In 2021 the Association for Cultural Enterprises commissioned DC Research to carry out an economic impact and benchmarking survey establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across the main areas of commercial activity at UK cultural organisations.

The Cultural Enterprises Benchmarking Report 2019-2020 looks at retail, catering, publishing, events and venue hire data for the last full year pre-Covid i.e. the respondent’s financial year closest to the 2019-20 financial year.

The average annual turnover from commercial activities was £2.85 million, although this represents a broad range of responses, from £3,000 to £26 million.

Retail accounts for the highest proportion of commercial turnover (44%), followed by catering (22%), and events and venue hire (18%). The remaining 13% comprises a range of other activity including income from commercial sponsorship and corporate membership, car parking, tours and specific attractions. The two lowest categories were publishing (2%) and image sales (1%).

The full report gives average KPIs across all these areas of activity. Here’s a snapshot:

  • Retail Average Transaction Value (ATV) – £9.12
  • Catering Average Transaction Value (ATV) – £7.00
  • Events & Venue Hire Average Net Profit – 37%
  • Publishing Average Net Profit – 35%
  • Image Sales Average Net Profit – 35%

The statistics in the report will help you to benchmark your own results compared with the wider sector, and establish a set of KPIs to monitor and manage future activity.

To see detailed KPIs across all areas of commercial activity, download the full report now in our Resource Library, where you’ll also find our latest eCommerce Benchmarking Report.

Remember you’ll need to be a Full or Associate Member of the Association for Cultural Enterprises to access these reports, so if your organisation is not yet a member join today.

Benchmarking is not only useful to the individual venue but to the wider sector. If we understand where we are on our fiscal journey we can make changes and adaptations that will help us improve. As the saying goes … if you don’t measure it you can’t monitor or manage it.

Jill Fenwick, CEO, Association for Cultural Enterprises
Joanne Whitworth
By Joanne Whitworth
Jo is Communications & Media Manager at the Association for Cultural Enterprises.
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