We work with cultural institutions, regions and interest organizations to develop healty culture businesses and focus on bottomlines when developing and creating new initiatives. We have facilitated everything from concept design, business cases, data collection and an all round development of a business capable cultural organization.
We offer advice about innovation, strategy and management, so the museum, orchestra or maybe theatre becomes able to pursue a strategy, develop new products that meets the users in new ways and achieve an agile organization with the users and innovation at the forefront.
The Danish orchestras and ensembles have joined forces to focus on business development and audience development in the coming years to ensure an increased focus on attracting both new guests and increase the frequency of guests who already go to concerts – and to professionalize their work with audience in general.
We have completed the first part of a 3-year process with a basic analysis of all orchestras and ensembles’ business potential and their current work with audience development. The report is designed in a new innovative form, contains 10 themes, in business development and audience development, that the classical cultural organizations must address if they want to work with the development of an economically sustainable future, and it contains a number of recommendations in data-driven development, business initiatives towards the audience and strengthening the relationship between orchestras and ensembles and their audience, and it points out what the organization must be able to do to succeed with a combination of business development and audience development.
There is an increased interest in strengthening the local cultural institutions’ ability to ensure sustainable finances through broadly embracing content concepts that many citizens feel drawn by. An example is our collaboration with Slagelse Municipality on business development at Kongegaarden in Korsør. Over a period of 4 months we worked with the board’s strategic focus on cultural activities combined with possible new sources of income and citizen involvement. Based on the tool Business Model Canvas, Kongegaarden has now made a number of strategic choices about their business, which they will implement over the next 2-3 years for the benefit of the regional music and art audience at Kongegården in Korsør.
In the summer of 2018, the National Museum decided to launch a major effort to reach out to “non-users”. The aim of the project was to boost the number of visitors and to experiment with new types of experiences of the museum’s content and research. This resulted in an innovation project, where we, together with the National Museum, organized a course with a team of carefully selected innovation people who were to come up with ideas for how the museum could transform itself to meet the future. The team consisted of people in games and gaming, writers, learning experts, futurists, virtual reality, entrepreneurs and the like. And a significant part of the task took place in Sanne Salomonsen’s old tour bus, which drove us around the country to the most innovative places in modern museum communication.
The Øhavs Museum in Faaborg is in the process of realizing the vision of creating a completely new type of museum. Through the landscape they show important historical epochs in the history of Denmark. It is pure innovation when it comes to creating a completely new type of museum, and we worked together with the Øhavs Museum through a comprehensive user survey with segmentation, concept development with employees and local stakeholders. The starting point was the user survey and the involvement of local stakeholders and Faaborg Midtfyn Municipality in the work of shaping all parts of the new museum. The basic development took approximately one year and also included the preparation of the business basis for the future museum. Even though the museum is not finished, Danes can already go / cycle / ride / snorkel to explore the landscape around Faaborg and at the same time get to tell good stories and participate in rituals from times gone by.
Audience development is about developing the organization to meet the audience in new ways, to meet and understand the needs of the audience, and to systematically collect data about guests behavior, so that new initiatives can be designed that create a breeding ground for a stronger economy and good sustainable relationship between guest and cultural institution. The inspiration comes primarily from the UK, but through our close collaboration with Norwegian Audience Development, which has existed for many years and with inspiration from models developed by Creative Europe, we work systematically to build cultural institutions’ work to become more attractive to existing and future guests.
In the autumn of 2020, we have organized and carried out a teaching and development course on audience development for the Danish Theater Associations, initiated by Applaus. Throughout the course, the participating theater associations have worked in depth with Applaus’ audience survey, and they have worked with 2 types of segmentation, including the “Cultural Segments”, which we always use in our cultural analyzes. They have worked on a practical level to make strategic choices of the special activities that will strengthen their future audience development – both in the form of the more commercial offers, which will ensure that their guests come to the theater more often and that new guests come in the door – and in the form of strategies to achieve a stronger rooting culturally and politically in their local area.
Malmø’s large multi-concert hall Malmø Live in Sweden has embarked on the professionalisation of their work with Audience Development. The concert hall houses both a symphony orchestra and is home to major concert activities with jazz, rock, pop and stand up. We have worked with Malmö Live to take the first steps in the work with audience development. The goal is to increase the frequency of regular visitors’ visits, to get more new guests in the known target groups. Many cultural institutions work in practice with several of the elements of audience development, but rarely get it put together into a strategy. Therefore, with Malmö Live, we have placed emphasis on uncovering the employees’ experiences in the field, and using those experiences together with knowledge of what works within Audience Development, so that now through a joint workshop for the employees, several focus areas are described, that Malmö Live work to realize.
We conduct both local, regional, nationwide and global studies of cultural consumption and cultural users’ behavior in all cultural industries with coverage of audience potential, knowledge, barriers to cultural use, etc. We use both segmentation with the British system Culture Segments and develop unique segments for use in content development and communication where it works best.
Odense’s 5 largest cultural institutions: Odense Theater, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Brandts, the Danish Railway Museum and Odense City Museums decided to join forces on a large quantitative user survey. The project was also supported by Odense Municipality. They wanted to know more about how well the people of Fyn knew the cultural institutions, how much they used them, what they knew them for and why they did not use them to a greater extent. They would also like to have segmented both users and non-users with Culture Segments, in order to strengthen both their communication with the users, but also to find out what needed to be developed by new targeted initiatives to strengthen the relationship with the people of Fyn.
