Creative ways of collecting audience feedback
As part of a commitment to gathering audience feedback, partner festivals have supported their traditional survey techniques with new innovative ways of engaging with audiences and to elicit their opinions, including chalkboards and ambassadors collecting vox pops in the first round and online and social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogs, etc.
The Big Feast Bingo, Appetite Stoke
For the Big Feast Festival, Appetite’s flagship event, Ambassadors developed a scheme to record which shows audiences had seen on the day. The aim was to create a fun and engaging activity, different to formal data collection methods. Audiences were given The Big Feast Bingo cards to complete, indicating which shows they had seen, and also had the opportunity to comment on what they had seen. Feedback suggested that audiences enjoyed this idea, and Appetite felt that the concept had potential to be developed further. Other partner festivals have expressed an interest in using this at their own festivals.
Many festivals made use of chalk boards as an informal, immediate, and fun opportunity to have a photo taken and leave a comment, which proved popular with audiences across the festivals.
Talkaoke table, Birmingham Hippodrome Summer in Southside
Ambassadors of Birmingham Hippodrome received training in innovative ways of gathering audience feedback- using a Talkaoke Table to encourage audiences to talk about what they had seen. Designed by The People Speak, Talkaoke is a battery powered table with built in speakers and microphone. A host facilitates discussion in a creative and constructive way, allowing people to voice opinions and share ideas. The training that the Ambassadors received focussed on confidence building exercises that established each host’s performance style and helped develop the techniques that are fundamental to operating Talkaoke. In order to engage with the public attending Summer in Southside, the Festival Ambassadors were programmed into the festival to perform Talkaoke and Tea, using the table to encourage post-show discussions. The public were encouraged to choose the topics for discussion and were eager to discuss the themes embedded within the performance, which varied from the aggressive nature of sport, the quality of touch and its physical and emotional resonance, to our perceptions of the high street. These discussions were enhanced by the performing artists who joined in with the discussions. By inviting audiences to share a dialogue with the artists they gained an insight that stretched beyond simply watching the performance.
Rhythmanalysis by Artizani
This was introduced to ATN partners at the 2018 training session, as a means to analyse the movement of audiences on a festival site and gathering overall audience numbers at specific activities during the event. The approach also provides organisers with time-lapse footage, which can be used for marketing and advocacy materials. Several of the ATN partners commissioned this analysis in 2018 and the overall footage will be compared for future developments.
A vox pop bike, was created by Artizani after conversations with the WW management team to be used alongside the above mentioned Rhythmanalysis. The bike is fitted with a camera and seat for audience members, who are asked questions about the festival whilst being driven around the site by an actor in costume. Three of the ATN partners booked the bike at their 2018 festivals and received valuable qualitative data for their evaluations, marketing and advocacy.
Additional creative approaches to Data collection
In March 2018 Without Walls organised a one-day workshop to encourage ATN partners to consider a variety of creative data collection methods, which allow to address perceived gaps in the information gathered about their audiences. The workshop was delivered by The Audience Agency, with two creative sessions held by DOINK and James Macpherson from Artizani.