As the festival and event industry experiences continued growth, productions are being increasingly attended by a diverse range of attendees spanning many demographic characteristics. Whether a production is ticketed or non-ticketed, collecting and understanding attendee demographic data provides significant value to organizers in many ways.
Examples of demographic information include age, traveling party size, presence of family traveling parties, ethnicity, education level, home ownership, employment status, household income, and place of residence. Data is best collected by surveying attendees to gather response information. In order to provide a non-intrusive and positive experience for attendee survey respondents, well-designed questions must be asked at appropriate opportunities either during or after the production. The proper survey research approach is critical to the collection of accurate and reliable data.
Assembled demographic data provides insight into the best approaches for event marketing efforts. By segmenting your attendees through different demographic characteristics, target audience trends can be identified. The result is the ability to make informed decisions that most effectively allocate marketing budgets to reach specific media outlets and target audience(s). Additionally, repeated research over time can offer insight into emerging audiences, helping to identify opportunities for new marketing strategies and increased exposure. It is important to note that the demographics of your community do not necessarily reflect the demographics of your production. This is especially significant for regional and national productions attracting large segments of non-resident attendees.
Attendee demographic data is also instrumental for use in maximizing value from event sponsor partnerships. In recent years, potential sponsors are requesting to see demographic data that matches the target audience for their product or service. By collecting and presenting sponsors with demographic data from your production, it can be demonstrated that a return on sponsorship investment will be realized. This allows productions to effectively target and attract new sponsors as well as increase the value of existing sponsorship programs.
Geographically-distributed demographic data is enhanced through map visualizations. With accurate maps of your attendee characteristics, you are able to see trends in your data not seen through traditional analysis and data crunching. By integrating multiple levels of data, you can answer the most important questions about your attendees: What metropolitan area collectively has the highest household income? At what point do travel time and options negatively affect the number of attendees? Did a certain form of advertising increase the number of attendees from an area? Geographic data visualization is imperative for finding the trends that most significantly affect your audience, your sponsors, and your stakeholders.
When looking for demographic data for your production, seeking the expertise of a professional research firm provides objective, third-party, reliable data for use in strategic decision-making. Market research provides a significant return on investment for festival and event organizers that is compounded over-time.