What methodologies can I choose for my Audience Finder survey?

There are a number of survey methodologies that we offer for your survey data collection. Below is a quick guide to each one to help you choose what works best for you:

Face-to-face: 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 Original dashboard; this can take longer than you expect and will need to be allocated a reasonable amount of time.

Face-to-face: tablet surveys

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

To enable data to be collected on a tablet, you’ll first need to download and install the Snap Mobile application on your device(s). This application can be found on the App Store (Apple) or Google Store (Android). The Audience Agency will provide you with a login and your survey will be preloaded into the application. The Snap Mobile app does not require wi-fi as responses are saved locally to your device. Once a tablet is back within wi-fi range, it can be synced with the online Snap server and responses uploaded to the Audience Finder Data Tools.

Post visit 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.

On-site e-survey using a QR code

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures put in place by the UK government, The Audience Agency has created an option for data collection via an on-site e-survey which audiences complete on their own smartphone devices during or just after their visit. This enables organisations to keep in-person interactions and object handling to a minimum. Signs, posters and leaflets, displayed or handed out in areas with high footfall can used to inform audiences how to access a survey. To ensure a higher level of response, staff and volunteers can facilitate this methodology by explaining the research and how to access the survey, whilst still observing social distancing and keeping interaction to a minimum.

There are many websites available to convert survey links to a QR code for free, such as this one from Snap Surveys. It is also recommended that a shortened web address is used, rather than the 57 character one supplied by TAA. There are many websites that provide this service for free, such as Bitly.

The pros and cons

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
Post visit E-survey Cheaper to resource as no staff are required to administer the survey
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
On-site E-survey (QR code) Doesn’t require audience contact information
No data entry required
Keeps in person interaction to a minimum and helps maintain social distancing
Good mobile network access is required in order for audiences to access the survey
Sample likely to be biased towards audiences that are more comfortable with accessing links through QR codes
Requires some staff/fieldworker resources to facilitate good sampling and support respondents.

Premium: Mixed methodology

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