Survey Methodology

A quick guide to the survey methodologies offered through Audience Finder to help you choose what works best for you.

1. E-survey

This methodology may require box office information or members of staff or volunteers to collect email addresses from bookers at the point of sale and/or at the point of exit, throughout the year. It's recommended that surveys are sent out reasonably close to the time of collection so that bookers will have recently engaged with the organisation's offer and will be able to remember their visit more accurately.

When using box office information to send out the survey you may want to consider sampling your audience to avoid survey fatigue from your more regular attendees.

Organisations are advised to conduct their audience surveys using a standard e-survey in the cases where footfall or experience type make it difficult to conduct face-to-face surveys e.g. theatre events.

Pros Cons
Face-to-face (paper, tablet) - Gives good quality data

- Most likely to provide a representative sample

- Can provide staff/volunteers with useful transferable skills

- Response rates are known during the event
- Fieldworkers require research and interviewer training

- Not appropriate for all events

- Data entry can be time-consuming
E-survey - Cheaper and quick

- Can include a higher number of questions than the face-to-face survey

- No survey response data entry required
- Low response rate (max 20/25%)

- Sample likely to be biased, unless completion of the e-survey is incentivised

- Time required to set up email send out


2. Face-to-face with paper surveys

This methodology is interviewer led and requires organisations to recruit and manage their own fieldworkers to administer the questionnaire.


In order to ensure a large and representative sample, the survey responses should be collected consistently throughout your full year of programming. This approach works well for organisations that have a steady flow of visitors, giving fieldworkers a larger sample frame within which to conduct the surveys. It may be less appropriate for organisations whose audience members often arrive and leave at the same time, minimising the opportunity to carry out the surveys.

Surveys collected will have to be inputted into your online portal found on the Audience Finder dashboard; this can take longer than you expect and will need to be allocated a reasonable amount of time.

3. Face-to-face with online tablet (requires reliable wifi)

To save time on data entry some organisations choose to use tablets for collecting surveys face to face.

You can use a browser to open the data entry link on the tablet and enter the responses directly into the link as you go - removing the need for storing and entering paper responses after the event. For this, you will need a reliable wifi connection in the areas in which your fieldworkers are active.

4. Face-to-face with offline tablet (no wifi required)

To save time on data entry some organisations choose to use tablets for collecting surveys face to face.

If you don’t have onsite wifi, you can still use your tablet to collect surveys. However, you'll need a Snap Mobile app, which The Audience Agency licence. The Audience Agency provide you with a login and your survey will be pre-loaded into the application. Using the app, you can collect responses even when out of wifi range, then sync them up with the Audience Finder system once back within range of an internet connection at the end of the shift.

Premium: Mixed methodology

If you think more than one methodology would work for you and you want to boost your sample using two types of survey, you can choose two of the above methodologies for £ 250 + VAT.


Download Survey Methodologies as a PDF