Audience Participation Planning

Audience participation and public engagement documentation to support grant funding up to £100,000.

ACE state that all National Lottery and Culture Recovery grant applications must be supported by a ‘strong audience development, marketing or communications plan’.

Fully realised audience participation documents, to support an application, work to demonstrate strength and vision; encouraging and reassuring the funder. By clearly demonstrating your commitment to audience engagement planning alongside realistic access and inclusion forecasts; these documents include planning to fulfil the requirements of ACE Goal 2 and Equality Objectives. 

Audience Planning as Supporting Documentation.

Having a separate document to support audience participation sections can demonstrate that you have - 

Clearly identified audiences and sub-segments.

Presented a strong case for public engagement.

Planned on working to reach the under or unengaged.

Considered the growth and development of existing audiences.

Planned marketing activities to development cultural experiences for your audiences and demonstrated its achievable.

Acknowledged access and diversity.

In The Words of Arts Council England

The importance of understanding audiences for grant applications.

Achieving ACE's Goal 2: For Everyone

Both National Lottery and Culture Recovery grant applications are required to show how ACE's ‘Goal 2: For Everyone’ will be achieved. By supplementing an application with a supporting audience participation document you can demonstrate you're working towards -

Increasing Range and Diversity

Attracting The Least and Less Engaged

Increasing Depth and Quality of Experience

The Content of Audience Planning Documentation

Audience participation planning always begins with a free 30-minute video consultation, followed by a face-to-face deep-dive consultation if you wish to explore a collaboration further. Non-committal and free of charge, consultations allow both parties to gain a better understanding of each other and determine if working together is something that can benefit us both.


Presuming this is the case, we then move into the formal process of developing your audience participation plan. Split into six stages, each contains comprehensive yet clearly presented information that demonstrates consideration of equality and diversity, increase of range, depth of engagement access, innovation of audience participation and a focus on achieving ACE strategic goals. In addition, the option of audience segment audits and marketing cost forecasting.

Identify Audiences

Build Audience Profiles

Connecting with Audiences

Building a Cultural Experience

The Multiverse Approach

COVID Considerations

Examples documents can be shared upon request.

Our Unique 'Multiverse Approach' to Audience Engagement.


Choices & Decisions

Emotional Journey


Arrival & Departure


An audience's first contact with your programme; attracting them, engaging them and moving them to attend.

The stage where audiences weigh up alternative options and consider what choosing you will mean to them.

Moving the audience through their journey with you; providing value to them and creating a lasting impression that evokes further engagement.

Reducing 'mental barriers to participation' that prevent attendance and ensure audiences leave having been artistically and intellectually challenged.

The influence your programme has had on an audience, what they take away; tangible or intangible.

Our Audience Psychology Expertise

Understanding the psychological make-up of an audience is essential in ensuring audience engagement moves past the limitations of arts marketing. Dissection of the psychological needs and preferences of the audience allows for appreciation of any personal, situational, cultural, institutional and historical factors that may be influencing an audience’s willingness to engage.

As the only audience engagement consultants that place such heavy emphasis on psychology over marketing, our approach is based upon significant past research into audience habits and preferences. By aligning psychographic considerations we can provide more relevant engagement guidance as to effectively reach and connect with your audience segment; informing the building of cultural experiences so the pubic receive maximum value from your work.

As part of our approach we work through a framework of audience psychology that includes Autonomy, Anonymity, Relevance, Confidence, Usage, Gratification, Mood Management and Hedonistic and Non-Hedonistic Motivators.

Our audience psychology documents are presented clearly in a format that is suitable to be used as supporting evidence for ACE DYCP public engagement planning or for ACE National Lottery Grants. We welcome the opportunity to discuss reaching your audience through innovative psychological planning.

Beyond Data

Audiences aren’t just numbers to report back to ACE with. Audiences have clear and determined psychologies influencing their engagement with the arts. Only through exploration of psychology can the arts remain relevant and essential to the wider public good, data driven planning simply can not cut it.

That being said, much of current arts marketing and engagement planning is being based upon impressive seeming census-style data reports that provide extensive results but give no explanation as how these are relevant to the arts or arts engagement planning.

We feel it's a dangerous, ineffective and impersonal approach to be developing cultural experiences based upon statistics and not recognising audiences as individuals.  Grouping audiences solely through demographic data is not only extremely presumptuous of their psychographics but also boarders on prejudice and discrimination. Allowing the future of the arts to be shaped through such a cold, analytical approach fills us with dread.

£100,001 +

If you've been successful in your Expression of Interest to ACE, congratulations. You'll be aware that amongst other areas of focus your application should include -

  • Building new and diverse audiences.

  • Widening access through increased opportunities for participation.

  • Active removal of barriers to engagement.

  • Reaching people with limited access.

  • Innovative digital engagement and distribution which attracts new audiences.

  • Stronger relationships with those involved in audience development.

  • Involvement of research partners to develop ways of engaging audiences.

  • The development of activity directly informed by audience engagement.

You'll also be aware that an audience development and marketing plan is a requirement of this level of funding. In which case, our Audience Engagement Road Map service has been designed around fulfilling the criteria set by ACE for this document and will be more beneficial to you than our Audience Participation Planning Service.

More information can be found here -> Audience Engagement Road Map

Our Work and ACE.

We have worked to understand ACE funding, grant applications, NPO applications, requirements and monitoring. We have developed audience engagement and digital policy development planning that can be submitted as part of funding applications; demonstrating intent and commitment on the part of the applicant.

Our Consultancy; A Continual Dialogue.

We take a life-long consultancy approach; meaning, past the official end of the initial commission, we remain available to provide on-going consultancy to your organisation.


Throughout the consultancy process, we remain available to you, with no cap on the number of meetings, conversations or calls you can request.

"Art without discovery moves nobody; creation must be made accessible for consumption".

The Consultancy Process

  • Free 30-minute video consultation.

  • ​Free face-to-face deep-dive consultation.

  • ​Consultancy formally agreed. Deliverables agreed.

  • ​Continuous and unlimited dialogue via phone, email or face-to-face.

  • ​Regular progression meetings.

  • ​Final sign off and presentation of documents, with optional public presentation lead by Disconnected Bodies.

  • ​On-going support and continued partnership.

The Details

£250 incl. VAT

£75 refund if the application was unsuccessful for whatever reason.

We charge to same rate as the A-N artist fair pay policy of £26/hour.

To be paid in 3 instalments of £83.33 as follows - 

  • Upon formal agreement.

  • Upon completion and delivery.

  • Within 3 months of completion.


Agreed with organisation.

Typically delivered within 4-5 weeks.

Refund Policy

Refunds can be requested at any point of the agreement up till the final sign-off, with all payments (in full) being refunded within 14 days.

Book a Free 30-Minute Consultation.