The NAPAMA 2016-2017 Study of the Touring Performing Arts

The NAPAMA 2016-2017 Study of the Touring Performing Arts is a market research project initiated by the volunteer NAPAMA Board of Directors. One of the key tenants of NAPAMA’s vision is to build and share knowledge, and through this research effort, NAPAMA is seeking to share information with the field.  Information about trends in the field and touring artistic work specifically can help artists, agent/managers, and presenters with their short and long range planning, understand competition and benchmarks within their niche of the industry,  and consider the value of investments like showcasing and conferencing. 

The survey, designed and administered through Surveymonkey.com, will remain open through March 22, 2017.  The volunteer Survey team included NAPAMA President and producer David Wannen, NAPAMA Board Secretary and presenter Hank Knerr, NAPAMA Board member and agent/manager Andrew Delicata, and NAPAMA member and self-represented artist Warren Hammond.  

Survey design was aided by Vital Clarity Consulting, a professional research consulting company. http://vitalclarityconsulting.com. The survey employs consensus methodology to explore areas the field and identify potential trends. We do not claim that any of our reporting on subgroups in the industry is definitive, and acknowledge that other methodologies should be used in the future to drill down into various populations within the industry.  

The survey was launched November 30, 2016. Reminder emails have been sent at weekly intervals. As of January 2017, 5920 unique email invitations were sent out to performing arts professionals primarily sourced from conference attendees from the past 5 years to Association of Performing Arts Professionals (formerly Association of Performing Arts Presenters), Performing Arts Exchange, Arts Midwest, and Western Arts Alliance.  Distribution was aided by the help of State Presenters consortia, CAPACOA, and other performing arts service organizations, including the NAPAMA membership itself. 

Of the total invitations sent, 2420 emails were opened, and 300 emails bounced. 

As of January 2017, NAPAMA has received  336 total responses with 250 complete responses. Response rate to total invitations sent (5920) was 5.7%. Response rate to invitations viewed(2420) was 13.9%. The survey has a current completion rate of 74%.

NAPAMA intends to collect the data, analyze, and share a summary report with the NAPAMA membership, survey responders, and others upon request. 

NAPAMA members will receive the report free of charge, and others will have access at a nominal fee ($25) The summary report will focus on highlights, trends and statistics across many areas. Individualized custom reporting could be made available, particularly genre-specific reports with detailed information. 

The survey is 100% anonymous, with complete responses tracked by Surveymonkey.com in order to validate entry into a sweepstakes- a random drawing of complete response participants, which will result in 4 cash prizes of $200.  Surveymonkey only associates the email address of the responder with completion or partial completion of survey. The individual answers and data are not associated with an email address. 

Responders were told:

  • The data will be the most useful if we have one response per organization or business. If you have multiple colleagues who work for your organization in the field, please take the survey together or decide on one person from your organization to take the survey. 
  • Please have a copy of two basic budgets: one for last year, 2015-2016, and this year 2016-2017, opened on your computer for reference when you take this survey. If you don't keep a formal budget, have your roster, list of touring dates,  or whatever records you have for this time frame. These references will allow you to answer the questions accurately and efficiently. 

The survey collects detailed information on Agent/Managers, Presenters, Self-Represented Artists, Producers, and Artists with current agency representation. Once the responder self-identifies as one of these, a tailored track of questions specific to that role in the performing arts begins.  All tracks are asked demographic information at the end of the survey.   The survey focuses specific questions on the 2015-2016 or 2016-2017 seasons, to provide clear snapshots of what is happening in the industry at the current time. 

Limited information is collected on Technology Providers and Consultants, Service Organizations, Promoters, and other roles. 

NAPAMA wanted more information on the artists of our industry and noted difficulty in accessing artist input from past research experience.   The majority of registered participation in the marketplaces of booking conferences falls under the roles of Agent/Manager and Presenter, and these roles, consequently, are the majority of NAPAMA’s survey invitation list. As a solution, NAPAMA sought information on artists that Agent/Managers are representing. In order to focus Agent/Managers' attention on just one artist, Agent/Managers were asked to report on detailed activity for their top grossing artist for the 2016-2017 season (a way to identify one artist for each agency reporting, and information on which genre are key drivers for Agent/Managers' businesses). 

Specific areas of research and interest include but are not limited to:

1. The survey tests participation in over 80 genres of Music, Dance, Theatre and Variety as well as others in interdisciplinary work in the performance season Sept 1 2016-Aug 21 2017.

2. Rates of diversity in programming and on artist rosters

3. Rates of participation in presenting international artists, representation of international artists, challenges of the visa process.

4. A study of industry perception of the ‘commercial’ arts vs. ‘cultural arts’ - getting a sense of our industry and how it is balanced between the two, people’s attitudes towards their own work in terms of ‘cultural’ values and ‘commercial’ values, and percentages of box office sales or commissions are coming from the cultural and commercial sides of the industry. 

5. Routing and block booking information on agents’ top grossing artists, block booking perception in the industry across all tracks and the challenges to block booking

6. The value of showcasing- many questions tracking showcasing participation, perceived return on investment, the value of juried showcasing vs. independent showcasing. Which genres presenters are missing from the showcasing landscape and which are saturating the market

7. The artist/presenter relationship - satisfaction with direct communication between presenters and artists, prevalence of obstacles to communication, prevalence of agents being unethically blocked out of relationships

8. Firmographics on all tracks, including gross artist fees booked for agents, gross touring revenue for artist/producers, gross box office sales for presenters, avg ticket price, commissions for agents/managers, average fee acquired, number of paid performance dates, number of touring events for presenters, etc. 

9. Demographics on all participants,  performing arts individual income, state, 

10. Values of performing arts participants, attitudes towards what the industry needs, performing artist backgrounds among agent/manager and presenter  professionals in the industry. 

These definitions are made clear before responders take the the survey:

Artist- a self contained performance, production, show, spectacle or concert, comprised of an individual artist or any number of artists, ensemble, or company members.

Genrea category of artistic composition characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter. 

Presenter- a person whose primary responsibility is to bring artists to their community, providing various forms of opportunities and stages for artists to perform their work.

Agent/Manager- a person whose primary responsibility is representing artists. An agent/manager must be in business independently of the artists they represent. Can include Artist-Managers who work for fees, Agents who work on commission, or a hybrid of both. Can also include "Producers" who represent artists they produce but are in business independently from that artist (i.e. the Producer isn't employed by the artistic organization)

Self-represented Artist- an artist who actively participates in the touring performing arts marketplace and serves as agent/manager to themselves or their production. The artist's show would not exist without their individual performance/participation. 

Producer or Manager of a single performing arts company- a representative or executive who is employed by an artistic organization, and whose responsibilities include booking the company's work in the touring performing arts industry. Also called "in-house representation.”

To take the survey and be entered into the random drawing for prizes, please email david@nygasp.org and a custom invitation will be created and sent to you. 

You may also participate at this link, but will not be eligible for sweepstakes. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GZG787W