Connecting to the Audience. How to Attract a New Audience for Classical Music Concerts.
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The audience for classical music concerts is decreasing. A lot of cultural organisations are struggling with attracting a new and younger audience, although there are plenty of people that do have an interest in classical music. The number of amateur musicians in The Netherlands is very large, yet classical music organisations are having a hard time attracting these musicians as their audience. There are a lot of studies done on audience development for classical music, but these are focussed on an audience that does not have the knowledge or interest. This research contributes to the current discourse of audience development of classical music concerts in a new way: how to strengthen the bond with amateur musicians and others with a certain degree of knowledge and interest, and attract them into your audience. This final report can be used by organisations to develop or to expand their strategies in audience development. This research strives to answer to the question how educational projects can be used as a marketing tool, in other words, to let your audience grow in size. It was found that it is important to realise that marketing should never be the goal of educational projects. The intrinsic motivation is very important, as well as the willingness of giving something back to the community (for receiving subsidies from public money). When planning to reach a new audience, it is important to define which group you are aiming to reach. This will help you plan your strategy and be most effective. First, a current ánd potential audience research should be done. To connect to the ‘audience by choice’ and ‘audience by habit’ it is useful to know what the reasons are to not attend, so this threshold can be lowered. It is relevant to conduct research to get to know your audience (to be). In this way, the cultural institution can shape a strategy that fits their own organisation, their current audience ánd their target audience.