The theme for the VSG 2017 conference is 'Measuring up’: ways of capturing social value and more intangible outcomes’.
Increasingly visitor studies is being asked to understand and demonstrate the value and impact that our cultural and heritage institutions have on broader public agendas such as health and wellbeing, social justice, inclusion, place making and the environment. Anecdotally we know that the engagement and learning that takes places in our cultural and heritage institutions is making a profound impact on the public and communities, but are we in the visitor studies profession doing enough to help our sector to really understand and evidence the positive changes we are making?
Social outcomes are often difficult to measure and to quantify, yet the need to do so is growing. Once the proviso of specialised practitioners, we see the task falling more and more to our group members when they are asked to practically evaluate the social impact and value of their programmes and exhibitions. However, accessing the tools and methodologies to meet this need remains a challenge.
Who in the arts, culture, and heritage sector is collecting this data and what is being done with it to affect change? What practical frameworks have been tested out to effectively demonstrate the successes, implications and challenges of these agendas in our organisations?
For more information about the conference content and the full programme when published please see http://visitors.org.uk/events/conference-2017/.