Giving you the tools to welcome more people into your organisation. 

This brand-new one-day event is an opportunity for you to think differently about who your audiences are and who they could be. It focuses on groups who are largely under-represented in our audiences; those with disabilities (visible and invisible), young people, and people of colour. 

Reaching New Audiences compliments Inclusivity & Audiences Day. It has been created in response to a need for an event that looks at the practical application of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) techniques.  

When & where?

Reaching New Audiences will take place on Thursday 16 March 2023. Originally billed as an in-person event, due to train strikes being held on this date Reaching New Audiences will now be held online via Zoom.

If you have any access requirements, please contact


Booking has now closed for this event.

Standard Member rate: £95 + VAT

Small Organisation/Freelance Member rate: £65 + VAT

Non-member rate: £145 + VAT

A man and three women talking on a bench in an art gallery
Image courtesy of Greg Milner – MAC beyond windrush opening
3 people enjoying backstage tour
Image courtesy of Justin Slee – Community Partners Peer Support Service enjoy a backstage tour with Opera North.

Why come to Reaching New Audiences?

The day explores practical approaches to the principles of audience development. You will interrogate your current approach, identifying which audiences you’re not welcoming and how to adapt what you’re doing to meet their needs. 

During the day you will create a working plan to help you develop and diversify your audiences. You’ll leave inspired to commit long-term to making our cultural organisations more welcoming and inclusive spaces. 

Who is it for?

Reaching New Audiences is ideal for marketers at officer and manager level.

What will I gain?

  • A clear understanding of audience development principles 
  • Practical ways to meet the needs of audiences you want to welcome to your organisation 
  • A working plan to adapt your current approaches to engage with wider groups of audiences. 

Some resources to get you started

We’ve pulled together some great resources on AMAculturehive, based on the themes of the day, to help get you started on your audience development journey.


9:45am — Welcome and networking

10:00am — Miracle Thinking

This opening session with Jane Cordell will explore belonging and visualising how your organisation can be more welcoming.

10:30am — Identifying your Goal for the Day

In breakout groups you will start to work with your audience development framework.

11:30am — Break

11:45am — Solution Finding

In this session with Mel Larsen, you’ll think about your goal and its challenges, and you’ll be supported to start thinking about solutions. You’ll have the chance to discuss with peers, hear ideas and brainstorm collective solutions whilst being encouraged to unpick the various blocks to moving forwards with your solutions.

12:55pm — Lunch break

1:40pm — Case Studies Panel

Our guest speakers will share their approaches to becoming more welcoming to new audiences:

Joe Strickland from DaDaFest will share the festival’s approach to truly accessible programming and marketing. They will discuss their work with artists and audience members starting from the earliest planning sessions to ensure everyone, regardless of access requirements, feels welcomed, always.

Natalya Best-Forbes from Somerset House will discuss her work engaging young people as part of Somerset’s House’s Future Producers scheme. The scheme provides emerging creatives aged 18-30 who are underrepresented in the cultural sector with opportunities and space to flourish. Natalya will share her approach to engaging underrepresented young people and crucially, ensuring they feel a sense of belonging throughout their placements…and beyond.  

Vicky Price from Wolverhampton Grand Theatre will discuss the theatre’s approach to creating and maintaining South Asian and Caribbean Ambassador groups. Vicky will talk through the reasons behind the Ambassador group, the challenges and opportunities they’ve created and what next for the groups.  

There will also be an opportunity to ask the panel questions.

2:50pm — Break

3:05pm — Forward Planning

In this session you will work further with your framework and forward long-term planning, but you will also be inspired by quick wins and tangible changes that can make all the difference short-term. 

3:55pm — Closing Comments

4:00pm — Day Ends


Photo of Mel Larsen

Mel Larsen, Audience Development Consultant & Coach

Mel helps freelancers, entrepreneurs and cultural organisations to have vision and strategies that get results. She is author of ‘A Guide to working with Arts Ambassadors’ and co-author of ‘Open Up: museums for everyone’. 

Mel will be facilitating the day alongside Jane Cordell.

Jane Cordell, Director, Result CIC

Jane is Director of social enterprise Result CIC, which provides coaching and personal development training to marginalised people. She became deaf in her early 20’s and her experience of the highs and lows of being one of a tiny number of senior professional deaf women has helped inform her equality campaigning work.

Jane will be facilitating the day alongside Mel Larsen.

Dr. Joe Strickland, Executive Producer, DaDa

Joe is a theatre maker, digital producer, creative technologist and access consultant. They have a PhD in Future Experience Technologies and Storytelling, and they specialise in using traditional theatre making techniques and applying them to entertainment technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, as well as recreating physical presence using these technologies. 

Headshot of Natalya Best-Forbes

Natalya Best-Forbes, Inclusive Talent Programmes Manager, Somerset House Trust

As well as being the Inclusive Talent Programmes Manager and Co-Chair of the Anti-Racism Taskforce at Somerset House Trust, Natalya is also a Trustee at Pegasus Opera Company. Prior to this she specialised in talent development and working with young people at the National Opera Studio, and became Chair of their Inclusion Group. 

Vicky Price Headshot

Vicky Price, Associate Director Audiences & Communication, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Vicky leads on Marketing, Communications and Audience Development. Along with a dedicated team, she is committed to the delivering the theatre’s Audience Development Strategy. Over the last five years this has lead to a twenty percent increase in South Asian Audiences; significant changes to programming to attract a diversified audience and an award-winning Dementia Programme.