Working with the Baltimore Efficiency & Economy Foundation, with financial support from the France-Merrick Foundation, AMS Planning & Research was engaged to assess the best ways to maximize use of the Hippodrome, Lyric Opera House, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Murphy Fine Arts Center. In order to assess this, AMS sought to understand the market for live performance in Baltimore and how Baltimore’s larger venues compare to benchmarks in comparable communities.
Market research tasks focused on understanding the market for live performance in Baltimore. In order to understand the composition of current and potential audiences in the market and answer planning questions with respect to audience reach and potential, AMS undertook a combined data file analysis of the customer files for the Hippodrome, Lyric Opera House, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Murphy Fine Arts Center. Results profiled audience and visitor characteristics in terms of demographics, lifestyles and family lifecycle, the approximate population of “cultural participators” in the market area and what percentage already attend and where more of them could be found most efficiently.
AMS conducted a series of four focus groups in order to understand the market position of Baltimore venues, as well as audience motivations and barriers. The qualitative nature of these findings complemented the data file analysis by offering in-depth insights into the attitudes and opinions of existing and potential audiences as they relate to the venues themselves, programming and competitive factors. It also provided variables to test in a non-attendee survey that was conducted over the phone to understand perceptions of the organizations by non-attendees, as well as testing the types of programming that may be of interest to them.