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What is it?

Once you’ve worked out how to count your attendees in a consistent way the next step is to work out what your data is telling you.

Why use it?

It’s one thing to count attendees and another to glean insights into your newly collected data. Use this tool to understand how to analyse attendance in different ways.

Before you start

Is this tool right for you? To find out more about selecting the best tool, check out the project planner. You might want to check out the count attendees tool first.

What you'll need

Time: 3 hours each month to analyse your attendance trends.
Budget: No cost.
Equipment: Computer

Top tip

Analyse and report every month, so the insights and any context are fresh in your mind. Analysing and reporting regularly helps you stay on top of your data and builds a picture of trends over time.

Step by step

1. Check your data

Review the attendance counts that have been recorded over the past month and check that there aren’t any gaps in the data. If there are, consult with your notes or with your team to work out why.

Check if any data stands out to you as strange. Again, check your notes or with your team to see if there are any obvious answers. If there aren’t, make a note to look into these data points in your analysis.

2. Analyse your data

Consider ‘cutting’ your data in a number of ways:

  • Mornings versus afternoons
  • Days of the week i.e. Mondays versus Tuesday, Wednesday etc.
  • Weekdays versus weekends
  • This week, month, quarter or year compared to the same period of time in the previous year
  • Types of shows i.e. children’s versus comedy, commercial etc.

Within each of these splits, you’ll need to look at the total number of attendees. Converting these total numbers into percentages is where you’ll notice the most interesting insights.

Check out the Analyse Attendance Trends tab in the analyse your data tool. Once you have your percentages, ask yourself:

  • What did I expect to see? Are my results different?
  • What looks most interesting?

Refer back to your notes to dig a little deeper and find meaning behind your percentages. For example, you may notice that far fewer attendees were recorded in April 2018 than in April 2017. Look back at your notes from both of these months and the months before and after, too. You might discover, for example, that school holidays in 2018 were in late March, whereas in 2017 they were in early April. You might also note that more people attend during school holidays, which might explain month-to-month fluctuations in attendance.

Alternatively, you might find that you programmed fewer shows during April 2018 than you did in 2017. In this instance, divide April attendance by the number of shows to give you the average attendance per show. You can then compare this average and see if it is up or down.

3. Write a summary

In your Excel spreadsheet (or other document) write down the key percentages and a short explanation (1-2 sentences) of what you think is happening based on your notes and your analysis.

Think about some of the bigger picture strategies or issues. Did you introduce a new marketing campaign? Had the show already performed in a nearby location? Has a new venue opened that’s competing for attendees?

At the end, take a moment to reflect on the overall ‘story’. Are you generally seeing an increase in attendees or a decrease? Write this down and why you think this might be the case.

4. Share your results

Incorporate your newly analysed attendance trends into an existing meeting or reporting process to share these new insights with key stakeholders.

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