It is important to evaluate all public engagement events to monitor their successfulness, demonstrate impact and discover ways to improve. The evaluation process will be different for each new undertaking, tailor your evaluation to make it as effective as possible.

Some questions you might look to answer:

  • Who engaged? How many engaged and how long for?
  • Who was doing the engagement (capture researcher experience too)?
  • Was it a positive, enjoyable experience?
  • What has changed because of the activity?
  • Was there a change in knowledge? What has been learnt from the activity?
  • Have opinions been changed?
  • Would people behave differently after the engagement? Might they go on to pursue other activities/learning? 
  • Is there a long term impact? Have you fostered a change which you could monitor in 6 months or a year?

When planning evaluation you want to get the most useful data possible without your target audience going through a laborious process. Try to weave evaluation into the process from the start and make it an enjoyable experience for your audience. 

Some tools you may want to use: 

  • Comment cards
  • Surveys (think carefully about each question)
  • Voting boxes/bins/tokens
  • Kahoot - the online voting system for live audiences
  • Interviews 
  • Graffiti wall - allows you to gether qualitative feedback

When your project is evaluated then do share it with colleagues and funders.