A commentary by Kenneth Wardrop on “Profiling the jazz festivals audience”

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 16 July 2010



(2010), "A commentary by Kenneth Wardrop on “Profiling the jazz festivals audience”", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 1 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijefm.2010.43401baa.002



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

A commentary by Kenneth Wardrop on “Profiling the jazz festivals audience”

Article Type: Commentaries From: International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Volume 1, Issue 2

by Steve Oakes

From a practitioner perspective this analysis of the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival provides interesting insights for reflection for other festival operators. This in relation to: the opportunities for cross selling by different festivals between audiences; the opportunities that a fuller understanding of the profiling of audiences through psychographic segmentation as a tool to identify appropriate sponsors and media partners; and the perennial challenge for festivals of balancing commercial pressures with potential aesthetic compromises in programming.

Based on my experience of the Edinburgh festivals, the 12 major festivals in Edinburgh that draw international audiences, including the annual Jazz festival, the importance of audience profiling in the context of cross selling, joint marketing and sponsorship attraction is a particular focus. The new Edinburgh’s Festivals organisation, which is a collaboration of the 12 major festivals in the city, has recently undertaken through “The Audience Business” detailed analysis of the Edinburgh festivals audience. Interestingly, given the diverse nature of the 12 festivals there was a strong correlation in terms of audience profile and demographic classification across all of the festivals. This audience profiling has created the catalyst to capitalise on cross selling opportunities and joint market activities.

The 12 festivals are now also for the first time launching a joint ticketing portal to make it easier for customers to purchase product across the festivals, and for the festivals to actively sell product that matches the profile of audiences from across the festivals, utilising data capture and customer relationship management.

With regard to the paper the author suggested various areas worthy of further research including a deeper exploration of the commercial opportunities for festivals from a greater understanding of audiences and how this can be utilised to appeal to sponsors and media partners. From a practitioners perspective I would encourage this area of research especially given the increased sophistication offered by customer relationship management to tailor product being sold to specific audience or customer profiles. Commercial operations, such as Amazon in their proactive selling techniques based on profiling of customers, offers pointers for festivals for commercial opportunities. This personalised approach to individualistic customer relationship management is I believe of particular relevance for generation “Y” the social media generation (18-35 year olds).

14 April 2010

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