Tag Archives: survey

Museums at Night: your next steps!

Wow, we’re still reeling from the terrific impact that this year’s Museums at Night festival had – now it’s time to assess that. Here’s how you can help!

People sitting outdoors under bunting listening to a band

Listening to the band at Beamish Open Air Museum. Photo shared by Beamish Museum on Instagram

Venue Survey

If you ran a Museums at Night event, please take 5 minutes to tell us how many visitors came, what worked well and what you think we could improve for next year by filling in our Venue Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FMBHLNG

Visitor Survey

If you visited a Museums at Night event, we’d really like your feedback on it! Please take a few minutes to fill in our Visitor Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VH5RH2C

Printed forms

If you put out printed visitor survey forms during your Museums at Night event, please post the completed ones back to me:

Rosie Clarke
Office 4, 28 Kensington St

Next year’s dates for your diary

Museums at Night next year will run from Thursday 14 – Saturday 16 May 2015, so please put the dates in your calendar now!

Visitor surveys for Museums at Night 2014 evaluation

With just over two weeks to go until the Museums at Night festival, we’re keen to capture visitor feedback at events.

a group of people around tables at an outdoor museum

Visitors prepare to enjoy a hog roast in the grounds of Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum (image courtesy of the museum)

We’ve selected a range of venues to put out our usual paper visitor survey forms during their Museums at Night event, for visitors to fill out in person.

We’re also trialling the use of flyers at some venues, which ask visitors to fill in the survey online – and we’re asking some venues to use both paper forms and flyers.

The same prizes, included a limited-edition signed print from Modern Toss, can be won by visitors who fill in the surveys online and on paper – we’re interested to see whether the way we ask them for feedback makes a difference to the number of responses we get!

We have already contacted everyone at our target survey venues, but if you’re reading this and you would like to survey the visitors at your Museums at Night events, you’re very welcome to download and use our visitor survey forms:

Download the Museums at Night visitor survey form in English (2 page Word doc)

Download the Museums at Night visitor survey form in Welsh (2 page Word doc)

If you use these forms, please post the completed forms back to the Culture24 office by Friday 30 May and we will process the data for you. The address to use is:

Rosie Clarke
Office 4, 28 Kensington Street

Museums at Night 2013 visitor surveys: free to use!

Museums at Night is now only a handful of days away, and we have a suggestion for all participating venues.

If you’re planning to survey the visitors who come along to your event, please consider either downloading and using our official visitor survey, or copying our questions to use in your survey.

These survey questions were designed by our independent evaluator, and if you do use them, we’d love to include your results in our official evaluation of the festival.

Download the official Museums at Night visitor survey here.

Once the surveys are filled in, if you’re able to, please type the responses into a spreadsheet and email it to us by Friday 24th May. If you don’t have the capacity to do this data entry, you can post your visitor survey forms to Culture24 office and we’ll process them for you.

Help us – and yourselves!

Whether or not you decide to survey your visitors, on the night of your event, there are two things your team can do that would be really helpful:

1) Count the number of visitors who come to your event

We’ll be asking every venue to send us their visitor numbers afterwards. Last year, over 120,000 visitors came along to Museums at Night events, including more than 45,000 people who were new to the venue they visited and over 5000 people who had never been to any arts or heritage venue before. It’s great to have these numbers, and we are hoping that even more people will attend Museums at Night this year.

2) Take high-resolution photos you’ll be able to use for marketing in the future

Every year we ask participating venues for images to illustrate the idea of Museums at Night, and it’s always a challenge. Pictures showing people having a good time while exploring your building and interacting with your collections are really useful. If you’re taking photos of children, be sure to ask permission from their parents or guardians. You can find guidance on photos and publicity here.

A concert taking place inside a cathedral

Evening concert in Grimsby Minster, one of several Grimsby venues taking part in Museums at Night 2013

Eight days to go … we hope you are as excited as we are!

How the Museums at Night team collect visitor data

I was recently asked how the Museums at Night team manage to collect information about the visitors who attend festival events at arts and heritage venues across the UK. We use a lot of tactics that work together to provide us with a reliable sample for evaluation purposes, so I thought I’d share them here in case they’re useful for any other organisations.

An audience sitting on bleachers to watch a show

A rapt audience watching a Victorian variety show – but how did we find out what they thought? (c) Wilderspin National School

Sampling venues

We got data from Museums at Night 2012 visitors by selecting a representative sample of different venues (large, small, arts, museum, urban, rural, doing family-friendly or adults-only events) and sending them a standard number of visitor surveys, asking them to get as many as possible completed and posted back to us.

Sharing the survey

We also published the visitor survey form online and emailed all participating venues, asking that if they surveyed their visitors, would they please use our questions. In return, we would process the data for them once we received their forms.

Sharing questions

We asked venues who wanted to write their own visitor surveys to insert our questions where they could, and to share their results data with us.

Online link

We also put up the visitor survey on Surveymonkey, and sent the link both to our Museums at Night public mailing list and to venues who wanted to direct their visitors to an online form rather than use paper ones.

