As a small dance organization - we are organized differently than a larger theater or dance company. We do a lot of the marketing and communication activities on the basis of the Do It Yourself (DIY) and explicitly tailor our public approach to what organizers need from us to realize their respective public impact. Our approach in the field of Public Relations (in the broadest sense of the word) is therefore expressly tailored to existing work practice. This work practice is that our performances are invited by organizers because the invited work fits within their respective program profiles and ambitions.
Location and organization is public
Depending on the nature and character of the production, the performances of Vloeistof have a variety of audiences. With the exception of a few specific performances - Disposable World for youth, Straatwild (Cityprey) for adolescents - our work is always intended for a broad audience in terms of age and (cultural) background *. Our artistic starting point is always autonomous; we make productions that we believe matter and should make a difference. The themes and content consequently contribute to a more targeted audience acquisition. As mentioned earlier, the organizers are always leading in this recruitment. * Note: The audience we reach also partly consists of passers-by at the performances.
Because our work (also) has a certain light-heartedness, is often performed on location and is of a relatively short duration (roughly 1 hour), many organizers are interested in our work because it is possible to address and mobilize broad audiences programmatically. The performances of Vloeistof are regularly invited to larger, renowned festivals such as Nederlandse Dansdagen, Zeeland Nazomerfestival, Julidans, Fȇte de la Danse and Tweetakt. In addition to these more large and well-known festivals, Vloeistof plays her performances annually at the many smaller (summer) festivals in the Netherlands and at regular stages. Precisely because of the variety of play areas / locations where we perform, the audience that visits (or happens to watch as a passer-by) cannot be categorized directly as the Vloeistof-audience, but rather as amorphous and diverse.
New contexts provide new public
With an 'urban presentation' such as the recent Straatwild (Cityprey), there appear to be national and international presentation possibilities within a field of work that is new to us, namely the (conference) world around themes such as urban development, urbanization, spatial planning; this as a result of contacts with the organization of the Day of the City conference, organized in The Hague in 2019. With performances such as Sliding Slope and Disposable World, we also relate to current social issues such as (water) ecology and sustainability. Themes on which numerous non-cultural organizations are active, which, however, offer opportunities for us to respond to them. The combination of new fields of activity and the public yields a double profit; we are expanding our sales market and thereby also partly reach a public that may not or not directly belong to the category of culture visitors.
The number of visitors has been around 6,000 to 8,000 over the years, sometimes with a single peak at a location performance that an organizer offers as free admission. Because a number of our performances take place in the public space, passers-by and spectators are also part of the audience reach, but are not counted or registered. Our audience reach logically increases in numbers potentially with the growth within and expansion of our sales market.
Knowing and mobilizing your audience
Audience acquisition means knowing your audience, but not only on the basis of research from which subsequent typologies and characteristics, which in turn must be leading for the "marketing" of the productions. For us, knowing the audience means getting feedback from visitors again and again, and engaging in a conversation. It is precisely by working in the public space that we provide direct contact and we are visible and approachable to them. It is this input that, together with the organizers, helps us recruiting, determining how we market our "products", determining the "customer journey", formulating targets. Click here! to see a number of audience reactions which gives an idea of the impact of our work(s).
How we acquire audiences
A marketing and communication employee is hired for each production, with whom we draw up a plan and planning together with the press and PR approach, public recruitment matters and determining the use of resources and instruments such as e-bulletins, promotional videos, flyers, use social media etc. However, with regard to concrete audience recruitment, marketing and communication around the performances, we are highly dependent on the knowledge, expertise and recruitment tools of the respective organizers. They know their own audience, know which new target groups they want to mobilize and can discuss approach and strategy with us. It is precisely the consultation with the partner presenting us that our audience recruitment does not have a generic approach but will consist customization.