A new Culture Restart Toolkit has been developed by a group of three UK consultancies working together to help the cultural sector plan for recovery and restart following COVID-19.

The two free tools designed for cultural organisations have been launched by the Insights Alliance, which includes Indigo, who led the After the Interval and Act 2 surveys, as well as international provider of consulting services and software for the cultural sector Baker Richards, and digital analytics firm OneFurther.

The first tool is the audience tracker, which is designed to provide organisations with a way to check in regularly with audiences and track their sentiment over time. It is for organisations not yet able to fully reopen and will help organisations to keep audiences engaged and involved during closure and track key metrics around audience intention to attend.

The Culture Restart Toolkit also includes experience surveys for organisations starting to reopen. These pre- and post-show surveys are designed to capture audience sentiment before and after attending a cultural experience. They are for cultural organisations that are starting to hold socially distanced events, performances and exhibitions and will help assess success of safety measures and messaging and measure movement in customer confidence levels.

David Reece, deputy chief executive of Baker Richards, said: “We’re really excited to be partnering with Indigo Ltd and One Further on this to bring together all of our expertise to help the sector we’re so passionate about.

“Along with all of the invaluable insights into how audiences are feeling, this is the first nationwide survey of its kind to really test the appetite for digital events and establish what people are willing to pay for something which is becoming increasingly important as a means of generating much-needed income while restrictions continue for live events.”

The tools will enable organisations to respond to audiences, focusing on those things which build confidence and positive sentiment, and taking action to counteract causes of negative sentiment.

Live data will be accompanied by regular events and reports recommending actions that organisations can take based on the national data.

Katy Raines, founding partner of Indigo, added: “After the Interval and Act 2 gave cultural organisations an instant understanding of how their audiences were feeling when they needed it most, and the data collected has been used to lobby government, inform business planning, and help guide communications for re-opening. Joining forces with Baker Richards and One Further to launch the Culture Restart Toolkit means we can continue to provide essential insight for free and support the sector during this next phase of cultural recovery.”

Between April and July 2020, Indigo ran two national audience sentiment surveys for the cultural sector: After the Interval and Act 2. More than 500 organisations in England, Scotland and Wales together generated over 200,000 audience responses.

Earlier this month, new analysis of Indigo’s After The Interval Act II survey found that while 82 per cent of respondents would consider engaging with culture via digital means, its revenues cannot replace lost ticket income.

Image: David Joyce / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Edited for size