Slover Linett's e-newsletter about audiences and culture—from the arts to informal science learning.


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!

What's New?
March 08, 2010

Slover Linett to Lead Arts & Business Council Workshop on Using Audience Data

The March 30 session in Chicago will help arts professionals learn how to take a data-driven approach to developing marketing strategies. Registration is now open. More »
March 05, 2010

New Cultural Clients in Chicago, St. Louis

We’re proud to welcome two highly respected arts institutions to the Slover Linett family this week: the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. More »
February 10, 2010

Writing the Book on Institutional Research

A chapter in the forthcoming Handbook for Institutional Research will be co-written by Slover Linett senior associate Bill Hayward and Northwestern University’s Rachelle Brooks. More »

March 04, 2010

Layoffs in Cincinnati underscore the darker side of the museum financial picture

Yesterday’s announcement of cuts at the Cincinnati Art Museum reminds us not to get cocky about an economic recovery any time soon. It also highlights the need for more rethinking and risk. More »
February 19, 2010

What can museums learn from “club classical”?

Art, science, and history museums are almost synonymous with their physical, institutional spaces and the conventions associated with them. Until recently, you could have said the same thing about classical music. More »
February 12, 2010

Letting their hair down, awkwardly

Yale’s already-infamous musical admissions video shows how easy it is for institutions to come across as old fashioned even when they’re using new media. More »

Slover Linett is a research & assessment firm for the cultural sector, broadly defined. From art museums to dance companies to zoos, we help institutions become more successful by understanding their audiences. We do it through rigorous research and evaluation...More »

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