New IETM Toolkit: Audience Explorations.
Guidebook for hopefully seeking the Audience 

Regularly discussed, largely (ab)used, often misunderstood: the term audience development is undoubtedly a tricky one. Even within the same organisation, each staff member has a different perception of actual (and potential) audiences - and what to do with them. Moreover, many artists and culture professionals consider this term suspiciously, either as policy-makers' jargon or as a synonym for return on investment. 

What is an audience? People waiting in their seats for a show to begin? Or the crowd that performers imagine while preparing to get on the stage? We use the term audience to explain the diverse and complex worlds of so many different people we often know very little about. Existing recycled images of audiences are never as rich, confusing, diverse, inspiring and surprising as the real world of people coming for a show.

The new IETM publication written by Goran Tomka invites you to question and deepen your understanding of audience and audience development, and to rethink it in terms of connection with fellow citizens, genuine exchange and 'togetherness'. Refusing to list one-size-fits-all solutions to magically increase your audiences overnight, this text presents a set of 'tools', exercises and suggestions to lead an autonomous exploration of your own (potential) audiences and to better connect with them, according to your own mission and values. Enjoy a refreshing read that will give you not only valuable practical tools, but also new motivations to engage with your audiences. 

Audience Explorations is downloadable for free from our website.

Goran Tomka is a researcher and lecturer at the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management, University of Arts Belgrade, Serbia. He holds his master’s degree in Cultural Policy and Management from the University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia and University Lyon 2, Lyon, France, and a PhD from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. His research interests include audience studies, new media, cultural diversity and cultural policy and management. He has also been active as a trainer, activist and cultural producer. He contributes regularly to scholarly and professional debates on audience engagement and cultural policy via journals and conferences.

IETM Toolkits are short publications with a very practical approach to a specific topic. Building on a mapping - a separate publication or preliminary research as part of the same text - the toolkit offers rules / tips to follow for undertaking a practical task or facing a specific challenge.