Audience research for Ensemble Cymru

Ensemble Cymru (based in Bangor, Wales) is a charity and professional orchestral ensemble which brings chamber music to communities and schools across Wales, including areas facing socio-economic deprivation. 


The request

The charity wanted to expand their reach and circuit of venues across Wales at which they perform. They would also like to gain information about the people who are not attending their events, but might be interested in doing so..
 
The approach
 
Peter Lane attended an Ensemble Cymru Away Day in late September 2018 where goals and aspirations were explored. Consequently, a programme of desk research to discover previously completed arts and music studies was approved. He was also asked to analyse Ensemble Cymru’s database to determine the distribution of supporters and attendees. Thirdly a programme of research with concert attendees was devised.

 The result
 
The Arts Council in Wales runs surveys of the arts every four years and these provided the base numbers. They also provide drive time small area data analysis for 46 towns in Wales including mosaic classifications by postcode sector.

The Arts Council in England has devised a classification of classical audience attendees. We used these classifications to match with the mosaic classes and hence choose the postcode sectors likely to provide concert attendees.

This system was implemented to promote a concert in Llandudno in May 2019, at this concert postcodes of attendees were collected and checked back against the target promotional sectors.
 
The impact and benefits

Ensemble Cymru now has a system for concert promotion and feedback on performance. They now have a five-year plan to become data centric, optimise attendance and support and improve awareness.

Peryn Clement Evans CEO of the charity commented “The contribution by Peter through the support of RSS has been very helpful to the charity as it addresses its key challenge of attracting followers to its cause as audiences and donors. Working with Peter has been a catalyst for the necessary change in the organisation as it seeks to understand how it can further enhance its impact for audiences, communities and schools across rural Wales and in particular Llandudno and Bangor. This report will now be considered by the Business working group and in due course the communications working group to inform a 5-year business plan for the charity 2020-2025. We are hugely grateful to Peter Lane for his generous support. We are delighted that he has agreed to continue offer his pro bono support for the charity as it takes its first steps on its path to meeting its goal of becoming a data-informed organisation.