Audience Research and Evaluation

Lessons Learned from Five Decades of Experience in Visitor Studies

American Alliance of Museums

The Alliance provides a handout from its 2013 annual meeting, which includes first-hand accounts of lessons learned in visitor studies including advocating for quality visitor experiences, conducting visitor evaluation and carrying out visitor research in museums.

Making Evaluation Practices Work in Real-Time

American Alliance of Museums

The Alliance provides a handout from its 2013 annual meeting, which offers a glimpse of how some projects and organizations are integrating evaluative thinking and practices into their daily work and product development processes. The session handouts focus on sharing different ways of facilitating learning and evaluation capacity-building, with an emphasis on sharing the products of those labors.

Sample Documents

American Alliance of Museums

AAM provides Tier 3 museum members with sample evaluation materials.

Unintentional Lessons from Visitor Surveys

American Alliance of Museums

The Alliance provides a handout from its 2013 annual meeting, which explains the process of implementing a survey to provide insight into who visitors are and how they want to communicate with the institution. The session provided group discussion and problem-solving of scenarios.

Welcoming Guidelines for Museums

American Alliance of Museums, LGBTQ Alliance (Professional Network)
The LGBTQ Alliance shares guidelines intended to provide institutions and members of the museum community with a series of parameters, which they may consider when assessing how to provide the LGBTQ community—staff, visitors, management, and allies from all fields—with a welcoming experience. (PDF, 64 pages)

Guiding Principles for Evaluators and the Educational Evaluation Standards

American Evaluation Association

American Evaluation Association presents its Guiding Principles for Evaluators and the Educational Evaluation Standards developed by a joint committee.

Resource Center: Visitor Studies

Association of Science-Technology Centers

Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) has resources on visitor studies, including articles and abstracts of front-end studies.

Voices from the Museum: Qualitative Research Conducted in Europe’s National Museums

European National Museums Jocelyn Dodd, Ceri Jones, Andy Sawyer & Maria-Anna Tseliou
In this 2012 working paper (EuNaMus WP6), the authors present findings of qualitative research on how six European museums are aiding in creating European cohesion.

Basic Guide to Program Evaluation (Including Outcome Evaluation)

Free Management Library

Free Management Library provides guidance on planning and implementing an evaluation process for programs. The resource includes information about collecting information, evaluation planning, reporting results and common pitfalls to avoid.

Point K: Practical Tools for Planning, Evaluation, and Action

Innovation Network

Innovation Network presents the Point K Learning Center, an online workbook that allows users to build an evaluation plan. Registration (free) is required.

Wallace Studies in Building Arts Audiences

The Wallace Foundation

The Wallace Foundation shares a number of case studies based on its popular Road to Results series. These case studies include rich examples examining ways in which the Wallace’s supported arts organizations conducted research and used that information to shape audience building.

Visitor Studies Manual

Wendy Meluch
Created for the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) as a part their Deepen the Participation of Museum Visitors, Donors and Stakeholders project, this evaluation resource tool provides an outline and description of how to conduct visitor surveys.

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