Back to all case studies

An image of the inside of the Hall for Cornwall
Grayson Perry on the Cornwall Playhouse stage in 2023 (by Hugh Hastings)

Hall for Cornwall is a social enterprise, venue and charity based in Truro, Cornwall, existing to help Cornwall's audiences to discover all that the arts can be. After a major programme of refurbishment works, the organisation reopened its new auditorium the Cornwall Playhouse in 2021. 

Data Insights Lead Laura Pearce explains how Hall for Cornwall’s implementation of Audience Spectrum is helping them to predict the future. 

Our objectives

We started using Audience Spectrum with two specific aims. 

Firstly, our CEO, Julien, was very keen to link up the departments so that we would all communicate about audiences in the same way. He wanted to be able to show clearly how our different audiences have different behaviours and Audience Spectrum felt like a brilliant tool for this.  

The second objective was to help us forecast. 

By segmenting audience types, we can show that for a certain performance we'd expect a certain audience, which in turn helps us predict what kind of drinks we should sell, what the spend per head might be, group sizes, how many of our membership base are likely to be interested.  

Tagging customers and audience snapshots 

While clear objectives were what started us on our journey with Audience Spectrum, we’re trying to do more and more with it as time goes on. 

As well as integrating the segmentation tool into our Spektrix system and tagging customer records, we use it in our evaluation, so that the same language and audience groupings run through into our reporting and into Power BI dashboards which we’ve made from data from Spektrix and elsewhere. 

At our management meetings each week we look back at what was on and can give a clear snapshot to our heads of department without going into too much detail. ‘These are the types of people that came to that show’.  

That, in turn, then helps us predict our future audiences, looking back at similar past shows and see how they compare to what our BI Dashboards say about who is already booking for shows coming up. 

The Spektrix tagging also means we can see audience changes in real time, which is brilliant. Previously we’d had quarterly updates.  

Sharing knowledge  

We can see clear trends around artform, for example we know that for our film events we get lots of Experience Seekers.  

For us, the more people who can understand that, the more we can do with that knowledge. So, to make sure that everyone knows what we mean when we say ‘Experience Seekers will be in next week’ we’ve planned a staff training workshop from The Audience Agency. 

The outside of Hall for Cornwall
Hall for Cornwall

Looking ahead: benchmarking and catchment population 

Marketing is a key area where we’re looking to work smarter with our use of segmentation. We’re already using it to help us market to people who haven’t yet booked, but learning how to use it to its full potential will be the next big thing for us. 

Also, benchmarking. How do our audiences differ from the UK standard audiences? Historically we’ve used Audience Agency reporting to show this, and it’s definitely something we’ll revisit, specifically to look at how we measure against theatres of our scale in a similarly rural location. 

Finally, one thing we’ve never had information on is population data, so exploring benchmarking against the local population will be a big area of interest too. 

Inspired? Good ideas are meant to be borrowed...  

Talk to us now about bringing these tools into your own organisation:  

Over to you…

We’d love to hear what you think of Audience Answers and your suggestions as to how we can improve it.

Have your say by filling in our feedback form