ACE and the practitioners consulted in the creation of this guidance agree that organisations working together to reach audiences should have certain expectations of one another. These will vary depending on the scope of the working relationship and the balance of responsibility for audience objectives.
Basic data sharing expectations
ACE would expect NPOs to provide these facilities to visiting NPOs at their request as part of their data sharing commitment at no cost. They encourage similar treatment of NPOs and Grants for the Arts recipients from any venue presenting their work.
The following is not mandatory but might represent what visiting companies and others might reasonably expect of their data controlling partners where possible in any co- producing or co-presenting relationship.
Basic reporting provided to companies by venues / other data controllers
- Total income
- Total number of tickets sold
- Basic top 10 postcode sectors with number and proportion of bookers
Permission to view data through Audience Finder or Show Stats
- Show Stats service (offering the reporting outlined above and more)
- An Audience Finder dashboard of the company’s audience in that venue (access to full range of booking metrics)
- Survey data relating to events created/presented by the company
- Bespoke analysis of the company’s audiences at that venue
Note that from April 2016, ACE expect all NPOs to be contributing data to Audience Finder, by automatic data download from their ticketing system, and/or by the standard Audience Finder survey. Touring companies are asked only to contribute a full list of performances and venues.
Permission to run a survey at negotiated time / method OR have access to relevant survey results in the venue’s survey
Note a minimum sample of 300+ is required to represent a company’s total combined audience, using the same survey across venues. A minimum of 100 completed questionnaires at EACH venue would be required to be able to compare results venue to venue. (These are The Audience Agency’s criteria for Audience Finder participation, based on MRS guidelines on obtaining robust and reliable sample frames). The practicalities of collecting such samples should determine both the decision to run a survey and its design. If organisations want to use individuals’ contact details to ask them to do a survey, then this should be explained to them at the point of collection, and in notification statements. If an individual is asked to do a survey, it should also be explained to them in the invitation who the survey is being run for and what will be done with their responses (will they be anonymised etc.).
Essential data output
- Full list of (anonymised) postcodes for company’s event/s
- “Permitted” names and (e-)addresses of individuals that have opted to receive marketing communications from the visiting touring company; partners need to agree protocols for the updating of permissions, and scheduling of communications
Contact attenders on behalf of the company on request (one mailing)
Companies should be willing to cover any costs (printing, postage etc.), for a venue to contact (by direct mail or e-mail as appropriate) the attenders for their performances and use the opportunity to cement audience relationships, e.g. by inviting them to “join our contact list”
Enhanced data sharing expectations
Venues may also want to offer any of the following as part of an active and collaborative audience development strategy. ACE would consider it good practice for NPOs to offer some (if not all) these facilities to others. In cases of venues working with resident or semi-resident companies, they should be considered essential. Companies should be prepared to share some costs, especially where their requests are complex. Ideally, costs will be reflected in the contractual arrangement or split, rather than as a “contra” or actual financial transaction.
Note that different ticketing systems, survey methodologies and sales-marketing teams are able to offer these facilities with varying levels of ease.
Additional reporting provided to companies. This could include:
- Comparison with venue benchmark and averages
- Frequency/recency of attendance
- Price breakdowns/concession types
- Audience cross-over
Running a survey in partnership
This might include developing a joint survey, or managing a survey on behalf of a company. Note the challenge of sample sizes make it difficult for venues to have such a relationship with many companies.
Contact attenders on behalf of the company on request (various mailings)
Companies should be willing to cover any costs (printing, postage etc.), and use of the data to contact individuals by email and post must reflect the obligation under PECR and GDPR to only do so in relation to the company's events at that particular venue, and not elsewhere.