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Chase Sapphire Preferred occupied space on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival in January. A post-festival Sundance survey Sundance includes questions about the event's sponsors. File photo by Christopher Reeves/Park Record

How did the Sundance Film Festival go for you?

The organizers of the festival just after it wrapped sent a lengthy survey via email to people who attended in January and others on the Sundance recipient list. The survey covers a broad range of topics, and the questions offer insights into what sort of improvements the festival could make.

The 62-question survey was distributed to people who signed up for festival updates via email and people who purchased tickets, passes or packages. The broadness of the distribution list would appear to cover a significant swath of the people who were in Park City for Sundance.

"We have conducted a post-festival survey for many years. We are continually working to improve the audience experience at the Sundance Film Festival," the organizers said in a prepared response to The Park Record about the survey.

One of the intriguing questions for festival-goers asks them to rate the overall experience at the festival theaters. The question lists each of the theaters and offers ratings of: "excellent," "good," "Ok," "bad" and "very bad." The theater list includes the Park City-area screening rooms like the Eccles Center, the Egyptian Theatre and the Park City Library and Education Center as well as those outside of the area.

The survey delves deeper into theater questions, asking people about the knowledge and helpfulness of the volunteers, the cleanliness and safety of the theaters and whether "the screening experience was consistent, whether viewing a film at the same theatre or a different theatre.


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The theater experience has long been critical to the festival organizers as they tinkered with the operations over the years and added screening rooms like those at the Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center and Temple Har Shalom to the festival roster. The theater additions have allowed organizers to put more of the prized screening tickets into circulation.

Another intriguing section of the survey covers merchandising and sponsorships. Sundance in that section of the survey says, "without the generosity of our Sponsor community, the 2014 Sundance Film Festival would not be possible" as it acknowledges the sponsor support.

Some of the questions center on sponsors include whether someone was aware that corporate interests like HP, Acura and Chase Sapphire Preferred were official sponsors. Another question asks: "Did you observe additional companies that you believed to be an Official Sponsor of the Festival?" The survey inquires about whether someone saw other corporate interests that they "believed to be an Official Sponsor of the Festival?" If someone answers yes, the survey asks for details.

The questions are driven by Sundance's long-running efforts to protect the festival's official sponsors from other corporate interests that temporarily have a presence in Park City for the festival spotlight.

"Sundance Institute is continually working to improve the guest experience. We will take the survey results, digest them through our extensive wrap process and decide what we use for strategic improvement for 2015," organizers said in the prepared response.

The results will not be made public, Sundance said.

The survey is separate from another one that is taken that measures the economic impact of the festival each year. Sundance taps the University of Utah's Bureau of Economic and Business Research to conduct the economic survey. Those results are typically made public midyear.

Some of the other topics covered in the survey include:

  • biographical information like age, education level, household income, religion, race and employment. A question about gender offers multiple-choice answers of: "male," "female," "part time as one gender, part time as the other," "a gender not listed here" and "N/A."

  • the reasons someone did not attend the festival, with multiple-choice answers including ticket availability, ticket cost, the cost of travel, lodging availability, events, film selection and the presence of industry.

  • the satisfaction with the festival itself as well as the selection of films, the lineup of music acts, panel discussions and the art installations that were part of the New Frontier program.

  • the ticketing process, including instructions about how to buy tickets, online ticketing and customer service. The answer options range from very satisfied to very dissatisfied.

  • the festival shuttles, including questions about the shuttle system's usefulness, whether signs were helpful and whether someone used some sort of technology while navigating the shuttles

  • lodging arrangements, including where someone stayed during the festival. Multiple-choice options ranged from the historic district of Park City to Salt Lake City. The survey also asked what someone's motivation was when selecting an option to book lodging.

    Sundance is, by a wide margin, the biggest entry on Park City's busy calendar of special events. It is regarded as the top domestic marketplace of independent films and one of most prestigious on the international circuit. The festival draws big crowds to Park City for the screenings, celebrity gawking and partying. This year's festival opened on Jan. 16 and wrapped Jan. 26. City Hall and festival organizers in 2013 reached a long-term agreement to hold Sundance in Park City through at least 2026.