Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Conversation II: Feedback

This week, my company held a workshop production of a new movement work called Syzygy. Because the piece was a workshop, we held feedback sessions after each. Rather than being an artist-directed Q+A, it was a great experience of directing questions toward the audience and hearing surprisingly cogent, helpful feedback on design elements and movement choices.

But I started wondering about something, probably because I've been working on a report on The Search for Shining Eyes. That report includes an analysis of the research conducted by Audience Insight LLC about Americans' relationships to classical music. Specifically, the research was an in-depth look not at the audience that attends orchestra evenings, but at the audience that doesn't.

How do we reach the people who aren't coming to see our events without a market research staff behind our backs? Or even, how do we entice those who come to our shows and then sneak away. Our group has a Facebook Page and a twitter feed, and we always ask for feedback/reactions/discussion. Nobody does. Our Facebook page has the potential to be a conversation between our company and our audience, and I don't think it isn't happening because we aren't there--the moment we could get even one response to talk we'd have a discussion going. Instead, our Facebook is just another RSS feed to help you find out about events.

I'm going to keep stewing on this one. It seems very important. After all, we blab about "community" and etc. but if we can't get our audience to talk to us, then unless we pin them down and force them to speak we might lose opportunities to connect.


Charlie said...

Maybe there is a way to provide incentives for feedback in order to encourage that kind of behavior. For example you could ask a specific targeted question and then provide some kind of coupon or discount for the first 5 responses. It wouldn't have to be a long term solution, but could start to spark the discussions you are looking for.

August Schulenburg said...

This is something Flux has been working hard at, and we solicited comments about our recent show, The Lesser Seductions of History. We've had 17 responses posted, which is good, and many of the responses are detailed and thoughtful, which is even better. However, those 17 comments represent an exceedingly small sample of our total audience, so it really is just a start. http://fluxtheatreensemble.blogspot.com/2009/11/audience-response-to-lesser-seductions.html