Keeping data in proportion

Where we received a huge number of surveys from regional clusters, we processed them all to enable cluster evaluation, but only fed the results of a proportional number of surveys from that one area into our overall stats, so they didn’t skew the data.


As always, none of this would be possible without the help of the staff and volunteers who run Museums at Night events: we’re very grateful to everyone who takes the time to gather and share visitor data with us!

Museums at Night 2013 will begin on Thursday May 16!

We’re always interested in how arts and heritage organisations think we could improve Museums at Night in future – it’s one of our main goals to grow the festival sustainably by helping more venues to run successful events.

Following Museums at Night 2012, we surveyed not only the venues who took part, but also those who didn’t, to find out how we could break down some of the barriers to taking part.

Each year since 2009, Museums at Night has run over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nearest to International Museums Day – yet every year, out of hundreds of events, fewer than 20 take place on the Sunday night.

We asked venues whether it would be easier for them to run Museums at Night events if we started one day earlier on the Thursday, and finished with a bang on the Saturday night.  The response was very clear:

Venues that took part in 2012 Venues that didn’t take part in 2012
More likely



The same



Less likely



Venues’ comments on changing the festival start date to Thursday:

  • Public transport is better on Thursday than Sundays.
  • Easier to get staff to work overtime on Thursdays.
  • We already run our exhibition previews on Thursdays, so could double up with Museums at Night.
  • An extra week day would be a benefit as we wouldn’t want to turn down the chance of a wedding or party booking in place of holding a Museums at Night event as we are independent and need the income from the room booking.
  • Weekends are at a premium for us – we make money from private hires on Saturday nights.
  • The TV is better on Sunday night than Thursday – easier to get people coming straight from work than dragging them off the sofa.
  • For the first time we are now open every Thursday evening until 9pm, we would love to take part on a Thursday!
  • Generally, late opening during the week works better for us – the majority of people are able to visit a museum on a Saturday / Sunday anyway, and we find that staying open for longer on either of these days doesn’t really have an impact on stats. If we open late during the week though, we are more likely to get extra / new visitors.

You answered, we listened!

In response to your feedback, we’re trialling changing the festival dates for 2013. In September, we’ll be making a public announcement via a press release to the sector – but we wanted to let blog readers know as soon as possible.

Museums at Night will run from Thursday 16 – Saturday 18 May 2013.

Please mark it in your calendars now!

Two wooden doors opening

Museums at Night is all about opening doors to arts and heritage after hours. Image (c) Glasgow Women’s Library, 2011

Open survey: what are the barriers to participating in Museums at Night, and should we change the date?

Museums at Night project manager Nick and myself would like to thank all the venues who ran a Museums at Night event for giving us their feedback in the 2012 Venue Survey.

a girl in spotty pyjamas making crafts

Visitors enjoy after-hours craft activities at Norwich’s Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (c) Andi Sapey

Now we’d like to turn our attention to museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites who weren’t part of Museums at Night in 2012. Perhaps your venue has never run a Museums at Night event, or maybe you chose not to participate this year.

We’d like to know more about the main barriers to participating – lack of time, money, staff, or something else?

We’d also like to know what we could do to make it easier for you to run successful Museums at Night events – all suggestions are welcome!

Finally, and possibly most contentiously, we are considering moving the days of the Museums at Night festival. It will still take place around International Museums Day (18th May), but instead of running over Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings we are considering running over Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

We know that there are some strong feelings about this, and we don’t want to make a decision without finding out your views – so please help us shape the future of Museums at Night by filling in our 5 minute Date Change Survey!

Should we change the dates of Museums at Night? Complete our venue survey and win prizes!

Reading the responses museums and galleries have shared in the Museums at Night 2012 Venue Survey is an education as always!

Each year after the festival is over, we survey all the venues who ran an event.

As Museums at Night grows bigger each year, with more and more organisations participating, it’s very important to find out what your on-the-ground experience of running an event was like, and whether there were any points where the Culture24 team could have offered you more help or different resources.

Would you run a Museums at Night evening event on a Thursday?

This year we’re also asking whether you’d be more likely to take part again in future if Museums at Night took place on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday rather than a Friday, Saturday and Sunday as it currently does.

We need another 90 venues who ran a Museums at Night event to fill in our survey by Friday, to make the resulting data statistically valid – so please take 10 minutes to give us your thoughts about the festival here!

Finish the survey and win a prize!

If you complete the Museums at Night venue survey by Friday, you’ll be in the running to win one of 2 great prizes – a £50 Amazon voucher or a complete set of Raymond Chandler’s novels.

A stack of Raymond Chandler novels

Just look at the lovely books you could win – if you complete the survey in the next 2 days!

This fantastic set of books includes The Big Sleep; Farewell, My Lovely; The High Window; The Lady in the Lake; The Little Sister; The Long Goodbye; Playback; and Trouble is my Business – along with a very striking poster!

This prize comes courtesy of the lovely people at Penguin Books.

For the chance to win, simply complete our survey by Friday 15 June!