Participation data is part of the Sacred Spaces overall administrative strategy and helps to maintain an iterative approach to event programming and transparent decision-making. The following post is designed to highlight two data points used by the Event Programmers at Sacred Spaces to evaluate interest in various programs.
January 1 to March 31, 2018
In the chart above the "Wetlands Walk Spring Edition" was the most “successful" event in terms of total interest garnered. This was followed by the "Public Art Walk through Taikoo Place and Cityplaza". Total interest is ascertained by gathering the total number of potential participants through the various online and offline channels in which events are posted. The least successful in this regard was a visit to Shenzhen’s OCT Exhibition Center to view the traveling exhibition "Mysterious Dunhuang".
Categories and Subcategories
Events can be broken down into two general sub-categories: Series and Standard Events. There are several ongoing Series with interlocking events that are designed to enhance the educational value of the various themes explored. The Wetlands (Winter) Walk and Wetlands (Spring) Walk are part of the ongoing Hong Kong Food Culture Series designed to help Hong Kongers explore and understand local food production and distribution systems. The Public Art Walk at Taikoo and the K11 Docent Tour are part of an ongoing Public Art Walk Series developed to engage the public to identify and evaluate Public Art. Standard Events like the visit to the Daoist Complex Wun Chuen Sin Koon / 雲泉仙館 make up a “Core" interest and are tracked over a longer period of time.
The Public Art Walks Series was developed to engage the public via the Sacred Spaces membership to identify and evaluate Public Art. As this was a Series inaugural grouping, the Programmers chose three distinct types of events for further study. The first was an Organizer-Directed "Art Walk at Taikoo Place and Cityplaza", the second was a Docent-led “Tour of the K11 Art Collection", and finally there was an Artist-Directed "Workshop". The “Top" total number for each event in the Series was calculated as follows.
Total Participation during Spring 2018 Public Art Series for Hong Kong Sacred Spaces
The above table shows that the Organizer-Directed Public Art Walk garnered the more interest during the event run-up period while the Artist-directed Workshop garnered the least amount of attention. The Docent-led event at K11 fell between the two.
To further refine our understanding of general interest, organizers use the "RSVP vs. Decline" participation metric to evaluate strong vs. soft interest.
Strong interest is defined by potential participants affirmatively adding their name to an event's roles via an RSVP registration system. A change in that affirmation through the event run-up period is considered a “Decline". The ratio of affirmative RSVPs vs Declines can indicate strong initial and sustained interest.
It is important to reiterate that these two metrics represent only a few tools used in the Organizational Decision Making Process1 and are not in and of themselves strong indicators of success. Time-Intensity Analysis as well as targeted surveying are also used in analyzing event interest. Developing a useful decision making regime with a strong analytic component has been crucial in the ongoing success of Sacred Spaces Programming and has been given a high priority. Useful decision-making tools are especially important given the competitive nature of the Culture Economy in Hong Kong.
1"Decision-making process", University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, accessed 19 June, 2018. https://www.umassd.edu/fycm/decisionmaking/process/