Tips from the first AIM Visitor Verdict Results Workshop

“I wish I’d collected more email addresses” was the overwhelming response from the 14 representatives of museums and heritage sites who attended the first AIM Visitor Verdict Results workshop, as they discovered the huge range of insights that Visitor Verdict can give into every element of the visitor experience.

Sites with larger numbers of completed surveys were able to look at their results in even more detail, identifying the differences in visitors’ experience depending on their motivation to visit, whether they had children in their party or whether this was their first visit, for instance.

AIM Visitor Verdict is an online visitor research and benchmarking tool, which is free for all AIM members to use. Museums collect email addresses from visitors who are then sent an online survey. The museum can log into the results website and see their data benchmarked against other similar types of museums as well as trends over time.

Visitor Verdict’s particular strengths are:

  • The low burden on the museum in participating with little time required and no cost
  • The benchmarking which makes it clear which elements of your results are significant

The workshop was organised by BDRC Continental and AIM to help sites in the early stages of using Visitor Verdict understand more about how it can help them, as well as to address any questions or problems on the practical elements of collecting email addresses and using the system.

Steve Mills of BDRC shared some of the ways that Visitor Verdict can help museums focusing on four areas:

  1. How to generate more income
  2. Marketing and communications
  3. Improving the visitor experience
  4. Fundraising, investment and advocacy

Click here for more details about how Visitor Verdict helped in these four areas.

The museums then worked in groups to look at how they could use their own data to explore some of these issues. The AIM and BDRC team were on hand to help with tips and guidance.

Some overall things that the museums took away from the workshop were:

  • Keep collecting the email addresses – Visitor Verdict can tell you so much more if you have a good sample size of completed surveys.
  • Use the benchmarking section first to highlight areas of concern compared to similar museums.
  • Use the filters to further analyse problem areas to see if the results change by type of visitor, when they visit or for other reasons.
  • Share what you’re learning with other staff and volunteers so they can see how the email addresses are helping and feel even more motivated to keep collecting them.
  • Try collecting email addresses during the visit or at the end of a visit rather than on arrival when there’s already lots to tell visitors.

The team at BDRC are always happy to answer any questions about getting set up with Visitor Verdict or about what results mean. Contact amy.randle@bdrc-continental.com

Please also email Amy if you would be interested in attending a future Visitor Verdict Workshop, if you’d like to host one in your area or if you would be interested in joining a webinar.

If you haven’t signed up for Visitor Verdict yet, you still can – go to www.AIMVisitorVerdict.com

If you aren’t a member of AIM it costs between £40 and £95 depending on the size of your museum, and Visitor Verdict is then free to use. Joining information can be found on www.aim-museums.co.uk

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