Culture Restart: Beyond the Data with Portsmouth Guildhall

For over a year now, cultural organisations in the UK have been closed or operating under restrictions due to Covid-19.

As organisations plan for reopening, we've been gathering survey responses from cultural audiences using our Culture Restart Audience & Visitor Tracker.

We caught up with Kelly Haswell, Head of Marketing at Portsmouth Guildhall, to find out how they have been using the data to prepare for reopening.

Beyond the Data with Portsmouth Guildhall

Kelly gave us an overview of how they have been using the Audience Tracker and discussed the three key things they have implemented at Portsmouth Guildhall as a result:

Book with Confidence Guarantee Scheme

"Something we implemented back in November was a Book with Confidence guarantee scheme. People were responding to the surveys saying that knowing whether they would receive a refund or a ticket exchange if they couldn't attend due to Covid was a really important factor when deciding whether to make that ticket purchase.

"It was something we were quietly already doing, so we just made a real positive of it by putting the scheme on the website, we emailed it to customers, we did a press release which was picked up by our regional media.

"That really helped to reassure people in the window where we were able to reopen and run some shows in December, and I think we certainly saw an uplift in ticket sales with that reassurance of messaging that we were giving."

Informing programming decisions

"I know programming has certainly found it useful to see that our Comedy audience for example in the early reopening stages were much more confident and likely to return.

"Being able to confidently plan in small-scale comedy events as we first begin to reopen is certainly something that we’ve carried through, knowing that hopefully that's where our audience is at its most confident."

Tailoring audience messaging

"It was just really useful to have that information from the surveys, and be able to tailor our messaging that was going out. E-shots that we were sending we were able to put in language to say we understand that these might be some of your concerns, and this is what we're doing to address those.

"It was really helpful to be able to time our communications and adapt them to suit what people were feeling at the time."

Beyond the Data series

In our Beyond the Data interview series, we aim to share examples of how cultural organisations who are using our Culture Restart Toolkit are using their survey results to inform communications and business planning. Watch more on YouTube

With thanks to Kelly Haswell for her time talking to us and to Amalie Briden for conducting the interview.

Flo Carr

Head of Consultancy & Client Services

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