Reaching a global audience.

BLOG: A touring company’s guide to mutually beneficial arts funding.

Ellis Jones  •  Tuesday April 28, 2015
Arts  •  Branding
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Australian arts establishments are constantly confronted by the funding hurdle. This is even more prevalent for touring companies who are trying to extend their reach to worldwide audiences. It is clear in the passing years that arts companies have limited funding from the Australian government so they have to become increasingly creative in the way they can raise funds for worldwide touring.

This is not an impossible task, but rather one that requires planning, an experienced business minded individual or team and a dedicated social media guru who can promote and post daily on a variety of platforms to assist in reaching a global audience.

Social media – reach a global audience.

Social media is the most cost effective and rational path to reach global audiences. It is the voice of new and upcoming exhibition or show, the unveiling of a new/refurbished arts centre or the arrival of an international director or performer. Blogs, videos and posts can promote more traffic to websites and increase ticket sales as these avenues are not limited by seats, seasons or the number of shows. It provides a new angle to the performance, whether this be a backstage visit or a look into the mind of the artist, social media can invite the viewer to follow the performance around the world. The internet is an omnipresent tool that should be utilized to its full extent. Its audience expands to millions of art enthusiasts.

Tour with the aid of a global corporation.

To facilitate funding, touring companies would benefit from presenting themselves as an integral partner to global companies. This will prove to be a mutually advantageous partnership if communicated appropriately and if the choice aligns with both company’s values and beliefs. The big gun companies could add creative flair to their various forms of advertisement, promote themselves as edgy and creative and show that they support the global importance of the arts.

Businesses have already figured out that the arts bring highly paid, highly educated professionals into a room to form business relationships. It only seems logical for the arts-business partnership to host VIP nights with the ‘who’s who’ to generate networking in the pre-show lounge of an international Opera or Ballet. The global corporations brand would be associated with the touring company and, in turn, a global expedition with a budget to do so would no longer be a pipe-dream for touring arts companies.

If you have ever traveled before, you will have noticed the love that differing countries have for Australians and the ‘land down under.’ So why shouldn’t we share with the world our creative flair and what we have to offer in terms of how Australians express themselves through the arts. Close to 50 percent of all overseas visitors attend at least one cultural attraction when they visit Australia. This is promising for touring companies who taking Australian arts to multinational cities.

Partner with Australia’s overseas representatives.

Other funding alternatives can include Australian government branches located in worldwide cities, such as embassies, and aligning with other arts related organisations to run joint projects. When seeking government funding, arts companies can approach it like other business relationships. They should address the ways in which the organisation can facilitate tourism, business interaction and economic growth back to Australia without compromising the integrity of the art or the company’s reputation.

Unsure of how to approach these potential business partners? Talk to us, we can get you started.

Image credit: John Keane via Flickr creative commons