The Visitor Studies Group: Championing excellent visitor experiences

News & Events

The latest news and upcoming events from The Visitor Studies Group (VSG). To find out more or make a booking please see the events posted below.


Thursday 12 & Friday 13 May 2022, 9am – 5pm

ISH Venues, 1 Park Crescent, London W1B 1SH

Tickets now available on our Eventbrite site. SEE FULL PROGRAMME!


The topic of our 2022 conference is Evaluation challenges. 

Over two days, we will explore, discuss and share stories around challenges we face in our evaluation and research practices. These can range from big to small, from methods and logistics to the questions we ask and values we embrace. Some of these challenges are ones that have faced evaluators for decades, others emerged out of the pandemic and/or were surfaced by Black Lives Matter, de-colonisation debates, the climate emergency and other events. Sessions will consider how we face these challenges and what we as researchers and as a field can learn from them to better inform our future efforts. 

We look forward to seeing you there!


VISITOR STUDIES GROUP CONFERENCE 2022 Evaluation challenges: From troubles to triumphs and everything in between  Thursday 12 & Friday 13 May 2022, 9am – 5pm ISH Venues , 1 Park Crescent, London W1B 1SH The topic of our 2022 conference is Evaluation challenges.  Over two days, we will explore, discuss and share stories around challenges we faceContinue Reading


The Visitor Studies Group is managed by a committee whose role is to: set the strategic direction for the Group oversee the annual programme of activities represent the Group professionally at conferences and workshops encourage partnership working with like-minded organisations within the UK and from overseas meet four times a year to ensure the needsContinue Reading


After a successful pilot of the Visitor Studies Group Mentorship Programme, we are pleased to announce that we are continuing this offer for 2021-22 to support emerging audience researchers and anyone who has had audience research responsibilities added to their role. First ideated by long-standing VSG members who want to give something back to theContinue Reading

2021 Virtual Event Series Programme

Join us for a Visitor Studies Group conference with a twist! For 2021 we have created an online event series taking place throughout May bringing together practitioners from the cultural sector and beyond to discuss a variety of themes. We want to explore, discuss, and discover different techniques that we have used in the pastContinue Reading

Big data toolkit

As part of the VSG 2018 Conference, ‘Big Data, Big Opportunities’, delegates were invited to contribute ideas to a ‘Big Data Toolkit’.  We have compiled notes collected from the conference into the toolkit, which we are sharing with VSG members.  This includes examples of ‘big’ and ‘bigger’ data used in the sector, examples of ‘bigContinue Reading

#VSGConf19 – Call for Papers

We are delighted to open up submissions for our 2019 conference: “Visitor studies: reflecting the wider world, advocating for change?” Taking place March 7th and 8th at the National Gallery London, we are looking for sessions that explore, interrogate and understand how emerging trends – especially those borne from audience research both within and outside theContinue Reading

‘Big data, big opportunities?’ – Reflections

  This year’s VSG Conference, ‘Big data, big opportunities?’ took place March 8th and 9th in London’s Natural History Museum.  Our bursary recipient, Elena Trimarchi, reflects on a busy two days: The theme of this year’s conference was Big Data. One of the things that most struck me was the variety of the speakers’ backgrounds:Continue Reading

Conference 2018

  ***Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite .*** The full programme is available for download here:  VSG Conference 2018 Programme . In visitor studies, we are constantly striving to respond to an ever-changing socio-political landscape. We are frequently tasked with helping our organisations understand and support evidence-informed decision making, in response to these often complex areas. As populations and communitiesContinue Reading

Conference reflections

This year, the Visitor Studies Group were happy to be able to offer a bursary to assist one person to attend our conference.  Louise Treble of Glasgow Museums was the deserving recipient and through the bursary was able to attend the full two day conference.  Louise has kindly summarised her experience of the conference: As theContinue Reading

Conference programme announced!

The full programme  for the Visitor Studies Group’s 2017 conference, ”Measuring up”: ways of capturing social value and more intangible outcomes’ is available to view now. We think this is one of our most exciting programmes yet, featuring speakers from a diverse range of organisations and institutions both within and outside of the heritage sector. A sample ofContinue Reading

Conference 2017 – poster session

Do you have recent work relevant to our 2017 theme that you would like to share at our conference? Why not sign up to our poster session?  At the end of day one we will be gathering for a glass of wine at which point there will be an opportunity for delegates to look at theContinue Reading

December socials!

We are planning two festive social events in December, one in London and one in Glasgow.  We would love to see you at either, or both!   Glasgow, 1st December Come along to Brewdog (1397 Argyle St) at 6pm for a wee drink and some friendly visitor studies chat.   Kelvin Hall is just around the cornerContinue Reading

Social event in London!

Join VSG committee members to catch up on all things visitor studies over a drink or two.  Find out what others are up to and share questions, thoughts and experiences on research and evaluation, or anything else that’s on your mind.  Plus we’ll be chatting about our 2017 conference theme, hot off the press! When:Continue Reading

York Social Event!

Pop along to the  York Tap from 4.45pm onwards on Thursday 7th July for some drinks and friendly chat with visitor studies enthusiasts.  All welcome! Address: York Railway Station, Station Rd, York YO24 1AB

Conference Keynote Speakers

Conference Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to welcome two keynote speakers to this years’ conference who can open up the discussion on how we turn audience research into action. Lamia Dabboussy is Head of Audience Planning and Brand Insight at the BBC and Esme Ward is Head of Learning and Engagement at The Whitworth and Manchester Museum atContinue Reading

Access All Areas? – Manchester

Wednesday 11 November Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Following the success and feedback from our Access all Areas? event last year in Edinburgh, we are excited to offer another full-day session in Manchester that will focus on access and accessibility within the cultural sector. The programme for the day is available on the  Event Page . Presentations haveContinue Reading

Informal Networking Events

Informal Networking Events

Our members always tell us that opportunities for networking are really important and with the new ‘school year’ starting soon we thought why not get together and see whats going on in the visitor focused world. Informal Networking Events are planned in London , Edinburgh and in the planning stage for Manchester. Follow the links for moreContinue Reading

Conference 2016

Conference 2016

The programme is now out and bookings open for our VISITOR STUDIES GROUP CONFERENCE 2016 which will be held on 16th and 17th March 2016 at the Royal Geographical Society, London. The theme for the conference is “Visitor Studies: It’s what you do with it!” How can visitor studies have real impact? How does visitor research influence decisionsContinue Reading

2015 Bursary OPEN

2015 Bursary OPEN

Applications are now open for the Alison James Professional Development Bursary and after much consideration the VSG Committee has decided this year, for the first time, to change the eligibility criteria. As a Committee we are keen to support and encourage those at the earliest stages of their careers in visitor studies – you areContinue Reading

Measuring Impact?

Measuring Impact?

Are you facing calls for evidence of impact from your project stakeholders? Two sessions on day two of our conference (5 March) will explore how visitor studies is adapting to the needs of the sector, including the demands of its funders. Christopher Whitby (Science Museum) and Dr Effrosyni Nomikou (King’s College London) will draw onContinue Reading

Keynote Speakers: Embracing Change

Keynote Speakers: Embracing Change

The VSG Conference on the theme of ‘Visitor Studies: Embracing Change?‘ will open on 4 March 2015 with a keynote session from Piotr Bienkowski who is Project Director of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s programme ‘Our Museum: Communities and Museums as Active Partners’. He runs a cultural consultancy specialising in organisational change, community engagement and culturalContinue Reading