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Brunel Museum Reinvented: Continuing to listen

Last week I wrote about how we consulted both visitors and non-visitors alike which has shaped the Brunel Museum Reinvented project. But listening to people continues to be at the heart of how we operate at the Brunel Museum, so below I wanted to share some of the ways we continue to ask people’s opinions about the future direction of the Museum.

At the Brunel Museum, we gather information through a range of methods. Post-visit surveys is the main one, so if you’ve ever booked to visit the Museum you’ll have received an email from us asking us to respond to a quick (<5 minute survey). in fact if you have one of those emails in your inbox and you haven’t replied, stop reading and go and fill it out immediately! And I mean now!

Phew! Thanks for coming back. The post-visit surveys are great for capturing demographuc data so we can know if we’re reaching the people we want to with our activity. But to ensure we’re meeting these audiences we need to ask slightly different questions, qualitative ones. In our post visit survey we ask, “what one thing would have improved your visit?”

Sometimes people are nice, and they write things like “nothing at all” which is lovely for us but not great for an audience researcher like me. I want to know how we can improve!

The post visit survey is great but it’s not perfect. We can only ask people we have information for, which means we’re currently only collecting data for those people who pre-booked. Early in the days of the pandemic, that was great because everyone had to prebook so more people did the survey, but now only about 10% of our visitors prebook, so we’re looking at ways to embed surveys within the experience.

But we also know that if you’ve just had a visit and are ready to leave, the last thing you want to do is do a survey. We try and keep ours short, but there’s a lot of stuff we (or our funders) want to know. So we’re looking at ways we can embed that evaluation in the museum itself.

But we also know that if we’re only asking people who have already visited us, we’re not getting the full picture. That’s why during the next stage of the project we’ll be running our Museum on Tour programme. We’ll be taking the Museum out into various locations in the local community to ask people their views on the next stage of the redisplay of the Brunel Museum collection.

If you’d like to share your views about the Brunel Museum Reinvented project, please join us on Sunday 15 January for our next Community Open Day 

Sign up tour our dedicated Brunel Museum Reinvented mailing list to stay up to date with the project 

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