IMPACT Survey report

What is the IMPACT survey?

Arts and culture organisations across Northern Ireland have been helping us learn more with our IMPACT audience survey.

This post-visit audience survey helps us learn more about who audiences are, how they behave, why they attend and how they feel after attending a variety of artforms. We’ve named it the IMPACT Survey - Impact Measurement of People Attending Culture Today.

There is a large amount of research on the impact of cultural participation (including alleviating loneliness, promoting positive aging and inclusion), however, very little research has been done on the impact of cultural attendance. What does going to an art gallery give people, versus attending a concert or seeing a dance performance? How do various factors (like art form, age, or frequency of attendance) affect how people feel after attending something? And what other outside factors are making a difference, like the rising cost of living?

What did we find so far?

Our mini-report explores the preliminary findings from our IMPACT survey, touching on the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, audiences motivations, advance bookings and more. We’ve worked with 35 NI arts and culture organisations to gather responses from their audiences, and learn more about the impact of attendance. The final report will be published in May, but in the meantime, download the mini-report for a picture of what we’ve learned so far.

Download our Mini-Report about initial findings from our IMPACT survey

(please note figures in this report were updated on 04/04/24)

29% of NI audiences we surveyed are going to arts and cultural experiences less often as a result of the crisis. And when they do go, 38% are spending less on other things as part of the arts/culture experience.

Download our IMPACT Survey snapshot about the cost of living

Last-minute booking is an emerging trend in audience behaviour, but 74% of NI audiences we surveyed decided to go to an event as soon as they heard about it. Despite this, only 33% book their ticket more than 7 weeks before the event.

Download our IMPACT Survey snapshot about advanced booking

Audiences for regional venues are hyper-local, with 58% of them traveling less than half an hour. Regional venues’ attenders are also late decision-makers, with 28% who said they decided to visit at the last minute or fairly recently.

Download our IMPACT Survey snapshot about geography

Disabled audiences are less likely than the Northern Ireland average to rate their overall experience as very good. Despite this they are frequent attenders, and more likely to attend 6+ times a year.

Download our IMPACT Survey snapshot about disability

Keep an eye out on this page as more results will be published on this page in the next few weeks.

How can you take part in IMPACT?

  • Organisations can sign up to the project by completing this form.
  • We will meet with you to discuss the easiest ways you can collect data from your audiences. This can be via newsletter, post-visit email, social media, paper surveys, or signs in your venue. We’ll provide recommended copy and can even create the signs for you.
  • We ask that you send out the survey continuously to recent visitors throughout the year.
  • You can find out more about our IMPACT survey by reading our FAQs.

The IMPACT Survey is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Our IMPACT report helps us learn more about who audiences are, how they behave, why they attend and how they feel after attending a variety of artforms.

Thrive IMPACT Survey Interim report 2023 24

Download report
(PDF 2,548KB)

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