The Access Survey results are in: Good access is key to repeat custom
In conjunction with Euan’s Guide, Disabled Access Day conducted the second annual Access Survey earlier this year and over 200 people responded about their experiences of accessing venues.
Survey results revealed that 95% of people research a venues accessibility before paying a visit and 86% of people claim that they are ‘very likely’ to return to a venue with good access. Getting this right is key to tapping into the ‘purple pound’ market worth an estimated £212 billion per year – so what are you doing and what can you do to access this market?
The answer is lots of things and the good news is there are over 80 days to go until the next Disabled Access Day on 12th March so there is still plenty of time to make improvements and sign up!
So what information are people looking for when deciding whether or not to visit a venue:
- Transport to and from venues is key, the ability to park near to or get public transport to a venue was important for 93% of respondents
- 90% of respondents said knowing they can get into and around a venue is an influencing factor
- Having an accessible toilet at or nearby your venue was important for 80% of people
- Staff helpfulness and friendliness was also important for 70% of people.
Providing accurate information
If you’re a venue that has an accessible toilet, friendly and helpful staff, great transport links or fantastic access – or in fact all of the above – how do you let people know that they should pay you a visit?
The survey asked respondents how they find out about a venue’s access and the results showed that accessing information online was a key source, either through the venues website or an internet search. One respondent advised: “We are often put off visiting a venue if there is no information on their website.”
Therefore, having a dedicated page on your website about your venue’s access information with a clear link from your home or booking page is important, otherwise you could be losing out on potential visitors you didn’t even know about. For this information to be useful, it’s imperative that it is accurate and kept up to date. Things that might not seem like a big issue like a lift temporarily out of order or (ramp) access partially blocked by building work during a refurbishment, can make or break a visit for a disabled person, so make sure your website is always kept up to date.
Listing on Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review website and app, is another great way to ensure people find out about your venues accessibility. Venues are invited to list their access information and disabled people their friends and family are able to review their experiences of a venues access. Not only will you be able to market yourself to an engaged market you will also have the opportunity to receive and respond to feedback about people’s experiences of their visit. This will give you an insight into what you’re doing well and what improvements you could make in the future.
What about if you’re looking to improve the accessibility at your venue now? Respondents were asked what improvements venues could make to improve their experience:
Environmental changes (89%) came top of the list and might include things like adding in level access or lifts, creating wider walkways or corridors or adding in an accessible toilet. With 80% of respondents advising that the presence of an accessible toilet influences whether or not they visit somewhere, it’s definitely something worth considering adding to your venue.
While you might be pushed for time to have big environmental changes ready in time for Disabled Access Day, looking at things like staff training, provision of information or improving your signage before the 12th March are good ways to improve your venues accessibility. One respondent shows that staff training can go a long way in providing a welcoming and accessible environment: “Helpful and well informed staff is the most important aspect. Even if the venue isn’t great, if the staff are helpful then all is well!”
Not sure where to start? We have a range of advice and tips that will help you make improvements and prepare for Disabled Access Day:
- Small businesses and accessibility
- Top tips for your café or coffee shop
- What makes a great listing on Euan’s Guide?
- Museums and Galleries information pack
- Theatre information pack
- Venue pack and top tips on accessibility
So, what’s the conclusion?
Getting accurate information is key, not only to ensure people have a good experience at your venue when they visit you but also at engaging people in the first place. Nearly 1 in 5 people in the UK is a disabled person so it’s important for your business get it right and with 95% of people researching access information before visiting a venue, providing information on your website and listing on Euan’s Guide are a good start to making sure more people know about your venues accessibility.
Disabled Access Day is the perfect day to show your commitment to providing an accessible venue and it’s not too late to sign up! With over 100 venues already taking part you’ll be in great company and we’d love you to join us. For more information, head over to our ‘get involved’ and resources pages.