27 Jul 2015

This content is tagged as Multi-Artform .


Shining a light on our audiences at The Big Conversation 2015

Our annual one-day audience focused gathering, The Big Conversation, was held at Mac’s Function Centre in Wellington on 24 June and was well-received by delegates.

Over 140 museum, gallery and artistic directors, artists, curators, educators, funders, policy makers, marketers and audience developers from across New Zealand attended the event.

This year’s theme, ‘Don’t Come, Won’t Come?’, looked at non-attenders and why it’s not the presence of ‘barriers’ that prevents most audiences from attending arts events, but the absence of relevant programming, persuasion and effective engagement. 

There was a real buzz throughout the day and organisations had a valuable opportunity to connect with colleagues in the sector. Be sure to take a look at photos from the day on Facebook (note: you’ll need to be logged in to view the photos). Can you spot yourself? Please feel free to tag people and share on Facebook or Twitter.

Couldn’t make it on the day, or want to re-visit some of the breakout material? We’ve collated the presentations as a resource for you to use and discuss with others in your organisation. The resources include the Spectrum model and Spectrum questions used by Western Australian Museum.

Audience Atlas New Zealand 2014

Audience Atlas New Zealand 2014 was successfully launched at The Big Conversation and the headline findings were explored in several breakouts. The findings include:

  • there's an emerging shallow mass market: more people are attending the arts, but they’re attending fewer events
  • we're seeing this not only in attendance, but lower expenditure, membership, donation and volunteering behaviour
  • an online presence is essential for arts organisations and, crucially, it doesn’t replace attending in-person.

Audience Atlas New Zealand is the largest national audience survey of arts and culture and is a key tool for arts organisations to engage effectively with their current and potential audiences.

What attendees had to say about the Big Conversation

"A big thank to you and your staff for an inspiring Big Conversation last week. The subject matter was so relevant to all of us and I am sure we all gained some insights into the never-ending quest to grow and develop our audiences. The opportunity for industry networking was second to none."

- Sue Paterson, Executive Director, New Zealand Festival

"Thanks again for the opportunity to visit New Zealand – Creative New Zealand and the sector in New Zealand is so vibrant and engaging – my visit has been a ‘complete shot in the arm."

- Robin Ho, Director of Organisational Development, Western Australian Museum

"Thank you to those at Creative New Zealand who organised The Big Conversation. Two other members of our staff here at Corban Estate attended with me which has been helpful in processing some useful learnings for our organisation since we returned. There were some great sessions and we took home lots to reflect on and talk about. I appreciate all the work that Creative New Zealand has done over many years to dig into the subject of audience engagement."

- Martin Sutcliffe, Director, Corban Estate Arts Centre

NZ Book Council(@nzbookcouncil): Had such a fab day at #cnzbigconvo - was so hard to choose which sessions to attend - will be checking out the ones I didn't go to online!

Blue Oyster Gallery (@blueoysterart): "If you want to develop your audience you need to develop your organisation alongside it" #cnzbigconvo

Jo Taylor‏(@JoeyTaylor): Enjoying following #cnzbigconvo - a great group of arts/culture professions are having some big conversations in New Zealand @MHMinsight

Circa Theatre‏(@CircaTheatre): #cnzbigconvo the best creative thinkers under one roof thanks to @CreativeNZ