Visual Arts Audience Benchmarking
Audiences Wales has published a Wales-wide Benchmark Report of visitors to galleries in Wales during 2012. The report highlights the range of visitors, their motivations and behaviours, and aims to support the development of the Visual Arts sector in Wales.
Following a pilot study in 2011, thirteen galleries took part in the 2012 research project, using a standardised questionnaire to collect visitor data between July and December 2012.
The galleries that took part in the project were Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Arts Central in Barry, Bodelwyddan Castle Gallery, Craft in the Bay, Ffotogallery, Newport Museum and Art Gallery, Oriel Myrddin, Oriel Wrecsam, Cyfarthfa Castle Gallery, Wales Millennium Centre, Oriel Davies, Ruthin Craft Centre and Washington Gallery in Penarth.
While the central aims of the project were to deliver the survey and provide the galleries with an understanding of their audiences, our experience of running the pilot project in 2011 led us to appreciate that the galleries needed specific training to deliver and maximise the value of the project.
Audiences Wales therefore provided training for the gallery staff to help them understand the questionnaire and to interview visitors. We also provided training on Marketing and Audience Development and Research and Data Techniques to enable the gallery staff to use the data reports and to integrate them into their marketing planning.
Each gallery was provided with a detailed report on their visitors and a Wales Benchmark Report (below).
The reports highlight the frequency and reasons for visiting, the distance travelled, cross-over with other galleries and a number of factors that help to understand the visitors. It is anticipated that the data will create a research benchmark and help the galleries to reach new visitors.
Once the galleries had received their individual gallery reports, regional meetings were held across Wales to enable the galleries to compare their survey responses with the findings in the Wales Benchmark Report. The workshops provided an invaluable insight into the data and enabled the gallery staff to share ideas and interpretation and to develop actions as a result of Audiences Wales’ recommendations and the survey findings.