This month, we explored the theme ‘Using the Toolkit at Outdoor and Unticketed Events’ in our thematic webinar series. Festivals and outdoor arts events can have a wide range of positive impact, including:

  1. Strengthening community relationships and other partnerships
  2. Widening the reach of the arts
  3. Creating networking opportunities for industry professionals

If outdoor or non-venue-based events are a crucial part of your programme, it’s important that you choose an appropriate way to evaluate them in order to understand the impact your work has had on those who experienced it. In this blog post we will be looking specifically at the distribution and collection of public surveys.

Collecting survey responses can be more complex at outdoor and unticketed events, which is why we’d like to share some of our key tips for evaluating events in less traditional contexts.

Bearing in mind that the Culture Counts platform requires an internet connection in order to record survey responses, here are a few survey distribution methods you might consider:


1. Interviewers

The benefits:

  • Opportunity to gather more qualitative feedback from visitors
  • Develop relationships with the community
  • Offer work experience/training to volunteers

Try placing volunteers on site to collect survey responses from visitors; this is a chance for your organisation to engage in conversation with visitors and to observe their body language and behaviours. We always suggest carrying a little notebook to jot down any additional notes from your conversations. This qualitative data will complement the data collected through your surveys, providing deeper insight. Having real conversations with visitors can also help them to feel more connected to your organisation. Additionally, whether your volunteers are looking to break into the arts sector, to meet new people, or to develop themselves professionally, interviewing gives them an opportunity to develop their skills.

For more advice on engaging interviewers, read our guidance here.

Note: Make sure your interviewers’ tablets are set up using the right survey link. On the Configuration page of your public survey, be sure to select ‘Interviewer’ as one of your survey delivery methods; provide your interviewers with the ‘Interview’ link from the survey’s Summary page. This link enables you to take more than one response per device.


2. QR Codes (Quick Response Codes)

QR code exampleBenefits:

  • Collect multiple survey responses at once
  • Less resource-heavy
  • Easy access for the visitor

QR codes are barcodes that, when scanned by a smartphone camera, take you to a specific website – In this case, use a survey’s QR code to direct visitors to your survey. You can display the code anywhere, such as on posters or cards. Any user can be given a QR code for a Culture Counts survey; please get in touch if you would like to be given your code.

QR codes are a less resource-heavy option which allows your audience to use their own devices, and enables you to collect an unlimited number of responses simultaneously. Of course, you will only be able to capture responses from a particular demographic who own smartphones; however, it could be a good idea to use QR codes alongside other survey delivery methods. For example, you could have QR codes displayed around the site as well interviewers collecting survey responses on tablets.


3. Paper Surveys

Culture Counts is a digital platform, however, in certain instances we understand that this is not appropriate. Please see our paper survey guidance for more detail about whether or not paper surveys are appropriate for your event and how to arrange for a paper survey to be set up. You will need to create your evaluation and surveys within the Culture Counts platform as usual, and then get in touch.


4. Postcards & Social Media

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Share your survey with audiences by displaying the QR code or URL on a printed postcard or in a social media post. Postcard advertisements can be relatively low-budget and can be used to display the online URL for the survey, or the QR code. For example, you could hand out a postcard as people are leaving the event, for visitors to complete the survey later. If you’re distributing the survey on social media, include the survey in a post specific to the event, rather than on your bio, to help make sure that you’re addressing the survey to people who actually attended the event.

You could of course use this postcard to advertise any other elements of your organisation including upcoming works or experiences, or links to social media.


5. Use an Online Survey Later

Outdoor and unticketed events can be a great place to encourage people to sign up to your organisation’s mailing list. If someone chooses to register, also ask if they would be happy to receive a one-off survey about the event. Once you’re back at your desk, you will be able to send these people your standard Online public survey. This way, not only are you fostering engagement with the public, but you’re also maximising on your potential for collecting survey data.

We hope you’ve found these tips useful; if you’d like to share any tips that have worked for your organisation, please get in touch!


Image Credit 1: Maxime Bhm via Unsplash

Image Credit 2: NeONBRAND via Unsplash