A Look at our successes in 2022, and what we have planned for 2023
And so we arrive at January 2023, on a high and raring to go! At the start of last year, we set ourselves some nice simple targets for the next twelve months. We weren’t sure on how well the year would go – after all, we were still suffering the effects of lockdowns and a lot of our team had drifted away for a variety of reasons, including a few becoming new parents!
And yet suddenly 2022 started to shape into something special as new people approached us about becoming reviewers. Our target of 350 reviews quickly felt too conservative. So conservative that we reached it in August. Perhaps even more incredibly, by the end of the year, 50 different people had written for us; some only once or twice, but many more were carrying out regular reviews, helping us cover more shows than ever before. In the end we reached 542 reviews, mostly in London, but we also had lots of Edinburgh Fringe coverage, some books and films, and a few regional reviews.
Another target was to achieve 66,000 website visitors. We realised it wasn’t a big number, but we felt six thousand in most months was a reasonable aim. We didn’t just pass this, we smashed it out of the park! Since we started the site in 2011, we’d only surpassed 10,000 monthly visitors on four occasions. In 2022, we passed it five times! In fact, August, September, October and November were the best four months for visitors ever.
So, this got us thinking. What could we do in 2023 to build on this success? And more importantly, how could we turn these great numbers into better ways to achieve what we’ve always said our core aim should be: promoting fringe theatre and encouraging more people along to see some of the incredible shows going on week in week out all across not just London but the country? On went the thinking caps.
Firstly, reviews are always going to be at the heart of everything we do. So for 2023, we are targeting 600 reviews, with at least 500 at London theatres. It’s not a massive increase on 2022, but we don’t want to be greedy. It means if each of our 50 reviewers did just 10 shows each, we’d already reach our objective.
Our visitor target for the website clearly needs to be much bigger than 2022’s 66,000. We really hope we can make 10,000 a regular monthly occurrence now, so we thought we’d set a new target of 136,000. That’s made up of 12,000 for February to November, then 8,000 for January and December, which are always a little quieter.
Then one area we really want to build upon are our interviews, which are really helpful for emerging artists in particular to platform their work. We published 71 written interviews and 46 podcast interviews in 2022, but we reckon we can do more. So in 2023 we want to do 100 written interviews and 50 podcasts (one a week really is our limit on these for now, they are slightly time consuming!).
We also want to publish lots of feature articles; in fact, this is the first of 26 individual features we have planned. They will come out every other Tuesday (hopefully) covering a whole host of topics, such as asking what fringe theatre actually is to whether ‘plus one’s are an important thing to offer reviewers or not. Then we’re working on a couple of feature series which we’ll tell you all about soon.
And as if that wasn’t already plenty, we want to open up our site for creatives to get more involved, with one-off guest posts and even some more regular articles about what goes into bringing a play to the stage. We reckon this could really give people a better insight into the life of some of our wonderful theatre makers.
2023 is going to be an even bigger year than 2022. Which is great, but to make it happen, we really need more help. So, if you want to get involved, whether that is by reviewing, helping with social media or some of the features, becoming an editor, or even working on our website, then get in touch. We love that we’re a place for people of all abilities and experience, where writers can develop their skills whilst seeing some great theatre. And it looks great on your CV, which can be a lovely help if you’re job hunting!
We hope this is a nice little taste of what’s to come in the next 12 months. And if it has whetted your appetite, we would love to hear from you.
If you are interested in getting involved in any way, just drop us a line via the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.