Case Study: Capturing Audience Feedback with Ease
No Door Theatre use Ask The Crowd to enable them to easily and simply, both collect audience feedback and communicate with their audience to let them know how they are acting on all feedback received.
This is their story.
No Door Theatre is an emerging theatre company based in Manchester, co-founded by Georgia Affonso and Sarah Teale.
‘Runway’ is No Door Theatre’s most recent production, written and directed by Georgia Affonso. In 2019 it was performed at the Offbeat Festival, in the Burton Taylor Studio (Oxford Playhouse) and at the Southwark Playhouse in London. It was a pivotal production for No Door Theatre as the venues they were working with are highly regarded and have an impressive history of professional theatre, setting a new bar for the company.
In order to ensure they produced the best performances they can, No Door Theatre teamed up with Ask The Crowd.
No Door Theatre’s Goals
No Door Theatre is a fairly recently formed theatre company, so its main goals revolve around continuing to grow and develop both artistically and in scope. In order to do this No Door Theatre needs to collect and evaluate audience feedback to ensure they are putting on shows their audience enjoys.
In addition, No Door Theatre need to secure funding to ensure that they can consistently write and produce shows like ‘Runway’. When applying for funding, to bodies such as The Arts Council, it is key to demonstrate that they consistently evaluate each project and have tools in place to do so effectively.
Historically collecting feedback from audience members after productions can be challenging. Members of the audience sometimes leave feedback on social media, but this can be sporadic and is difficult to collate. Many emerging theatre companies rely on giving out paper forms asking for general feedback. However, No Door Theatre did not want to use this method for four reasons:
- Audience members don’t like filling in a form at the end of a play, so rarely do.
- Forms often gets lost, either blank or filled in.
- The feedback requested is limited in scope, as people are filling out a form there simply isn’t space for multiple questions and audience comments.
- Using paper forms makes collating audience feedback really difficult; if one person writes about something which no-one else mentioned, what does that tell them?
No Door Theatre decided to use Ask The Crowd to collect audience feedback online. No Door Theatre had three objectives for using Ask the Crowd for capturing ‘Runway’ feedback:
To ask specific questions about the production to the audience
As ‘Runway’ is going to be performed in other venues in the future, it was important to No Door Theatre to get feedback on specific features of the production, as these could be changed and developed to improve the play.
e.g. For example, was the set too basic? or would the audience prefer to have an interval?To invite suggestions from the audience
No Door Theatre and ‘Runway’ are still in early stages and are developing as a brand. It is only feasible to do a few productions a year, so it is vital to learn from each show how they can consistently please audiences in the future.To gather positive feedback for marketing material
A key part of No Door Theatre’s marketing, both to audience and to future venue partners, involves advertising what previous audiences have said about the company and show.
No Door Theatre need clear written quotes for future marketing material.
They set up Ask The Crowd in order to best meet these objectives and included an eye-catching request for feedback via Ask The Crowd in the ‘Runway’ programme - giving a free copy to every audience member.
After the performance the theaters also sent audience members an e-mail on behalf of No Door Theatre, asking for feedback via the Ask The Crowd link. No Door Theatre also shared the request for feedback and Ask The Crowd url on social media to encourage more audience members to feedback.
The results were really successful - all three key objectives were met in full:To ask specific questions about the production to the audience
No Door Theatre received answers to their questions and the commenting feature meant they got some great responses. For example, audience members confirmed that they did not want an interval during ‘Runway’, giving No Door Theatre confidence not to include one in future productions.To invite suggestions from the audience
Audience members provided excellent suggestions and having all of these comments in one place meant it was easy to see similarities across different user’s feedback, made clearer by the commenting and upvoting system. One audience member suggestion was that the team introduce themselves at the end of the show. This was upvoted by several others, so No Door Theatre are now confident that audience members would enjoy this.To gather positive feedback for marketing material
Via Ask The Crowd, No Door Theatre received lots of positive feedback from their audiences and they now have a variety of quotes to use for future marketing materials and to demonstrate success to other venues. It has also boosted Georgia and Sarah’s confidence as they move forward.
In addition, all the feedback and what has been done in response is captured in one place to support future funding applications.
No Door Theatre are looking forward to continuing to use Ask The Crowd as they develop and improve.
They will both request feedback from audience members following each performance and explore additional methods of encouraging feedback such as via a link on their website. Other potential avenues include developing artwork that is suitable for more social media such as Instagram, to share and remind audience about the platform.
As a direct result of a suggestion made via Ask The Crowd Georgia and Sarah now plan to introducing themselves at the end of each show – giving them a great opportunity to emphasize No Door Theatre’s enthusiasm for feedback and direct the audience to the information on how to do so, in their programmes.
No Door Theatre needed an easy, efficient and intuitive way to ask their audience members for feedback which allowed them to ask their audience specific questions, invite audience suggestions and gather all their positive feedback in one place. In order to do this, they partnered with Ask The Crowd.
Through using Ask The Crowd, No Door Theatre are able to communicate directly with their audiences to answer their questions, receive excellent suggestions and a variety of quotes for use in promotional material.
No Door Theatre continue to use Ask The Crowd to develop and improve both, their performances and as a company and are continuing to look at new and exciting ways to use it to ask their audience for feedback.