RFP: Audience Research Project

Queens Botanical Garden (QBG) is seeking a consultant to conduct audience research both onsite and offsite. Located in Queens, New York, one of the most diverse counties in the nation, QBG endeavors to be welcoming to all visitors. To that end, we must better understand who our visitors are, who we are—or are not—reaching, and what programs we might offer to better serve their needs and interests.

QBG is a non-profit organization. We have received funding from a private foundation to conduct audience research that will inform program development and expansion based on sound audience and market research. To grow programs and increase earned income, we must understand the potential of our market—who they are, and what they want.

This is a challenge unique to QBG. Our visitors are culturally and racially diverse, with different tastes and interests. From Chinese seniors who practice tai chi daily, to Korean couples who choose QBG’s Rose of Sharon collection as the background for wedding photos, to urban twenty- and thirty- somethings growing herbs in containers on the roof, to schoolchildren eating freshly picked vegetables, to teachers looking for professional development opportunities—our markets are varied; each may require its own strategy. The last audience survey was conducted in 2000-2001. A new audience survey is required to understand whom we currently serve, potential gaps in service, and visitor need.

According to the 2001 survey, 86% of QBG’s visitors come from Queens. Top visitor groups are 34% Chinese, 28.2% Caucasian, 16.9% Latino/Hispanic, 8% South Asian, 4.6% Korean, and 4.3% African American. More than 75% of visitors do not speak English at home. Average age is 47, and average time spent in the Garden is 2.5 hours. Many rely on the Garden to be the primary greenspace in their lives. We anticipate learning more about our visitors and serving them better in the coming years.