In the Arts Council of Wales’ 2018 – 2023 corporate plan, plans were outlined to support the Welsh sector in developing its offer ‘for the benefit of all’.

‘The brutal fact remains that too many people are effectively denied the opportunity to enjoy, take part or work in the arts. In a fair, prosperous, healthy society this simply won’t do. If we believe that the life-enhancing experiences of the arts, of imaginative expression, are crucial for a healthy and dynamic society, then they should be available to all.’ – Nick Capaldi, Arts Council of Wales, 2018 – 2023 corporate plan

Audience Finder is a useful starting point for organisations looking to monitor the reach of their work across the population of Wales and identify gaps in their existing audiences. Accessing this essential data is the first step towards identifying and removing the barriers that prohibit some sections of the population experiencing your work.

We’ve compiled a short guide to help you use the Audience Finder Data Tools and Service to this end.

What is my reach into areas of deprivation in Wales?

If you are contributing ticketing data to Audience Finder, you can login to your Audience Finder 2.0 Beta dashboard and access a breakdown of your bookers by the Welsh Areas of Multiple Deprivation.

If the percentages of your bookers at each band are similar to your catchment area’s profile, then it shows that your audience is drawn proportionally from all sections of your local community. However, if you’re seeing a disparity in the numbers, depending on your organisation’s goals, it may be time to revisit your strategy for socioeconomic diversity and inclusion.

Am I engaging an audience that represents the diversity of the population in my region/nation?
If you are contributing survey data to Audience Finder, you can login to your Audience Finder dashboard and compare the age, gender, ethnicity and disability of your existing audience to population data for your region, or for Wales as a whole.

In addition, you can look specifically at your audiences by artform, allowing you to identify which areas of your current programme are best representing your population and which are not.

How can I remove invisible barriers in my programme, spaces and marketing approach to reach groups that I’m currently not engaging?

If you are contributing ticketing or survey data to Audience Finder, you can access an Audience Spectrum breakdown of your existing audience within your dashboard.

These findings will be displayed alongside a benchmark of your choosing, providing context for your organisation’s data.

  • National census data (population data for Wales)
  • National Audience Finder data (arts attender data from Wales)

Having identified which Audience Spectrum profiles are underrepresented in your audiences, you can look at each in more detail by selecting the ‘Segment’ option, under the ‘National Data’ tab of your dashboard. From this, you should be able to ascertain the characteristics of the groups that are missing from your audiences.

From here, head to the ‘How to Engage’ section of each Audience Spectrum pen portrait, by clicking ‘More Info’ under the segment title.

Here you’ll find plenty of useful tips on adapting everything from your programme and corporate partners, to marketing tactics and prices to better engage this group.

And remember, if you’re planning on a direct mail campaign, social media or street advertising, then you can use Audience Finder’s mapping tool to locate postcodes in your area with high numbers of your target segment.