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Twelve Top Tips for Bigger Audiences for your Dance Company

October 17, 200517 October 2005

This short fact sheet provides tips to maximize dance audiences, based on research underpinning the Scottish Arts Council’s 2002 Dance Strategy.

Many of the tips provide information about what audiences are looking for:

  • an aspect that seems familiar or links with their previous experience;
  • a clear association with ideas, issues and emotional content;
  • information about what each piece is about and what it will be like to watch, provided in a clear and straightforward way. Avoid words that audiences don’t believe, such as “stupefying, electric, dramatic and never to be forgotten”;
  • distinctive and character-conveying images in brochures and other publicity materials; and
  • value for money (rather than low ticket prices per se).

Other tips include building long-term relationships with venues, recognizing that “the venue’s audience is your audience”, and focusing “on the people who attend a wide range of events at each venue”. The fact sheet argues that dance companies should “have much more success in persuading attenders of adventurous theatre, music and the contemporary visual arts to cross over to smaller scale contemporary dance”. This is consistent with their contention that “the number of people who say they are dance enthusiasts is relatively small – however, many more people are interested in attending dance events on an occasional basis”.

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