Can you help a student working with us on the subject of ‘Online vs In-person Literature Events’? Read on for further details…
It is a truth universally acknowledge that Edinburgh is one of the most culturally rich and diverse cities in the world, especially when it comes to literature. Which is why it is an incredible opportunity for professional and personal growth to get the chance collaborate with the Scottish Poetry Library.
My name is Melina Gutiérrez Hansen, a Spanish postgraduate student at Queen Margaret University, who embarked on the adventure of studying a master’s in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management during a global pandemic.
An important part of my current program is the “industry-based learning”, where students are encouraged to intern, volunteer or work with cultural organizations in order to gain a practical insight into the world of arts and cultural management. Unfortunately, the current situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic has not made this an easy task. After consultations with my programme director, the Scottish Poetry Library came up as a suitable option that I could contact since I come from a Languages and Literature undergraduate degree. After some email correspondence, I had the opportunity to virtually meet the SPL’s events and volunteer manager, Beth Cochrane, who was incredibly welcoming and tried to find an opportunity for me to learn and gain practical experience while also being useful to the library. This opportunity then took the form of a small research project.
The research project came up as an idea that would combine both an opportunity for myself to learn about a cultural organization, as well as a research that would be beneficial for the SPL itself and which could be used in the future. Initial conversations about the topic revolved around themes that the library was interested in exploring. Ultimately, we decided upon researching about a very current issue in the cultural field: people’s experiences and expectations with regards to online and in-person events.
After the whole world had to move online in March 2020, this specific topic seems more than relevant to explore and develop for future practice. Not only would it provide me with an opportunity to research in the field that I’m currently studying, but it would help the SPL define strategies for future events according to the needs and expectations of the audience, and thus ensure that even though the world of events might have changed, it is still possible to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
To gather the information for this research, we decided upon an online survey, aimed at a general public who is interested in literature and literature events. In about 10-15 minutes, the participants of the survey will primarily touch upon:
- past experiences they have had with online events
- aspects that make them choose in-person events over online ones or vice versa
- how an online event should be organised to be successful
Participants are also welcomed to include their email address if they would like to be contacted for a further interview about the topic of the survey. This interview would be a more personal and informal opportunity to learn about people’s expectations in more depth.
The survey can be found in the this link.