How do you know that you are successful?
It is an important question – and one that, unfortunately, many organizations never ask themselves. Yes, you have a great mission. Yes, you have a great space and cutting-edge offerings. And, yes, you have a wonderful, energized, and talented staff. But how do you actually know that you are succeeding? For museums, nature centers, and interpretive sites, how do you actually know that your visitors are enjoying, utilizing, and truly engaging with your exhibits? Which exhibits are the most successful? And which, perhaps, are not working?
Unfortunately many of our clients are short on staff, short on time, and short on the necessary resources to properly evaluate their exhibits. They simply lack the personnel or the means to study whether their offerings are a success, since they are small organizations allocating all of their time to the ever-important tasks of operating a site and running programs. Far too often, simply due to the realities of their situations, exhibits are built and then not evaluated. They might be successful – they might not be – and the organization can only guess anecdotally whether visitors are truly engaging with the exhibits.
Realizing this, we at Taylor Studios have started an Exhibit Evaluation and Visitor Studies program, through which we will help our clients accurately measure the success of their exhibits. We have created a unique program perfectly suited to interpretive sites that have small staffs and limited resources. Working with our clients, we guide them through simple evaluation techniques and help them analyze what it means. This is our first time wading into this effort, and we just kicked off the program with little fanfare in June. By September we’ll have our first batch of data, helping our clients truly learn how impactful their many exhibits are!
We’ll leave you with just a few of the benefits that evaluation can offer:
- You will see if your exhibits are actually being enjoyed by your visitors.
- You will have a chance to measure your reach – how many people visit your exhibit, from where, with whom, etc.
- You will get detailed statistics and reports to supply to your board, to your community, and to possible funders. You will be able to prove how well your organization does!
- You will get to learn more about your audience!
Any questions? Give us a call at (217) 893-4874 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.