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Audience Development: Building and engaging audiences

The key to new audiences in the 21st century is to engage with them on their terms.

The secret to attracting new audiences is to create something at the gallery or museum that delivers a cultural experience in a way that attracts and retains the target audience.  

The key is understanding what sort of experience will engage the new audience.

Many organisations think that simply changing opening hours is enough to engage, say, a younger audience that is more night oriented.  But in our experience, that is not nearly enough. 

The experience itself needs to be re-thought and delivered with form and content that is attractive to the target audience.


The hard-to-get audience

For almost any cultural organisation there is a (potentially desirable) audience segment that is considered just too hard to get.  

For many history and science-related museums that group is 18 to 35 year olds, and that was certainly true at the Australian Museum when Frank Howarth was Director. 

So he launched Jurassic Lounge, an extremely successful evening event, averaging over a thousand 18-35-year-olds each night for 60 events over 10 years. 

It has been so successful that it was adopted by Sydney City Council as an exemplar for its Night Time Economy program.


Our approach

In building a new audience it’s useful to work with a partner that knows and perhaps already engages with that target audience.

The key to new audiences in the 21st century is innovation and agility. Inventive approaches and content need to be able to be rapidly and flexibly implemented.

We can advise on and create strategies for attracting new audiences and consolidating or broadening existing ones. 

Both demographic and psychographic audience definitions and understanding can be used. 

We apply the principles of design thinking to this, with a strong focus on what the audience is interested in, and rapid prototyping of ideas.


Find out more


Contact us to discuss how we can help you build and engage audiences.


Phone: +61 (0)419 492 201

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