Event audience research

Do you want the registrations to update? Finding your target audiences starts by drive more individuals to your program. Whether your objective is to reach younger audiences or to ensure that individuals return annually, public study and segmentation are a critical strategic move.
Not only will we contribute to bringing more individuals to the gate, but we will also share a message experience that will resonate with them.
What are the main uses of audience research?
To report to funders, supporters, board
To record what happened
To test new ideas and inform future plans
To generate evidence to support decision-making processes
To be able to respond to changing circumstances more quickly.

Methods of data collection
There are various study techniques to learn more about your audience and/or event, and each technique has its advantages and disadvantages. It is always suggested that people with skills in studies should be advised to guarantee that the methodology used is robust and that the information generated are relevant and useful. Some are more complicated and resource intensive than others and some are only suitable for certain uses.

Think always of what you have to demonstrate–do you need solid figures and numbers or a rounded opinion that can take you to fields that you had not taken into consideration? There are strengths and weaknesses for each technique, so we have developed the following key to assist you think of what works best for your event:
Staff resources – do you have enough staff members or volunteers to carry this out?
Access issues – is it compatible with an open and representative access policy?

Face-to-face audience surveys Interviewer-led questionnaires, either using an agency or trained
Follow-up e-survey Collect email addresses on the day and send a link to an e-survey shortly after.
Mini interviews Very short interviewer-led questionnaires, either using an agency or trained festival staff/volunteers.
Vox pops Audio or video recording quick interviews to get immediate impressions/impacts.
Documentation Collecting images and anecdotes in e.g. a scrapbook.
Postcards Capturing data in a small number of questions.

Mystery Shoppers Pre-recruited researchers go ‘undercover’ to test your festival, and feedback using a structured form.
Headcount Use clickers or stickers to count audience members.

Comments books, letters, word of mouth
Focus groups Meet with audience members following the Event.

Pros
• Gives a lot of depth, so you may find out about issues you’d not previously considered • Give a vivid picture of the audience experience
Cons
• Need to be held soon after the Event
• Need to spend time recruiting at the Event
• Groups may be made up of more engaged audience members, so not necessarily truly representative of your audience
• Expensive and time-consuming
• Requires skilled facilitation, usually best done by a specialist.

Observations Record what audience members do at your event, and how they engage with the content.
Pros
• Gives an indication of how the audience actually acted, rather than what they reported they did Cons
• Analysis can be time consuming
• Doesn’t tell you why the audience acted in a certain way particularly important things to bear in mind: Gathering sensitive data means it’s vital to reassure people about confidentiality.
• Ensure an inclusive approach that doesn’t systematically omit any groups.
• When using questionnaires, use recognized standard categories.

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