An audience at a performance

Reaching target markets

We need regular attenders, hearing and deaf, to tell their friends and family about captioning and the best place to do this is in the season brochure. We know that people don’t usually read the booking information pages in season brochures (otherwise they wouldn’t ask box office staff the questions they do). So we need to put information that explains the benefits of captioned performances in the main pages of the brochure.

Biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge in targeting theatregoers who are deaf, deafened and hard of hearing is that the vast majority is unaware of captioning and has no idea that they can benefit from it. Their experience of theatre in the recent past may well have been disappointing so they may ignore messages about future events, thinking that theatre is no longer for them.

For those who may never have experienced theatre before, the challenge is to persuade them that theatre has something to offer and to give them a sense of what attending a performance is like.

We’ve listed here the target groups we think will bring the biggest return on your investment of time, energy and money. We’ve used the term ‘deaf’ to mean deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people.

Market segmentHow can we get hold of them?What should we say?
Our existing attenders’ who may have friends and family who are deaf.Season brochure; posters front of house; direct mail; show print; ticket walletsIf you know someone who finds it difficult to hear conversations of what’s being said onstage then here’s a way they can enjoy coming to the theatre with you.
Existing arts enthusiasts who are deaf and averse to identifying themselves as disabled.Mainstream press; arts media; lapsed ticket buyers on our Box Office systems; University of the 3rd AgeIf you enjoy theatre but sometimes have difficulty hearing what is being said here’s something you may be interested in.
Here’s a way you can enjoy a theatre outing with your friends or family again.
Existing arts enthusiasts who are deaf and do self identify as disabled (may be members of a specialist groups)Via specialist groups; mainstream press; other venues; arts and specialist media; U3ADeaf, deafened or hard of hearing? Here’s a way you can enjoy coming to the theatre.
Enjoy an outing with your friends and family or meet other deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people who love going to the theatre.
British Sign Language users not identifying just with deaf cultureVia specialist groups and media; e-marketingDeaf, deafened or hard of hearing? Here’s a way you can enjoy coming to the theatre.
Enjoy coming to the theatre with your friends and family.
Theatre is stimulating and fun.
Come and enjoy a night out with your friends.
Focus on promoting high profile, mass appeal event with visual emphasis eg. panto, dance and musicals for the first visit.
Members of deaf of hard of hearing clubs – people who are looking for an interesting social event rather than being arts enthusiasts.Direct marketing to specialist groups and links on relevant websites; presentations to meetings; telephone calls.Theatre is stimulating and fun.
Come and enjoy a night out with your friends.
Emphasise social aspects, opportunities for discussion – what will you think about the show?
Focus on promoting hight profile, mass appeal events for the first visit.
Think about offering something extra – backstage tour or pre-show reception.
Deaf people who would enjoy a night out but who think theatre is not for themMainstream press, specialist groups and media, gatekeepers; health servicesTheatre is stimulating and fun. Emphasise social aspects, opportunities for discussion etc. At first, focus on promoting high profile, mass appeal events for the first visit.
Organisers of support groups or workers in specialist organisationsSpecialist groups and media, direct (e) mail, presentations at meetings, exhibitions and conferences, telephone callsCaptioned performances mean that your members/clients can enjoy a night out together.
Explain what captioning is and how it works.
Emphasise social aspects and opportunities for discussion.
Highlight potential discounts.
Local authority officers involved with the delivery of community servicesSpecialist groups and media, direct mail, presentations at meetings and conferences (initial email contact not effective)Assisted performances mean that clients can enjoy a stimulating and fun night out. Emphasise social aspects and opportunities for discussion.
Explain what captioning is and how it works.
Highlight potential discounts.
Schools – Special Educational Needs and mainstreamLocal Education Authority and specialist directoriesPerformances of set texts that are accessible to everyone in the class – remembering that captioned performances are not always useful to very young audiences.
Language SchoolsYellow Pages and specialist directoriesCaptioned performances help students improve their English language skills
Learning Support staff at colleges and universitiesUniversity websites and staff listsAssisted performances mean that your deaf students can enjoy theatre. Captioned performances can help overseas students improve their English language skills.

Now go to: Language