The Lightbox, Woking

Dajana Topczewski and Katie Hughes , 15.01.2015
Using pop-ups for audience research
Researching and engaging new audiences with museum and gallery offerings requires a degree of new thinking.

The Lightbox gallery and museum in Woking decided to conduct offsite audience research by holding a pop-up museum in the local shopping centre. This approach gave us an opportunity to engage directly with the public, raising awareness and creating future audiences by giving them a taster of what the Lightbox has to offer.

The pop-up showcased museum objects alongside their modern equivalents. The museum objects represented Woking’s past, reflected on the speed of change and created a platform for discussion. We were able to bring our collection to life through the opinions of visitors to the pop-up.

The heritage objects were popular with the public; we used “what’s inside the box?”, a tactile box that particularly appealed to families.

With the help of external research specialists, the Audience Agency, we decided that questionnaires would be the best way to collect feedback from visitors. The results will inform and shape our future exhibition programing.

The project was a success and we are likely to repeat this method of researching and engaging with potential new audiences again at different locations.

Dajana Topczewski is the duty supervisor and Katie Hughes is the visitors services supervisor at the Lightbox