Why use this guide?

The best way to hear from people who want to give feedback after each activity is to create a simple feedback loop. Understand how to get the most out of what you’re hearing with the help of this tool.

Before you start

Is this tool right for you? To find out more about selecting the best tool, check out the project planner.

What you'll need

Time2 hours to develop your approach, 2 hours each month to record your results.
BudgetNo cost (or minimal cost if printing feedback cards).

Top Tip: Use your casual feedback to build up a picture of your attendees’ experiences, so you can choose the right time to survey.

Step by step

1. Establish a feedback loop

First, think about all the ways, if any, that you currently collect feedback. Ask yourself:

  • Do these channels work?
  • Why/Why not?

Next, write down all the possible ways you could collect feedback:

  • Paper feedback cards or forms
  • Electronic feedback forms on your website or an iPad in your venue
  • Social media comments and posts
  • Directing feedback to one email address
  • Verbal feedback from box office staff, gallery attendants or others.

Decide what channels are best for your attendees and your local community before you set up your feedback loops.

2. Decide what information to collect

For feedback to be useful, context is important. Consider what information you want to know on your feedback form.

Details about when and where:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location i.e. Foyer, a specific gallery space, etc.

Details on the person providing the feedback:

  • Name
  • Age bracket and/or gender
  • Postcode

Details about their experience:

  • If they had a positive or negative experience
  • A description of their feedback

Information to follow up:

  • If they would like you to follow up
  • Contact details i.e. email or phone

3. Be open

Be available and communicative about your feedback loops, so people know how to get in touch. Try to respond to the people providing feedback and thank them for taking the time to share their thoughts and experiences. Consider keeping them in the loop down the track by sharing the actions you’re taking as a result of their feedback.

4. Talk to your attendees

Want more? Build on the feedback you have by proactively reaching out to your attendees with the help of the talk to your attendees tool.

5. Keep track of your feedback

Think about the ways you collect feedback and how you can record your feedback in one central location. Consider using Excel to keep track of your feedback. In Excel you can add information to give your feedback context – as shown in the example below.

DateSourceCommentTypeThemes / key wordsAny info about the person giving feedback
20.06.22Website‘I was really disappointed that the baby change table was out of order – it meant I had to go home.’NegativeChange tableFemale, 33
27.7.2022Feedback card‘The new chairs were very comfortable. I will definitely tell my friends.’PositiveChairsMale, 65

When reflecting on your feedback you can search, filter and sort these words to help work out what your feedback means.

6. Reflect on your feedback

Depending on how much feedback you receive, reflect on your feedback every month or more regularly, if needed. When reviewing your feedback records, ask yourself three questions:

  • What are the top 3 things to come out of this feedback?
  • What is surprising?
  • What points do I need to relay to other people I work with?

Keep track over time to see if any themes are recurring. Check out the action your results template for ideas on how to keep track of any actions you want to take because of your feedback.

Consider documenting your findings in a short report with the help of the write a report tool.

7. Keep it going

Document the process you’ve developed, so you and/or your team can continue to collect, record and reflect on your feedback in a consistent way. If you find something isn’t working, or could be better, tweak as needed. Don’t forget to update your processes and any notices or communications about your feedback loops. Continue to collect, reflect and action your feedback on a regular basis.

8. Understand the limitations of casual feedback

Although harnessing your feedback will give you a sense of some of the key themes or issues, you won’t know how many people share the same view. This means that your feedback won’t necessarily be representative of all attendees or your local community. Keep this in mind when thinking about making changes, especially big ones, based on this feedback alone.

9. Take your feedback to the next level

If you want to test out how many people feel the same way about your organisation or show, you’re probably ready to take your feedback to the next level!

Check out the send a short survey tool to understand how to write a short survey and quantify (evidence with numbers) your feedback. Use some of the themes coming out of your feedback loop to help you write your short survey.