Campfires 76 & 77: Field Data From The Front Lines

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Last night Leah Ableson hosted two fantastic WXO Campfire sessions on how to capture field data from the front line of your experience – whether that be perfomers, front of house staff, customer agents, or whoever most interacts with your audience.

The full write-up will be coming soon – but for now, here are a few top takeaways, links and questions that emerged.

We also want to hear from you – what were your top takeaways? How might you use Ableson's approach in your own work? What questions did it provoke? Add your comments below!

  • “What sets experiential work apart from traditional media is the consumer's ability to share their own experiences in real time.” Hidden in that engagement is an often overlooked gold mine of data – so how can we access it and keep customers coming back for more?

  • How do we measure implied data: information that consumers wouldn't think is helpful to share, or wouldn't be reflected in traditional measuring processes like playtesting or feedback surveys?
  • Primatologists use "ethograms" to study animal behaviour: a record of everything done over a specific period. We can borrow this principle of "the importance of observing over a long period of time without preconceived notions."
  • By observing everything – even the boring stuff – you can discover the significant events that deviated from the norm. "A thousand normal responses will help you spot the outlier."

  • To get this data, you can conduct regular roundtables with your front line, give your experience the freedom to change, work to eliminate single points of failure, and ask performers for audience feedback.
  • Always question your own assumptions and try and make sure your consumer is having an equal experience, whoever they are.
  • Implied data can also help us to consider the accessibility of our experiences: whether psychological, emotional or physical.

Follow-up questions to ask yourself (submit your thoughts below!):

  1. How do conversations between the “front end” and “back end” members of your creative team work now?

  2. What ways in the past have you, as an audience member/consumer, provided feedback via your behavior to a performer of an experience?

  3. What questions about an experience can an audience member answer that the creator of the experience can’t?
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