Measuring engagement pt II

Arts Professional: Essential Audiences 30 June 2008

More about measuring engagement
I have found myself thinking a lot recently about how cultural organisations can measure the way that audiences, visitors and participants experience what they have to offer. It all started when I discovered that Scottish arts organisations had asked a session on measuring public engagement at the Scottish Cultural Forum in February. We’re clearly interested but, as I said in my article in March, what we tend to measure is what we think they ought to be doing and feeling.
Researchers in Australia looked at the impact of pre-performances talks on audiences’ enjoyment and their confidence in interpreting the dancework. The only difference between audience members who had been to the pre-show talk and those who had not was that their interpretation of the piece more closely matched the intentions of the choreographer. They didn’t feel any more confident and rated their enjoyment in a similar way. So, pre-show talks are not an effective tool for audience development unless our goal is to ensure the audience thinks like us. What made the difference was the time spent after the performance thinking about and discussing what they had seen as part of the research methodology. The researchers suggest that post-performance discussions where the audience gets to do the talking rather than listens to an expert would work much better…
View full article as PDF document.
View full article as word document.

Comments are closed.