At every MyState Bank Wooden Boat Festival, we are keen to better understand our audience. To do that we need to ask questions. But who wants to stand around answering questions when there’s so much great stuff to see and things to do? We understand. That’s why we don’t bore the pants off our guests by conducting long interviews on the day. We invite festivals-goers to participate in a survey soon after the event, to capture what they thought of it, how far they came to attend, how long they stayed and what they thought of the boats and the program and a dozen other things. If you volunteered your email address, we sent you a comprehensive questionnaire to be completed in your own time. There’s a great prize to encourage you to return that questionnaire (more about this later) and once you’ve done it, we go to work analysing the data.
It’s like when the Australian Government collects census data every five years (well, ours is not as detailed and certainly not as expensive!). The point is to ask questions that mean something, so that we can better plan the next festival. The collectivised, averaged data can also be used to demonstrate the economic value of the event, impact on tourism, media exposure and a dozen other indicators. All that collection and analysis takes time. but there’s one fun fact that we can measure straight away by asking a simple question on the festival site: “Where Do You Live?”
We do that by asking for your post code (if you are an Australian resident) or the country you normally live in. This is fast and easy to count and we can see our results in the form of charts.
Our hard-working volunteers went out on the festival site and collected 2,229 answers to that question that we could analyse straight away;
For all respondents, here’s what we learned:
2,229 addresses collected on the Festival site, 8-11 February 2019
Wow! That’s some result. So the AWBF was attractive enough to get a wonderful cross-section of people, from almost every Australian state and territory (where the bloody hell are you, NT?). Did they all come specifically to see the festival? No, probably not, but they did come on the day we met them and we can analyse that further when all the questionnaires are in. Can we trust the figures? Well, who’s going to lie about their postcode? The conclusion is that slightly more than half our audience came from outside Tasmania and that’s gold in terms of tourism revenue – they had to stay somewhere, buy meals, entertainment and tours.
But then, some of that 49% Tasmanian audience had to come more than 100 kms to get to Hobart and some of them would have stayed over one or more nights, too. How many respondents came from regional Tasmania? About 15%, as it turns out. That’s not going to contribute as much as our interstate and overseas visitors, but these guests also eat, drink, stay somewhere, patronise Hobart businesses and then drive home again.
Then there’s the really colourful bit: if you live somewhere other than Australia, where do you come from? As it turns out, a good cross-section of the United Nations came to see us. Again, the AWBF was probably not the only reason they came, but it was one of them. The survey done at the 2017 festival found that 66% of all who attended from outside Greater Hobart area quoted the festival as ‘the main reason for our visit’. Twenty-five per cent said it was one of several reasons for their visit and only 5% said they knew nothing about the event until they reached Hobart. More to the point in terms of tourism, the average non-Tasmania festival visitor (according to the official report prepared by market research firm EMRS) stayed a remarkable 15.6 nights in Tasmania, taking advantage of the many other things there are to see and do in our island state while they were with us.
We will be announcing the winner of the AWBF Survey Contest soon. Watch our Facebook page for results!