite separate. The objective of this project was to try and bring the booker data and audience survey information together to form a better overall picture of audience behaviour.

The Tricycle sends an annual e-survey to all bookers in their system from the last 12 months who provide contactable e-mail addresses, to ask them about their experiences at the theatre. While this is a useful way to measure what kind of audiences they attract and how they found out about the events, the theatre wanted to know more about how audience opinions correlated with their booking behaviour.

In summary the goal was to track whether bookers do what they say they do, in what ways and why; and to analyse the relationship between attendance and opinion.

The process

The analysis and processes used are most suited to performing arts organisations due to the comprehensive box office data available. By working with The Audience Agency and Spektrix they were able to tag an e-survey link with a unique booking reference number. This unique reference number can be appended manually, in Excel, or within a supported email client, such as Spektrix.

Using the Tricycle’s 2013/14 Audience Finder survey to pilot the process, customer IDs were appended to each survey link using a function in Excel. Through this process it was possible to understand people’s opinions in terms of their booking behaviour, as well as spend and programme choice.

All linked box office and survey data is only reported on at the aggregate level and all data handled is in accordance with the 1998 Data Protection Act.