Catherine Rose’s Office and Pam Jarvis share guidance, information and ideas on evaluating family festival events and researching your audiences. Commissioned by the Family Arts Campaign.
Evaluation, however small-scale, can provide you with insights about the effectiveness of your activities and help you to plan events in the future. This toolkit has been put together to support evaluation of your Family Arts events, but the guidance within it can be applied to any aspect of your programme.
What is evaluation?
Evaluation is a process which enables you to judge the success and value of your work. The process involves collecting relevant evidence, then analysing and interpreting it in order to reach informed conclusions.
Robust evaluation relies on being courageous about what works and what doesn't in order to learn what successes can be built on and where there is room for improvement.
Why evaluate? The benefits to your organisation
Evaluation of your Family Arts events will help your organisation to:
- Know the extent to which your programme and your approach is effective and what you might need to adjust
- Better connect with your family audiences by understanding their priorities and values, and improve the effectiveness of your offer and communications
- Make informed choices about programming and planning, strategies and tactics, based on evidence of what actually happened during your event
- Allocate resources wisely to achieve the desired results
- Provide strong evidence to make your case to funders and stakeholders, both internal and external
What might you want to find out?
- More about your audience
For your own purposes you will want to know who came to your family events, the ages of attenders and the profile of families (e.g. ration of children to adults, extended families), where they live and how they found out about your event. This information will support your future planning for programming and marketing.
- More about your offer
If you tried something new during your event or aimed to reach a new audience you may want to ask your audience what they thought. For example: was the event at the right time of day? Was the venue easy to find and access? Did your audience feel that the event was well-described? Did it meet their expectations? Was the target age-range judged correctly? Was the pricing right? Gauging your audience's response to these questions will enable you to judge whether your work is being positioned and presented effectively.
Download the guide to read more:
Family Arts Evaluation and Audience Research Toolkit (PDF)