The Culture Metrics workshop 1

A big thank you to all the brilliant people who joined us for our first workshop this week! We had a very stimulating afternoon and it was great to meet you all.

The workshop consisted of four parts: First, Franzi gave an introduction to the literature review, followed by breakout discussions and a group feedback session. Finally, Sarah and Julian provided us with a very exciting preview of the next workshop, which will take place on the 16th March. Sarah has posted a comment on her impressions of the day below. If you are interested in the lit review, please feel free to download the sheet with our sources and the slides of the presentation.

Over the course of the afternoon, we discussed the following questions:
•Does your organisation use different kinds of data in order to judge ‘quality’? What are the advantages or disadvantages of working with different sets of data?
•Does the public like to give your organisation feedback? Are there ways in which you get more feedback than in others (eg online survey vs paper survey, etc)?
•Have you changed your data gathering approach in the past 12 months at all? Do you think this might happen in the near future? Why?

It became clear very quickly that due to the great diversity of our workshop attendees their personal experiences in the above areas differed considerably, contributing to a wealth of rich discussions. However, it also surprised some of the participants to find similar practices in culture forms which they had felt were very different to their own. Questionnaires seemed to be the most common way in which organisations gathered audience feedback, but there was some discussion about the nature of the included questions.

Popular questions, to which representatives of a wide range of culture were able to relate, included: 'What does the audience experience feel like?' and 'Have we achieved what we wanted to achieve?'. Spontaneous audience response (such as clapping and body language) were also mentioned repeatedly. Many attendees mentioned social media as a good medium to engage with the audience and several people hoped to increase their organisation's understanding and use of twitter in particular. There seemed to be a sense that 'voluntary' feedback, which the audience produced in their own time, might provide the most reliable feedback. 

Overall, the group discussion was lively and critical and many attendees felt that they had encountered ideas and practices which might benefit their own organisation.

If you are interested in joining us for our second workshop, which will take place on the 16th March in Manchester, please don't hesitate to get in touch via franziska.florack@manchester.ac.uk. Our next topic is going to be the gathering and use of data in cultural organisations.