Activity design

Designing activities around audience needs is a recipe for success.

Activities work best when they are built around what the target audience wants or needs. This is particularly important when trying to connect with people who aren’t usually active. It helps us to avoid pitfalls that we might not see coming. And it gives them a reason to be engaged from the start.

Understanding audience needs is crucial to developing a project that people want to engage with.

Sport England, Tackling Inactivity

Understanding your audience

Learning about target audiences helps us to create activities that work for them. You can start with research such as:

Then try chatting to people you want to work with. If you don’t yet have direct contact with your target audience then find a group that does. This can lead to exciting new partnerships and ways of working.

Co-production can be big or small, but the one thing it should never be is tokenistic.

Emma Dovener, Youth Project Manager

Working with them

Working with your target audience to design activities can take longer. But you end the process with a ready-made audience. Before you start, ask yourself “am I ready to do things differently?”

Your audience might not want to meet where you regularly hold your sessions. Or they might want to meet at a different time of day. Listen and learn from what they’re telling you and work on solutions together. This will make it easier and more attractive for them to take part.

Mastering the design principles

We worked with The Behavioural Architects to create a guide to Activity Design for Vulnerable Young People. You can download it at the bottom of this page.

Sport England has also published design principles for Tackling Inactivity and a guide to creating This Girl Can experiences. Use these guides to help you develop activities that inspire more people to be active for life.

Sport England, Tackling Inactivity

This detailed PDF guide walks you through 10 design principles for tackling inactivity.

Visit site

This Girl Can

Sign up to the Supporters Hub to learn how to create This Girl Can activities for women.

Visit site

Related content

Insight guides

Boost your confidence and knowledge with our insight guides.

co-production being used by youth group

The Importance of Co-Production

Emma, talks about what co-production is and how you can do it.

Energise YOUth Funding

Partner with us to fund activities to get young people active.

Our Partners

Helping us tackle inactivity to boost health and happiness

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get energising ideas direct to your inbox