How Evaluation Informs Programming: Craft Victoria

News : 7 September 2018
Troy Emery, lilac layabout, pink bandit beast, second lump, 2018. Photo: Fred Kroh.

How can collecting audience research support programming decisions? Following the 2018 Craft Cubed Festival we chatted with Craft Victoria’s Public Programs Manager Gemma Jones about how evaluation supports programming direction and provides a critical tool for internal reflection.

“Using the Culture Counts platform helps us understand how we are delivering programming that connects our community and delivers engagement for Craft Victoria”, Jones stated.

Jones explained that insights gained through their research will support internal discussions around programming and funding.

“The insights we gain reinforce our programming decisions and provide an understanding of the wider community benefit. However, the real benefit for me as a program manager is in conveying and evaluating the effectiveness of our programs internally. Often a natural disconnect occurs between traditional measures of success and the daily impact of programming you witness when you're on the ground delivering events and having in-depth conversations with audience members”.

Often the intrinsic value of an event is difficult to quantify through ticket sales alone and as Jones attests, “research insights bridge this gap and assist the team to look at the value beyond the budget”.

Craft Victoria surveyed festival attendees as well as conducting peer and self-evaluations. This helped them to capture, analyse and report on the Craft Cubed Festival experience and the outcomes for attendees, then compare this data with their internal expectations and perceptions of the program. By capturing data over time and using standardised dimensions, Craft Victoria gain a long-term perspective on the impact their programming is having.

“It’s an important measure and provides clear benefits to assist me with programming next year’s Craft Cubed Festival. The platform helps foster a richer dialogue around the value of our programming”, Jones concludes.

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