We prepared a joint report and a report for each cultural institution. And not surprisingly, the main reason for visiting the cultural institutions was that the guests wanted to be entertained sharply pursued by the desire to “expand my cultural horizon”. The survey provided plenty of input as to what initiatives outside the content part itself are important, including pointing out that many sought a close community with the individual cultural institution, for example in the form of a club membership. The 5 cultural institutions are now working to translate the results of the study into strategic initiatives.
We were really happy with this collaboration, as it has shown that there is a great strength in joining forces on this type of research, which for the individual cultural institution can be a big mouthful financially. By joining forces, there is also a really good exchange of experience and ideas for joint initiatives along the way.
Leadership is basically about creating direction, ensuring agreement on the path to the goal through collaboration, and ensuring commitment to reach safely into the future. And from there, it’s about using a lot of practical management tools to achieve the desired results. When we work with strategy, it is often about creating agreement on a vision and a direction and we often implement together with the management the “corner flags” that fence in the wishes and which are the field that the strategy must hit. We work methodically ensuring that ideas are created, potential areas are selected and elaborated and the priorities are clear and clearly prioritized, along with a plan of which initiatives are to be implemented. Subsequently, we facilitate the preparation of action plans. We work with coaching of top managers, sparring and offering workshops for both managers and employees, innovation management and project management.
Vi hjælper interesseorganisationer og kulturinstitutioner med udvikling af vision og strategi, der ruster lederne til fremtiden. Vi har blandt hjulpet Biblioteks-chefforeningen og Danmarks Teaterforeninger med formulering af strategiske indsatsområder for en kommende fireårig periode.
Analysis and reports is one of our core services. We sometimes refer to it as maturing project, as the task is often to look at a completely new task / challenge for a cultural institution or an authority, and use analysis and report to uncover conditions around the project, collect new knowledge in the form of research, interviews and surveys as well as point out the further steps forward towards the realization of a cultural project, large or small. This is where we incorporate all our specialized skills in management, strategy, user research, format and experience development, project management, digital presence and business development.
We do analysis and reports for foundations, municipalities, agencies and interest organizations. We did a large report “The Museum Landscape” for Realdania, who wanted greater insight into cultural policy and the museums’ conditions for being able to make strategic decisions when they distribute funds to the Danish museums.
Experience Centre Skamlingsbanken opened in the spring of 2021. Kolding municipality therefore wanted to see several possible scenarios developed around the organization and operation of the new center. Skamlingsbanken is a place with many stakeholders and potentials – all depending on the finances that Kolding municipality will invest in future operations and development. We developed 3 scenarios for how Oplevelsescenter Skamlingsbanken could be organized and developed. We did this on the basis of a large number of stakeholder interviews and our knowledge of experience development. We focused on describing a future with common goals for the experience center across involved stakeholders and with assessment of factors such as economy, landscape / nature protection, governance, culture / experience strategy, policy and possible organization of other cultural heritage institutions in the municipality.
We are happy to share our extensive knowledge of the Skandinavian cultural sector within our core areas and we teach the management disciplines: Project Management, Innovation Management and management with a systemic perspective. We organize the content and facilitation of conferences where there is a focus on learning or changes with a strategic aim, and we give lectures on new knowledge within our core areas.
Region North wanted to create an inclusive conference, where many of the North Jutland cultural stakeholders participated in a half-day conference, where new ideas and input were to be created for a revision of the region’s cultural strategy. 100 artists, politicians, cultural institutions, NGOs and administrators participated in the work of creating ideas for the revision based on the strategic goals of the overall cultural plan. Along the way, the participants worked across all disciplines to develop ideas and select the most significant efforts. Subsequently, the culture and business administration in Region North has recommended political consideration of the revised cultural strategy.
Dagbladet Politiken ønskede en opkvalificering af alle deres ledere i et samlet program leveret af Mediernes forsknings – og innovationscenter på Syddansk Universitet. Og vi har bidraget med 3 moduler om projektledelse. Modulerne er bygget op, så de tager afsæt i ledernes egne erfaringer med projektledelse, men hvor der alligevel er god plads til teori om både klassisk projektledelse og agil projektledelse. Modulerne er også praktisk orienteret, sådan at der er plads til at sparre med andre kursusdeltagere, og hvor der mellem modulerne afstemmes retning for forandringsprojekterne med nærmeste leder. Målet er at projektet er så velbeskrevet ved modulernes afslutning, at de umiddelbart kan sættes i værk af projektlederen.
We help large and small cultural companies with their digital development in a business, audience experiences and communication perspective. We can help with the development of strategy or digital products or concrete production of a website, as well as content for digital platforms. We also provide market analysis and user surveys that provide an overview of the culture user’s behavior online.
In 2017, Theater1 switched from a physical magazine to a digital version and found that they needed more knowledge about digital cultural consumers and their behavior. We delivered a process that combined knowledge of the digital media, development of digital formats and strategy based on an analysis of target groups. The process began with a major user survey, which provided a detailed overview of users’ wishes in relation to areas of interest, platforms & formats. This provided a fantastic roadmap for developing the new digital platform and insight into the sustainability and opportunities of the business model
Very specific advice was given on website design, social media, the voice of the texts, images and video, at the same time as short-term and long-term strategies were drawn up.
Søren Mikael Rasmussen
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