Research Projects

Theatre Forum conducts a number of research projects including:

Audience Research

Our audience benchmarking study takes place annually. 2012 marks the seventh year of this research.  At no cost to the venues and festivals involved, Theatre Forum analyses a number of audience trends.  All the audience and marketing benchmarks have been chosen by members to give them the most useful information about how well they are doing. Participants in this research receive a confidential report showing them a comparison of their progress matched against other similar venues.

43 venues and 16 festivals participated in 2011. The project analysed the 2.3 million tickets worth €45.7 million bought by 455,000 ticket buyers. It provides vital facts and figures for advocacy, programming and marketing.  

"Over the past few years the Abbey Theatre has participated in Theatre Forum’s Benchmarking Project. Each year has proved to be an excellent opportunity assess the Abbey’s performance amongst averages in the industry. Without participating in this project we at the Abbey would otherwise not have access to these figures. This added layer of statistics gives greater context to our daily, monthly and yearly reporting. In our business it is vital to be in a position to identify trends and develop strategies which respond to them."
Jeanette Keane, Marketing Manger, Abbey Theatre 

Analysis of Art Council Funding

This is the only publicly available, comprehensive overview of funding trends from The Arts Council.  It covers every organisation in receipt of annual revenue funding going back to 2003 and compares trends by art form and individual organisation. 

Analysis of Local Authority Funding

This analysis shows direct and indirect Local Authority funding to venues country-wide. It tracks trends in local authority funding and also other issues such as in-line support provided, and funding from sources such as FÁS and Pobail

Survey of Pay Scales

We conduct a survey of pay scales every two years amongst our member organisations. It shows minimum, maximum and average salaries across a number of different kinds of organisations such as theatres and arts centres of different sizes,  festivals and dance/theatre production companies.

Venue Rental Survey

This research shows venue rentals and services around the country. It helps touring production companies get a picture of the rentals charged by different theatres

Fiona Shaw working with Christiane O'Mahony & Peter Daly at the Next Stage 2010