Our Using Evidence To… recovery route-maps are designed to help you navigate your own data and The Audience Agency’s free resources to clear key hurdles for bouncing forwards.

There are many things to bear in mind now that it’s possible to start welcoming visitors back to museums and galleries. This route-map breaks down some of the key questions so that you can find what you need quickly and easily.

In particular, we’d advise those who are doing ticketing for the first time to pick a ticketing system that allows you to access the booker data: which could help you grow audiences and save money in the long run. It could also allow you to use our free tools for ticketed organisations, such as Audience Finder.

Five Key Steps to Follow:

  1. Understand your usual visitors
  2. Understand wider evidence, trends and opportunities
  3. Understand your visitors’ experience of, and response to, COVID-19
  4. (Where relevant) set up and use ticketing systems and related visitor data
  5. Monitor visitor profile, experience and feedback once they attend

1. Understand Your Usual Visitors

  • Question | How can you use your previous audience surveys (if you have them) to look at the profile, frequency and satisfaction of your visitors?
  • Evidence | Audience Finder dashboard and download of responses for more specific filtering and analysis.

  • Question | Which are your most enthusiastic attenders? Who do they attend with and what are their motivations?
  • Evidence | Audience Finder surveys: questions about satisfaction, profile, group composition and motivation.

  • Question | If you don’t have survey data, what other data sources do you have that would tell you about your visitor profile?
  • Evidence | Audience Spectrum Profiling or summary analysis. Using data from visitor books, gift aid postcode lists, event booking information, mailing lists, or daily/hourly visitor counts.

  • Question | Do you have specific insights about visitors to your reopening offer? E.g. splits of attenders to outdoor sites (such as the garden, but not house, of a stately home, or courtyard café visitors), or the relative importance, timing and profile of school/other group visits?
  • Evidence | Splits within survey results by area visited. Other operational data.

2. Understand Wider Evidence, Trends and Opportunities

  • Question | How do your visitors differ from others in the sector?
  • Evidence | Audience Finder dashboard benchmarks; Museums Audience Report; Contemporary Visual Arts Audience Report.

  • Question | What do we know about attitudes to attending again from elsewhere?
  • Evidence | Evidence Hub Resources Roundup.

3. Understand Your Visitors’ Experience of and Response to COVID-19

  • Question | When and how are they likely to reattend? What are the key factors that would affect that (e.g. mitigations that are most important to them)?
  • Evidence | Survey them yourself, or see our research services.

  • Question | What were the experiences of your digital audiences during lockdown?
  • Evidence | Digital Audience Survey.

4. Set up and Use Ticketing Systems and Related Visitor Data

Setting up ticketing and time-slots is a new challenge for many museums and galleries, but offers new opportunities for visitor insight, communications and relationship development.

The Audience Agency provides a range of products and services (including the free Audience Finder ticketing dashboard) which you may not have previously been able to benefit from. We’d recommend that you check that whatever ticketing solutions you use are compatible with Audience Finder.

  • Question | How long will booking ‘slots’ need to be? Does it vary by date/time, or group?
  • Evidence | Audience Finder surveys: metadata, questions re visit duration, group composition.

5. Monitor Visitor Profile, Experience and Feedback Once They Attend

  • Question | Which types of visitor and group types reattend first? How does that change over time?
  • Evidence | Audience Finder survey, comparisons in the Audience Finder dashboard by quarter, or download of responses and analysis by date, including Audience Spectrum profiles, previous attendance, group type.

  • Question | How satisfied are your visitors when they attend? Is this different for first-time or repeat attenders? How does it compare to before?
  • Evidence | Audience Finder survey, comparisons in the Audience Finder dashboard, including Audience Spectrum profiles, previous attendance, satisfaction; front of house staff feedback; other customer feedback processes; social media and online reviews, including sites like Tripadvisor.

  • Question | What is the likely word-of-mouth response? What may you need to change in your new configuration?
  • Evidence | Audience Finder survey download of free text response, satisfaction, likelihood to recommend.

These are just some of the many things you may want to find out: see The Audience Agency’s Bounce Forwards COVID-19 Response Hub for more suggestions, or get in touch for further advice and support about how to act on what you find out via oliver.mantell@theaudienceagency.org.

If you have suggested additions or amends, do also get in touch at the same address.

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