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'Understanding Audiences': The Findings

12 Visual Arts Organisations from the South West took part in an Audience Benchmarking project delivered by Audiences South West in partnership with Turning Point South West. Having delivered an initial series of training for front of house staff in data capturing, each organisation used a questionnaire to gather audience information. 

The South West captured a huge amount of data, and the project revealed a great deal about who the audiences are, their demographics and some interesting possibilities for harnessing this information to enhance the delivery and promotion of visual art in the region. 

Headline Findings

  • 70% female attendance to 30% male attendance
  • Age groups 45-54 & 55- 64 make up 43% of audiences
  • 44% of audiences ticked the self description box ‘Wealthy Achievers’
  • 60% of audiences spent between 1/2 hour and 1 1/2 hours at the venue
  • 50% had visited at least once in the last 12 months
  • 66% described themselves as knowledgeable about visual arts, and 40% were involved in the arts sector (either as artists, teachers, students or professionally)
  • 45% have bought contemporary art, and 41% would consider buying contemporary art

Final National Report

The South West is one of five regions delivering this project, which has been enabled by Audiences UK and the Arts Council England. The project seeks to determine how data captured can be sustained by visual arts organisations and what value that data has to individual organisations and to the sector as a benchmarking standard of engagement. The benchmarking report created by Audiences London which analyses and compares national visual arts audiences is available to view here>>

Understanding Audiences - the findings and how they can be used

Wednesday 30th May, 2 - 4pm, The Brewhouse, Taunton: Free Seminar

Audiences London Plus are holding a seminar for Visual Arts organisations in the South West that would like to learn from these findings. Within the seminar Project Manager's Emily Bull and Jim Brewster will discuss the results and help build practical ways for organisations in the region to utilise them in a way that enhances audience engagement. To book a place on the seminar please email




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