This month we’ll spotlight a research process that we’re using more frequently these days. We call it “experience sampling,” and it’s great for understanding how non-attenders respond to your organization (which is key to lowering barriers and welcoming new audiences).
It’s also great for getting feedback from any audience segment about a new program you’ve just developed, such as an exhibition or alternative concert format.
Experience sampling is a three-part evaluation “sandwich.” First, we screen and recruit participants much the way we would for focus groups, interviewing them to learn about their perceptions and expectations of the activity or institution involved.
Then we invite them, as part of the research study, to experience that activity or institution for themselves (e.g., visit a particular museum, attend a certain concert, listen to their public radio station, etc.).
And finally, we hold focus group discussions with these participants, or interview them again, to understand how they felt about the experience.
The results can be revelatory, as arts managers and museum professionals see their institutions through the eyes of the newcomers they’re hoping to attract.
This month we’re wrapping up two experience sampling studies, one for the Minnesota Orchestra and another for The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, and planning another, for the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia.
For more information, visit our Learning Center, or give us a call with your questions.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to answer this month’s CultureQ question. And please tell a colleague about this newsletter and our blog — we’re proud of these resources and hope to share them more broadly with the field. Thanks!