SOLT & UK Theatre partner with Baker Richards to develop new ‘Evidence Centre’ providing deeper insight into data and analysis for the theatre sector

The UK theatre industry’s two leading membership associations, Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, today announced a unique partnership with data and insight specialists Baker Richards to develop a new ‘Evidence Centre’.

This Evidence Centre will utilise the latest technology to aggregate data from a range of sources, including theatre box office/CRM systems, and will provide the ability for SOLT and UK Theatre to analyse this data at a granular level, to help make the case for theatre to national and local governments. 

Working in partnership with Baker Richards, SOLT and UK Theatre will, through the Evidence Centre, be able to identify trends in sales and audiences, evaluate economic impact of theatre, classify theatre workforce data and demographics and more, and proactively communicate these trends to their membership and the media, to give people a sense of the health of the sector, and identify any areas which may require deeper attention. 

Eleanor Lloyd, SOLT President, said: ‘SOLT has always gathered sales and audience data, but it is so exciting to think that as the Evidence Centre develops, we will have more sophisticated data and business intelligence, to assist our members with their marketing campaign planning and budgeting. This is going to be a fantastic resource for our members to access’.

Stephanie Sirr, UK Theatre President, said: ‘During the pandemic we made a robust case to government for ongoing support. It was clear that there were some gaps in what we evaluate in order to make a well-rounded and informed case for theatre in a way that corresponds with government evaluation tools. This new Evidence Centre will give us access to sales and economic data at a deeper level which will help our members make the strongest argument yet for supporting UK theatres as key strategic partners in their many communities.’

Robin Cantrill-Fenwick, Chief Executive, Baker Richards, said: ‘Over nearly two decades, Baker Richards has developed a rich understanding of the UK’s ever-changing theatre industry, promoting and creating measures and metrics which have been widely adopted. In creating the Evidence Centre, our team of analysts will use sophisticated data warehousing and big data analysis to support the work of SOLT/UK Theatre’s members in more ways than ever before.’

Baker Richards will develop the Evidence Centre using enterprise-grade technology, adopting innovative approaches to analysis including experimentation with machine learning and AI. Data will come from multiple sources, including automatically extracted ticket transactions, demographics data, infrastructure data, attitudinal survey data, and open government data.

Development has already begun on the Evidence Centre, with a view to the first iteration of the data tool being ready for usage at the end of 2022. 

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