Audience Development

Manx National Heritage

The primary research project was part of an overall audience development project commissioned by Manx National Heritage (MNH). Spirul worked alongside Colliers International and Headland Design on the project.The primary research consisted of a comprehensive programme of quantitative and qualitative research. A total of 1500 face to face interviews were conducted with three target groups:

  • Visitors to MNH heritage attractions;
  • Residents; and
  • Visitors to the Isle of Man that did not visit a heritage attraction.

The qualitative programme of research consisted of 89 adapted hall test interviews at 3 locations on the Isle of Man and 6 focus groups in Belfast, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester. From the research a comprehensive profile of visitors to MNH heritage attractions and non visitors was established. The research also developed evidence on branding, perceptions of both MNH and the Isle of Man as a visitor destination and experiences.

The research was a crucial element of the development of a comprehensive action plan which will significantly improve the overall product, sustain existing visitor numbers, attract many new visitors and promote repeat visits.

Exit Research

Yorkshire's Magnificent Attractions Group

Spirul has provided an exit research programme consisting of 400 interviews per attraction. There are 10 participating attractions and the client sums up our added value.

This [Exit Research] has created really valuable exit results for the attractions individually and has also provided the opportunity to compare statistics which has given us some fantastic benchmarking results. Spirul have been a delight to work with; nothing is too much trouble; they are so flexible and responsive and completely understand the sector, our pressures and needs. Their pricing was competitive and they have come up with a number of solutions for further research at little to no cost. Their management of this quite intensive programme of research was very organised; the fieldworkers were well briefed and all attractions were completely happy with the process. I would have no hesitation in recommending Spirul for all research relating to tourism and leisure.’

Deb Hindley

Science Museum Group: National Railway Museum, National Media Museum, Museum of Science and Industry

This contract is an 18 month programme of exit research at three sites in the group. The programme consists of 150 interviews per month at each site, plus the completion of the respondent monitoring forms. The feedback from the client is again the best indicator of the success of the project: 

The Science Museum Group appointed Spirul to handle our exit surveys across our three northern sites (the Railway Museum in York, the Media Museum in Bradford and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester) because of their proven track record with other visitor attractions in the area, and the responsiveness demonstrated by Anthony, Ruth and the team when they had had to step in at short notice to help us out at one of the sites.

Working with Spirul has been a collaborative, flexible and rewarding experience. It was a new experience working in this way (having managed everything internally previously), but we have worked through any challenges together and, from my point of view, it is now a very smooth operation and I have every confidence that the data I receive from Spirul is professionally gathered and accurately processed.

Tim Neal
Visitor Insight Executive

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This contract is a 12 month programme of exit research extended into a second year. The project involves 150 exit interviews per month to be conducted at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The value of the Spirul approach and work is best summed up by the client:

Having worked with Spirul and received incredibly useful results I knew that their approach was both professional and flexible and that they had a good appreciation of the complexities involved in conducting surveys across a 500 acre estate with numerous entry and exit points. Working with Spirul is a bit like having an additional member of the team on hand. Whilst providing excellent management information at scheduled quarterly updates, they [Spirul] are also available to answer ad hoc questions and provide data on an ongoing basis rather than at set times only’

Victoria Collins
Marketing Manager

Economic/Social Impact and Audience Development

Tees Music Alliance - Stockton Fringe Festival/Weekender

Stockton Fringe Festival is an annual music festival based in Stockton on Tees. Up to 2011 the festival was free entry but due to public sector funding restrictions an entry fee was introduced. With the introduction of an entry fee the festival rebranded itself as Stockton Weekender. Since 2009 Spirul has conducted audience research and an economic and social assessment of the festival. This information has been vital in developing the strategies of the festival and the results have permeated throughout the organisation. The research has informed funding applications, and been a vital element of discussions with Stockton on Tees Council, ACE and ONE North East. The audience development and segmentation research has informed ticketing strategies, branding and marketing strategies and the composition of the acts booked. The research has enabled TMA to develop key messages across a number of different key organisations and back them up with robust evidence.

Economic Impact and Audience Development

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

HCMF is a ten day contemporary festival that takes place in November each year. Spirul was commissioned to undertake a comprehensive research project to inform all aspects of the future planning and funding of the festival. The services provided were:

  • Face to face visitor surveys;
  • Business interviews;
  • Key stakeholder interviews;
  • Qualitative focus groups with visitors and non visitors;
  • Economic and social impact modelling;
  • Report, Business Plan and ACE Application preparation; and
  • Presentations to Board

The research has enabled HCMF to make key decisions on its future, marketing strategies, operations and forward planning. The research was also a major factor in securing £840,000 of Arts Council England funding for 2012 – 2015 and funding from Kirklees Council and the University of Huddersfield.

Economic and Social Impact Evaluation of Hartlepool Tall Ships Races

Hartlepool Borough Council

The Tall Ships was hosted by Hartlepool in 2010. This was the biggest event ever hosted by Hartlepool attracting just under a million visits and providing Hartlepool with an internationally renowned event that raised its profile around the world. With an event of this size and scope Hartlepool Borough Council needed an evaluation partner with the knowledge and expertise to provide a reliable and independent economic and social impact assessment. The quality of the evaluation conducted by Spirul has been recognised at a national level with the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2012 judges stating the research conducted by Spirul “was comprehensive and honest, it listed the excellent return on investment information, but also explained the lessons that were learnt." Michelle Daurat stated “I relied on the report as supporting evidence for the application.” and this led the judges to comment that Hartlepool put forward a "Quality application that was evidenced well.”  

Honley Village Revival Evaluation

Kirklees Council

150 face-to-face interviews with visitors and residents of Honley Village centre and park, following regeneration of the area.