Large crowd of people attending a concert with their phones in the air.

Missing Audiences - survey

The Missing Audiences survey is designed to:

  • help cultural organisations discover why some previously frequent audiences and visitors have not yet returned since Covid
  • measure overall audience confidence levels and appetite for safety measures
  • reassure audiences and visitors, and facilitate open conversation
  • give organisations the information needed to create impactful and targeted re-attendance campaigns and keep audiences at the heart of future plans

Missing Audiences is FREE to take part in, you’ll have access to your results in real time and you’ll also be part of a national benchmark, building up a picture of cultural audiences across the country for the benefit of all.

The survey is operated for organisations in Northern Ireland in association with Thrive.

There have been two research waves so far:

Wave 1: September - October 2021
Wave 2: January - February 2022

FAQs for participating organisations

What are the survey questions?

The survey questions are available to download or view via the test link:

Who should we send it to?

We recommend that you send the survey to a sample of previous bookers or visitors, some of whom HAVE returned since you reopened and some who HAVE NOT. We'll provide you with links so you can compare responses.

Depending on your usual email open rates, we recommend sending to around 4,000 - 7,000 people.

If you only have a mailing list, and aren’t sure who has re-attended, the survey is designed to ask questions to determine that, so you could send it to your full mailing list, with an appropriate covering email.

What should I say in the email?

We’ll provide you with a template email for you to use or adapt to suit your organisation - or of course you're welcome to write your own.

How long will the survey run?

We want to ensure we can get the research out as quickly as possible, so the second wave of Missing Audiences will run for 3 weeks from 31 January - 20 February 2022.

You don’t have to have taken part in Wave 1 to take part in Wave 2.

When should we send it out?

You can send out the survey whenever you like during the 3 week research period, but we recommend sending it in good time to give your audiences time to respond. You can also send a reminder email during that time if you’d like to.

How are the responses captured and how do I see my results?

We provide you with a specific link for your organisation that you will email out to customers. Once they click on this link their responses are recorded in our survey software. The results are available for you to see in real time through another link which we will send you for that purpose.

The results from your attenders are then aggregated with responses from all other organisations and used to create reports for the sector on the overall results. We will not share the responses for your individual organisation with anyone else – the results we share will always be the aggregated results so that no organisation can be individually identified.

Is there a deadline for signing up?

You can join each wave of research at any time during the collection period.

Which types of organisations can take part?

Missing Audiences is designed to be used by any kind of cultural organisation which has previously offered audiences or visitors a live in-person cultural experience - including theatres, museums, visitor attractions, touring companies, arts centres and many more!

We are currently open to organisations in the UK only. The survey is operated for organisations in Northern Ireland in association with Thrive.

If you are based elsewhere, please get in touch and we’ll see if we can help.

What are the GDPR implications?

We do not touch, or collect ANY personal data. As you send out the link in an email from your systems, we have no contact with customer email addresses, and the data that comes back into our software is NOT regarded as personal data, as there is no identifiable data in the responses.

If you, or any of your colleagues have any concerns about this, please get in touch.

Are audiences tired of filling out surveys?

Over the last 18 months audiences have been very supportive of research done by the cultural organisations they love and have given their time willingly in huge numbers when organisations have explained why their answers are so important.

We don’t think you’ll need to add an incentive to complete the survey (e.g. ‘Be in with a chance to win £100 of high street vouchers!’) but if you’d like to, you can redirect your respondents to a page on your website to collect their contact details when they’ve completed the survey. Please note that we are not able to collect contact details.

This survey is not intended to replace your post-visit surveys so if you’re able to target this only to those people who haven’t returned there shouldn’t be any crossover.