In any cultural institution, measuring success and the institution’s impact on the community is very important. It’s not enough to set objectives; they need to be measured over time and adapted along the way to clearly see the effects of an institution’s strategies.
In this regard, there are several indicators that show whether you have achieved your objectives or if the impact you wanted in the community, and even on a national or international level, has been as expected.
The process of measuring success should start with the evaluation of artistic performance. This needs to be measured objectively and professionally, as it represents the most crucial aspect when dealing with any musical institution. The quality of performances is the primary factor that draws the audience to the venue, so the quality of these performances should be assessed continuously.
Equally important is measuring the level of audience satisfaction with your concerts. While this aspect often reflects in the number of tickets sold and the number of participants, this alone is not sufficient for a comprehensive measurement. You need to communicate directly with your audience and continuously request feedback. By doing this, you can gauge the level of audience satisfaction and the impact you have on the listeners.
Financial sustainability is another indicator of your success. Without financial sustainability, you cannot consider your institution as a successful one. You can measure this by analyzing your institution’s budget and seeing what the available resources are once you exclude donations, grants, and sponsorships. When you can manage your institution solely from its own resources, you can consider it as a financially sustainable entity, no longer depending on external factors.
Recognition and reputation are probably what defines an institution. These need to be measured at a local level first, but also at a national or international level. When your institution benefits from recognition by similar institutions, the public, and authorities, you can truly call it a successful institution. You shouldn’t forget that nowadays it’s crucial to have a solid brand so that the public and other cultural entities directly associate you with performance and excellence.
As any cultural institution operates within a specific locality, you’ll be closely tied to the local community. The success of a musical institution isn’t just limited to remarkable performances and high artistic standards during concerts; it also depends on the direct involvement within the local community. Measure the impact of community or educational events that you organize in the local community, and see if they bring real benefits to the people. If these activities meet their objectives and help in the appreciation of your institution within the community, it means that your institution is successful on this front as well.
As you can see, measuring the success of an institution is not a straightforward activity, and there are many elements to consider. Surveys can help you precisely evaluate the level of success in your institution, as well as its impact on the audience. Don’t hesitate to apply these surveys to both spectators and other institutions or community members. If you find areas that can be improved, act on them.