Audiences Central delivered dozens of projects every year – from research, press and marketing activities, to conferences and events, networks and engagement programmes. Here is a brief summary of just a small selection of those projects:

Audiences Black Country: ABC (2011-2012)
ABC aimed to build a real understanding of customer behaviours, increase awareness of insight tools, and develop strategies to increase retention levels across the Black Country – Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Walsall and Dudley. Audiences Central worked in depth with partner organisations on a one-to-one basis to enhance their in-house CRM practices, and encourage greater use of tools such as internal data mining and Arts Audiences:Insight.

Jolt - Shake Up Your Thinking

Jolt: Shake Up Your Thinking (2011)
Audiences Central’s 2011 annual symposium was part of the European Extending The Margains (ETM) project and aimed to ask challenging questions about the future of audience engagement in the UK and Europe.
The one-day event attracted international delegates and speakers who explored such topics as the challenges of engaging hard to reach audiences, local audiences, volunteering, funding, cultural offers, and new technology.
Speakers came from such organisations as mac birmingham; Museos del Cabildo de Tenerife, Spain; London 2012; Arts Council England, and National Theatre.

Arts Nation West Midlands (2010-2011)
An Arts Council England West Midlands funded initiative, developed and delivered by Audiences Central, that aimed to address the national priority of public engagement. The objective of the campaign was to increase frequency of attendance among people who already attend the arts, but for whom at the moment arts attendance or participation is not a core part of their way of life. The project was focused on The Black Country.

Physical Digital

Physical Digital: Engaging and understanding audiences (2010)
Rapid changes in technology over the last decade have revolutionised the way in which the cultural sector engages with audiences. Physical Digital was a one-day conference designed to explore new techniques and approaches, and look to the future. Topics included guerrilla marketing; the power of virals; navigating digital audiences; how free online tools can be used to capture and grow audiences; and overcoming the digital divide, with speakers from such organisations as Company Pictures (Skins, Shameless); 1000Heads, Black Country Touring, University Of York, Mudlark, The Herbert Art Gallery, Rural Media Company, Arts-Sense and iShed’s The Extended Theatre Experience.

Culture and Couture: Are shopping centres the new arts centres? (2010)
Aimed at leaders, directors, chief executives and senior managers in the arts, cultural and non-cultural sectors, Audiences Central’s first Leadership Breakfast discussed the relationship between the retail sector and the arts. Taking place at Birmingham’s multi-million pound Bullring complex, leading representatives from both sectors explored a contentious and topical subject: whether shopping centres are truly new cultural venues…

Audiences ShropshireAudiences Shropshire (2010-2012)
The project developed and supported audience development collaborations and cross sectoral partnership working for cultural organisations based in Shropshire. It bought together arts organisations, museums, heritage sites, festivals and venues to explore the advantages of joint working, including: sharing best practice and resources, peer-to-peer support, professional development projects and workshops, opportunities for joint programming and audience engagement initiatives.

Warwickshire and Coventry Cultural Alliance (2011-2012)
A Warwickshire-wide cultural network which aimed to develop networking and partnership development activities. Resulting sub-groups, partnerships and projects focussed on a number of themes, including the arts sectors working collaboratively with the heritage sector to develop audiences; database sharing and joint marketing; audience development and volunteering.

Beyond Bricks (2009)
A programme of short-term creative activities providing opportunities for artists and the residents of Lozells and East Handsworth (B’ham) to celebrate the culture and pride of their local community; both in its heritage and its future. Audiences Central’s role was to provide evaluation for the project.

The Big Picture

The Big Picture (2008)
The project aimed to inspire and encourage people within the region to engage with, and experience, art at a local and personal level, by taking, using, viewing and manipulating photographs. The Big Picture was specifically designed to increase arts attendance and participation figures amongst people from the lower socio economic groups in this region, in line with targets set by the DCMS.

The Big Picture: Be In ItThe culmination of this project involved the completion of a world breaking photo mosaic (certified by Guinness Book of World Records), and a dissemination day for participating stakeholders and partner organisations.

The success of this project was widely recognised through the arts and culture sector, winning the Jaguar Land Rover Award for Arts and Business for Cultural Branding award.

The Big Picture Legacy continued the project.
More information:

Birmingham Means Everyone (2008)
The project shares the same acronym as the sometimes simplistic and over used term Black and Minority Ethnic (BME), and describes the geographic and social demographic framework that is the focus of this piece of work. This project aimed to support organisations wanting to broaden their audiences to include BME families and households.

Family Friendly Project (2005-2006)
An innovative audience development project that aimed to establish and nurture a consistent culture of ‘family-friendliness’ in arts organisations across the West Midlands.

decibelOther notable projects have included:

  • Sandwell Festival strategy (2012)
  • The Event (2011)
  • British Ceramics Biennial (2011)
  • The New Art Gallery Walsall 10th Birthday Party (2010)
  • deciBel Performing Arts Showcase Birmingham (2007)
  • International Mask Festival (2007)
  • Maximise I (2005) and Maximise II (2006-2008)
  • Not For The Likes Of You (2006)
  • The World In One Region
  • ArtsFest
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