What is Test Drive?
We all want to attract new audiences and we all want our current audiences to attend more often. Test Drive is one scheme that does just that. It introduces people to something in the arts for the first time. It’s affordable and actually profitable. It’s practical and proven to be successful and it’s the result of several years development and refinement.
It was pioneered by me (with Andrew McIntyre then of Arts About Manchester) whilst working at the Halle Orchestra in 1997. The Halle received a substantial grant for an audience development project which would encourage a wider range of customers to attend its performances and address the problem of unsold capacity for some concerts. I approached local arts marketing agency, Arts About Manchester to help with this programme and together we came up with the idea of a Test Drive the Arts (like test driving cars, free trial subscription, free samples).
How does it Work?
Brings new customers to you
By turning spare capacity into first time attendance
Then builds an on-going relationship through planned follow up offers
Recent successful Test Drive Programmes include: Lancashire Classical Music Collaboration - brought over 300 new people to their first classical concert by the Halle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Manchester Camerata in Lancashire (2014); Halle orchestra in Manchester – brought 1600 new people to their first concert using Facebook to recruit new attenders (2016/17).