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Audience development & engagement

Use these resources to learn how your organisation can meaningfully engage your audience and further your outreach.

Visitor research & development

How to conduct audience research 

This handbook is for people working in the visual arts who are engaged with developing audiences in Australia’s regional art galleries and who would like to expand their viewers’ experience of contemporary art. By Museums & Galleries of NSW.  

Audience research toolkit 

This toolkit by Creative Victoria allows you to find tools that match your resources and skill level.

Topics include: understand your audience; build new audiences; set up surveys and consultations; analyse and report results; work with your stakeholders; ensure best practice research.

Visitor Research Made Easy

Visitor Research Made Easy is a step-by-step approach to enable museums, galleries and cultural organisations to select the most appropriate techniques to develop insight into both existing and potential visitors. Written by Sharron Dickman, initiated by Arts Victoria.

Who is your audience?

Understanding your visitors – and who you’d like to attract – is essential: who they are, where do they come from, their likes and dislikes. This can help you build a stronger museum that appeals to more people. By Museums Galleries Scotland, UK.  

Art? Art! Art.. an audience development handbook for public art galleries and museums

Written by Dr. Jane Deeth and Tracey Cockburn, this handbook is for people working in the visual arts who are engaged with developing audiences in Australia’s regional art galleries and who would like to expand their viewers’ experience of contemporary art.  

Measuring socially engaged practice: a toolkit for museums

This toolkit is a useful summary of their learning from the many and varied projects they’ve supported. By Museums Association, UK.  

Taking out the guesswork: a guide to using research to build arts audiences 

This guidebook was developed out of strong evidence that audience research can strengthen audience-building initiatives by helping institutions understand how to build meaningful connections with different groups. Published by The Wallace Foundation, 2015.  

How to attract new museum audiences 

The following resource is drawn from the workshop Community, Collaboration, Change – presented by Rebecca Jones as part of the 2015 Standards Program. The workshop focused on attracting new visitors and recruiting museum volunteers. By Museums & Galleries of NSW. 

Guess who’s going to the gallery? Queensland report 

This report is a strategic audience evaluation and development study for Queensland Galleries. Report published by Museums & Galleries Queensland, 2013.  

Oral History instructional video

Learn how to capture oral histories with an instructional video developed by AMaGA Victoria as part of the Veterans Heritage Project.

Public programs & community engagement

Collaborating with regional communities

These guidelines and tools are to assist those working in regional communities to achieve a more rewarding level of involvement in cultural activities. By Regional Arts Australia.

Art for everyone: approaches to inclusive practice in arts and mental health 

This workbook is for people and organisations who wish to develop inclusive art programs in a meaningful and respectful way. Published by Access Art Victoria, 2017.  

How to develop a public program

This guide is to help you devise public programs in a way which is driven by data about your existing and potential audiences, furthers the vision of the organisation and makes a genuine difference to visitors’ lives. Designed by Museums & Galleries of NSW.  

Significant Events – a museums & galleries training program

This resource was developed in 2000 and 2001 to enable museums and galleries to fully develop and effectively market exhibitions and projects highlighting the Centenary of Federation in 2001. 

The publication still provides a useful model for those wishing to link future exhibitions and events to key dates. It includes practical frameworks and tools to assist in developing displays, exhibitions, and interpretive programs for significant events; and marketing and event management of projects for significant events. Published by Museums Australia (Qld) and Regional Galleries Association of Queensland, 2001.

Community issue exhibition toolkit

This toolkit explains how to co-create an exhibition with your community so people can take action on an issue that matters. By Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, USA.  

Behind closed doors 

Uncover a wealth of ideas, tips and resources with this mini toolkit to help your museum improve access to its stored collections. By Heritage Insider, UK.  

Children & curriculum

Kids in Museums manifesto

A set of simple guidelines for museums created with children, young people and families. It sets out what they feel makes a museum a great place to visit. By Kids in Museums, UK. 

How to engage with young people 

This guide is designed to help you engage young people in your museum or gallery. The guide is applicable to all programs regardless of scale; from one-off artist workshops and school visits to longer engagements such as youth committees, teen nights or art shows. By Museums & Galleries of NSW.  

Toolkit for working with young people in museums 

This toolkit shows how museums can provide young adults with positive, personal, cultural and learning experiences, develop their creativity and improve their life skills. By National Museums Scotland, UK.  

Autism in museums: welcoming families and young people

Tips on how your organisation can become more accessible and welcoming to families and young people with autism. By Kids in Museums, UK. 

History skills

This unit consists of both teacher support materials and resources for students relevant to the development of skills in Years 9 and 10. By Museums Victoria.  

Building the future of education 

Published by Center for the Future of Museums, USA, 2014. 

Deadly Learning – Monash University Museum of Art
Deadly Learning is designed to help art teachers and school students see the world from the point of view of some of Australia’s leading contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. The starting points for discussion and practical learning activities within this resource provide opportunities for students to learn as both viewer and artist.

Marketing & social media

Social media guidelines 

The main objective of these guidelines is: to provide the basic tools to create effective social media campaigns; to help you create and use compelling content; and to share tips on how to monitor platforms in the most time-efficient ways. Guidelines by International Council of Museums (ICOM), 2019.  

Accessible social media

This resource, produced by Accessible Arts introduces various techniques to increase the accessibility of your social media content. Updated 2021.

How to promote an upcoming exhibition 

This resource was written by publicity consultant Patrizia Di Biase-Dyson as part of Museums & Galleries of NSW’s Engaging Art initiative.  

How to: Free PR for your museum

This article includes a few tips from Museum Hack, USA for pitching your museum.  

3 ways your museum should be using Instagram 

Instagram is a visual platform that’s perfect for museums to engage with their customers. This article by Museum Hack, USA tells you why and how.

Google digital garage 

These free online courses by Google offer a range of learning content designed to help grow your business. Topics include digital marketing, data and tech, and career development. 

Further assistance

M&G QLD Consultant & Supplier Register 

M&G QLD’s Consultant and Supplier Register is a comprehensive list of museum and gallery sector specialists, both Queensland-based and nationally.  


Find related funding in our Grants & Philanthropic funding resource.

Resources are correct at time of publishing. Is there a resource that should be on this page? Let us know.


Ben O’Dwyer

Information Officer, Museums & Galleries Queensland

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