Our Survey Said…

BCN 124 cover

This originally appeared in BCN issue 124, April 2014

In 2004 the annual bi gathering BiCon began a new tradition of an annual attendees’ survey, after it was realised how little organisers and the wider community really knew about who attends the event and how they compare to the average “bi in the street”.

The findings of the 2004 survey were released in a detailed report, and every year since bar 2012 the survey has been conducted again, initially by BiBlio and later by successor group BiUK. However the findings for 2005 – 2011 have yet to be published.

The 2013 survey was organised by BiPhoria instead and the outcomes have just been published, with the 2004 figures for comparison. As with the 2004 survey it reflects responses of about 30% of people attending, so there may be some bias for example as to what kind of person fills in a survey and remembers to return it.

However, it suggests BiCon’s attendee base has aged a little, with fewer under 25’s than ten years ago. On the other hand, efforts to encourage wider attendance through things like the Equality Fund have had a positive effect – there’s a significant improvement in the number of people on low incomes or no income attending.

The survey has evolved over time and the 2013 one included some questions about what LGBT related magazines people read – BCN being a winner with BiCon goers is perhaps not a surprise – and what social websites people use ever and frequently (for the difference – consider how many people still have a MySpace account they have probably forgotten the password to!)

The web and magazine information might be particularly useful for people trying to reach bis to publicise events, local groups or to find participants to help with research.

You can download the full report from BiPhoria’s website www.biphoria.org.uk – and if you’re going, please do remember to fill in and return your BiCon survey this summer!