The ACED Project
Mercury task force selected two examples of personas (a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience).
- Aisha: coloured working woman commuting to London
- Emma: wife of an ex-military who is on tour in Afghanistan, not knowing the community.
Afterwards, they went going out and researched for them.
They found pretty fast and realised they had problems. Their assumptions were wrong, or they weren’t the target described as imagined.
With the closure of Theatres, they were left with a lot of thinking regarding how to continue to engage our audiences.
After their first Prototyping in December 2019 and felt it was an invaluable tool to use going forward.
They came together as a workforce and looked to embed the lessons from prototyping for this uncertain phase in the theatre’s programming.
When developing Mercury Online, we looked at the same things we were prototyping and took the lessons on board.
How was this embedded?
- Made a task force to investigate the above questions
- Shared ideas
- Made each online offering a prototype – what is the audience problem, what is the solution
- Implemented debriefs at the end of each session with the team using feedback from participants and as the week progressed, implanted small changes to the program according to what we learnt
- All about the small changes along the way.
By working together as a task force, listening to audience/participant feedback, and making small changes along the way, we could implement programs that really engage, excite and bring people together during this time.
As a result of this method, we recently implemented
BLACK, ESSEX AND HERE 2.0
These well-attended programs showed that failing forwards using the prototyping methodology works. It is a new way of thinking and one we will carry into the building,
Rendezvous for arts professionals looking to make contacts, share ideas, brainstorm, collaborate, develop their careers, promote their work and chat with like-minded people about their passion.
BLACK, ESSEX AND HERE 2.0
An experimental season of once-a-week after-hours events in the café/bar hosting local acts like cabaret, jazz, comedy and more.
A generally younger audience from mid-twenties that also compromise of:
The local artistic community
• Having a task force representing different departments across the theatre brings a new way of thinking and understanding with one another and audience development
• Thorough planning of prototyping and auctioning is working well
• The reactions/feedback of the prototype audience gives us plenty to work with moving forwards
• The ideology of audience development has entered the organisation, both relying on people's ideas and Adeste's methods of prototyping, testing and learning through small changes.
Listen to Dilek Latif's reflections on the process, in her view, the ACED blueprint provides a 'comfort blanket' that cultural institutions can lean on that guides the necessary prototyping of new ideas.