The pandemic continues to create uncertainty and a 2nd national lockdown is forcing arts organisations to again put their physical experiences on hold. But that doesn't mean that all activity grinds to a halt. In fact we feel that now, more than ever, fully understanding the opinions, needs and attitudes of audiences towards your offer is vital to becoming fully audience-centred in the world to come. To help you effectively prepare for the months ahead, we recommend keeping these five key tips in mind when designing your 20/21 Audience Finder survey.


  1. Clarify your key audience insight priorities carefully in advance: What do you really want to know from your audiences during this period to help your insight? Focusing on two or three key areas in addition to the core questionnaire can help you ensure that you are only asking what is needed. This will also prompt you to plan ahead to how you are actually going to use this insight. If your survey feels too long, or you need support in selecting questions based on your needs, our team can help. To start selecting your priorities, have a look through our full premium questions list that includes a new question set relating to considerations around COVID-19. 
  2. Select the correct survey methodology for your organisation: Ensuring that you are collecting data in the right way for your organisation has always been important - but added complexities around health and safety and data protection measures means there's more to consider than ever. We would recommend using e-surveys where possible to avoid physical interaction. Alternatively you can use two methodologies (referred to as 'mixed methodologies') combining an on-site e-survey with a QR code, that audiences can be directed to by your front of house team, with an e-survey. You may also wish to use different methodologies across your sites or spaces. 
  3. Ensure the front of house team is fully trained on processes and understands your fundamental objectives: If undertaking e-surveys is not possible and physical collection within your venue is required, then ensuring your front of house team understands the reasoning behind your survey objectives, how the results will be used, and how they can safely collect this in accordance with national guidelines is essential. It is important that they are able to explain all of this to respondents if asked. For physical collection, keep the interaction brief, with a shorter question set - use other options (as above) if you want to do longer surveys. You can undertake more than one 20/21 survey with a longer question set if you wish for an additional £250.00.
  4. If you are undertaking physical collection, offer a means of self-completion for respondents: Using an on-site survey on their own smartphone devices, i.e. via a shortened web address, or QR code linked survey allows audiences to complete surveys without physical interaction and directly after their visit, while it's fresh in their minds. When well facilitated by the front of house team, this can ensure a higher response rate whilst keeping interaction to a minimum. 
  5. Consider what you can learn about your digital audiences: Many organisations have found during lockdown that communicating with audiences digitally has greatly increased, and opened new opportunities for, engagement. For some, it has fundamentally changed the thinking around how they use digital technology as organisations. Even once physical audiences can return, gathering insight on digital engagers in order to improve your online offer/ and communications can help to encourage and facilitate these in-person visits. Our new digital audience survey can help you to explore these options.


Please allow up to 10 working days for our team to set up your survey during this time. Survey requests can be made via your Audience Finder Survey dashboard by selecting 'Start a new survey'. You can always contact support@theaudienceagency.org for further guidance.