Welcome to Audience Outlook Monitor, an international collaboration between top researchers, funders, service organizations, and hundreds of cultural organizations who want to make informed decisions about how and when to re-start programming based on rigorous research data.
We continually update this site with our latest research findings, scenario planning resources, and critical thinking about audiences and programming.
KEY TAKEAWAYS: UPDATED DECEMBER 20, 2021
WATCH THE OCTOBER 18 DEEP DIVE SESSION: TRACKING THE EXPERIENCE OF EARLY RETURNERS
As audiences return to cultural venues, some will experience uncertainty and anxiety over the visitor experience. How will distancing actually work? Is it safe to use the toilets? Will mask-wearing policies be enforced? This session will highlight work by arts groups to assess the audience experience through post-event surveying, and how those groups are reflecting the results back to audience members to build confidence. READ THE POST
Surveys were collected in mid-December when Omicron was taking root in the US, but before it had become dominant and widespread
So far, the effects of the Omicron surge have been much more limited than the cratering of demand we saw with Delta... so far
Confidence levels have been shaken a bit, and 30% to 40% of the customer base is still sitting on the sidelines, but that’s been the case for many months
Still, roughly 60% of the customer base is “ready to go out” but many of these people have not yet “re-found” every organization they used to attend pre-pandemic
Why aren’t customers returning?
Some are not yet comfortable attending large scale events because of the health risks (many sub-reasons)
Some are not vaccinated or object to health safety protocols
Some are skeptical that events will be canceled (i.e., supply-side disruptions)
Some have just “fallen out of the habit”
Some have found other, more convenient or attractive entertainment options
Overall, there appears to be a hardening of positions on both sides – people who’ve assimilated the risks vs. people who’ve become even more risk averse
Next up: The question of “booster only” admission policies and other strategies for meeting the needs of those who are more risk averse (i.e., distancing, special formats, hybrid live/digital)
Announcement: Individual Organizations Can Participate in the COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor
While WolfBrown concluded its COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor cohorts in 2021, individual organizations that wish to collect data can sign up to deploy three waves of the survey in 2022. Organizations that have already participated will see new results displayed in the WolfBrown Dashboard alongside their previously collected results. For organizations new to the study, a member of WolfBrown's team will provide you with an orientation after your first wave of data collection. We will provide a private hour-long review to all participating organizations after your second or final deployments to discuss the findings and how to use them to make an actionable difference in your decision-making. Learn more about this option and register to participate.
WATCH THE JANUARY 10 EXECUTIVE BRIEFING
We thought our last Covid-19 study briefing would be in November, but, well, then there was Omicron. Several cohorts managed by our partners at AMS Planning & Research deployed surveys in mid-December well after the ominous cloud of Omicron appeared, but before infection rates skyrocketed. This “bonus” briefing will examine survey results for December, the curious bifurcation of attitudes about going out, and the implications for arts programs over the next few months. (30 minutes). READ THE POST.
Total participating organizations
Global study partners
Survey responses to date
VISIT THE EVENT LIBRARY
New updates have been released for the following cohorts:
These study updates represent the findings of a multi-phase study tracking how audiences feel about returning to events in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in the regions listed below. MORE