The Audience Agency deliver world café as part of ADESTE final project conference in Bilbao.

24 February 2016

Next month Anne Torreggiani, Executive Director and Jonathan Goodacre, Regional Director – East, and other members of The Audience Agency staff will be involved in the delivery of the ADESTE (Audience Developer: Skills and Training in Europe) final project conference in Bilbao, Spain. At the conference, Anne will lead a dynamic debate in the World Café event on Thursday 10 March.

ADESTE is an international partnership that began in 2013 with an aim to research, develop and define models of audience development in cultural organisations around the world, co-funded by the European Commission funding strand Erasmus Plus. The project aims were to develop a training programme suitable for international work that’s sustainable, equitable, and has a dual focus on both hard technical skills and soft leadership and mediation skills.

The Audience Agency devised and delivered the training methodology for the ADESTE project, reflecting our view that training should be based on real practice for sound professional development. Six people from organisations working internationally, have been taking part in the England-based part of the ADESTE training. Company Chameleon, Crying Out Loud, Gecko, The ICA, Manchester International Festival and Seachange Arts have been meeting together in a programme which looks at ways of undertaking audience development planning, engendering change using Action Learning and networking internationally. The evaluation, which is being undertaken by ICCE at Goldsmiths University, will feed into future European co-operation projects focused on audience development. ADESTE’s international partners have also been carrying out this pilot training with cultural managers in their home countries. The work culminates next month with the symposium in Bilbao, Spain that will share findings and results from the past three years.

On Thursday 10 March, at the final project conference in Bilbao, Anne will facilitate the World Café event. She’ll be leading discussions about the future of audience development including conversations around applying pressure on policy makers to appreciate the value of audience development. Other points to be discussed at World Café are improving practices for people working in organisations and pushing the theory forward. This method supports the ADESTE philosophy of participatory activity that encourages interaction, contribution and discussion. At the end of the World Café we will produce an overview of what arises with recommendations for audience development in Europe – keep your eye out for that along with other ADESTE updates coming soon.