This is an underutilized tactic in arts marketing research. Why don’t you like us? I strongly encourage you to create your own focus group of people who don’t come to your events. It may be a little harder to find them, but it’s totally doable. You can put an ad on craigslist or email your network of friends to get referrals. It’ll be easier to get people to help you if you compensate them with a gift card or something like that (pro tip, don’t offer free tickets to your events because you already know that’s not valuable to them).
Once you have your focus group (in-person is best, but not totally necessary), you get to decide what you want to learn. It honestly won’t serve you to ask them a lot about your own event or organization because they don’t know you yet. Instead, ask them about their lives.
- What are their pain points when it comes to performing arts?
- Where do they search for things to do?
- How often do they attend other events like yours?
- What do they find brings them and their families joy?
- Have they ever heard of you, or your competitors, before this exercise?
You'll learn so much from doing this!