The challenges and opportunities of new technologies for evaluating visitor experience at events

27 February 2014, 13:30 - 15:00

SG2, Alison Richard Building

Dr Eric Jensen (Warwick) speaks at the Digital Humanities Network Seminar on his research into using social media analytics to investigate visitor experience at festivals and large cultural events

The event is free to attend but registration is reqired.  Please book your place using the online registration link on the right hand side of this page.

The Qualia project [http://native.artsdigitalrnd.org.uk/features/the-future-of-evaluation/] has created a real-time monitoring system, trialled during last year’s Cheltenham Festivals, which offers ways to evaluate and measure immediate impacts on audiences of live arts and cultural events. It incorporates new means of gathering, analysing and visualising qualitative and quantitative (including spatial) data relevant to understand users’ arts and culture experiences. The Qualia evaluation system includes sentiment analysis, social network feeds and SMS interactions, as well as on-site interactive installations. The end product is a combined app and evaluation system built on open source software that can be easily and cheaply adopted by arts organisations. This increases efficiency in the sector by limiting the need for each organisation to pay commercial providers for an expensive bespoke app. It also adds audience analysis capacity for the arts sector. This presentation will discuss challenges and opportunities highlighted by this digital R & D project.

The techniques developed by Qualia offer the opportunity to broaden the conversation around cultural impact. The development of new tools around sentiment analysis, for example, could provide the sector with effective means of monitoring audience views and impact. Discourse about arts and cultural institutions in social media represents a relatively untapped resource for research insights about cultural engagement. However, there are important limitations to using social media data and in particular current commercially available sentiment analysis tools. The presentation will offer an insight into how effective these tools are, as well as an opportunity to discuss the role of new digital measurement technologies in evaluating cultural experiences.