At long last… the FIRST aggregate report for the field from the COVES initiative! After 3 years of building, testing, tweaking, discussing, and finally launching the system for gathering ongoing visitor information from across science centers, science museums, and other museums connected to ASTC, we are ready to share a full year of data that we collectively gathered at 19 museums. Here is the aggregate report of all of the data gathered in that year, free to the field, and the beginning of what we hope will be the beginning of many conversations about who our visitors are, why they come, and what they thought about their experiences and time with us.
COVES is a fledgling initiative, just moving beyond the initial IMLS-supported period and shifting to a membership model where museums of all types and sizes pay an annual membership to support the costs of maintaining the COVES system (the survey platform, online dashboard, data cleaning, statistical analyses, etc.). These annual aggregate reports and subsequent conversations will only become stronger and more nuanced and informative as more museums feed into this field-driven effort by joining, collecting data, and engaging in discussions with COVES colleagues and members to understand what we can learn and how we can change and grow to better meet our visitors’ needs.
We hope this report is interesting, informative, and thought and discussion-provoking for you and your teams, whether you are actively a part of COVES or not. Have questions? Want to join or learn more than what you can find on our website? Send us a message – we love to talk about data and about COVES!