Do You Really Understand What NPS Means?
There is a suspicion that many people in the events industry don't fully understand the significant role NPS plays in running successful exhibitions.
It's often viewed as just another metric to measure and one that many teams are now incentivized to improve, however, if you were to ask an honest question to the entire market about what NPS means and what it does, many likely wouldn't know.
"Is the question 'how likely are you to recommend us on a scale from 0 to 10' really driving change? Do people really understand what it means and how to use it?"
— Richard Kensett, VP Enterprise Partnerships, Explori
While tracking and comprehending NPS is significant, it is only one aspect to consider among several others that should be evaluated to gain a comprehensive understanding of exhibition performance.
NPS may be turning 20, but does it really help us understand customer experiences?
The answer is this: NPS is not an end in itself. It should be used as part of a broader measurement effort, combining qualitative and quantitative information to help event planners drive positive experiences.
NPS has gained a lot of traction as a metric for gauging the success of exhibitions, and whilst it is still very relevant on its 20th birthday (link to other post / article?), the actual measurements of successful visitor or exhibitor engagement are deeper than a rating of 1-10.
The way NPS is calculated makes it a little complicated for exhibitions.
To put this into context, look at your dinner last night. Out of ten, how would you rate it? Maybe a 6? So it was pretty good, but it could be a bit better? You didn't throw it in the bin, but would you tell a mate about it? Maybe.
In NPS ratings, this score would be considered a detractor and be subtracted from your promoter's scores (and most certainly be binned!).
So, when asking someone about their thoughts on the latest trade show they attended, they may tend to give a simplistic answer as, generally, people prefer to take a moderate stance and avoid extreme opinions. It's also important to remember that even a small minority with strong opinions can greatly impact your overall NPS score - positively or negatively.
How good an NPS can you achieve?
Gaining popularity in the events industry with the arrival of private equity firms, NPS remains a valuable tool for supporting business decisions, as typically, a high NPS indicates positive revenue growth momentum and fosters positive interactions between visitors, exhibitors and the event organiser.
However, to achieve a 9-10 rating on the NPS scale for an exhibition or event, there needs to be an exceptional level of satisfaction from visitors in terms of the quality of products and services offered, value for money, the overall event experience as well as the customer service. It's a big ask.
If you want to understand your audience and your event performance, you should consider a blend of metrics instead.
Measure your overall event score
NPS has its place in event measurement, but what you should do instead is combine various metrics such as loyalty, advocacy, and the importance of attending your event and then compare how your overall event score performs against previous years or industry benchmarks.
In so doing, you will get a much better indicative view of how your audience perceived your event, how likely they are to return and the value your event offered.
At Explori, we believe in considering the entire audience experience to provide a rounded view of customer sentiment and accurate insight into how well your event is performing. Together with surveys, this data can help you develop strategies for improving engagement, increasing loyalty and ultimately creating an exceptional experience for participant’s next time.
The importance of understanding your audience
Events with high customer experience scores are easier to run, more profitable, and faster-growing, which everyone wants from their event.
Once you know what's driving your NPS and overall event scores, you can adapt and tweak your strategy to improve it for the following year. In Explori, customers can click on a report, select their NPS and instantly see their detractors. This report will tell you everything you need to know about that audience profile, such as what products they are interested in, what were there objectives of the event, and who they were.
Once you understand your personas, you can build profiles with these detractors and focus on areas that could improve from a 4/5/6 to a 7/8 or even a 9/10.
Don't forget your promoters
It's easy to focus on increasing your detractors and ensuring you have a highly-positive NPS score, however, don't forget to focus on your promoters too. Promoters are the people who drive growth in your organisation and increase word-of-mouth referrals, so focus on initiatives that reward them for their loyalty.
Think beyond unique links - today, advocates are more than likely to know the worth of their audience to you, so offer them VIP experiences beyond a unique referral code - your VIPs want to feel valued - to ensure they are engaged with your events as much as possible.
NPS remains a valuable metric in the industry after 20 years, but it should not be used as an end-all measurement of success. It should instead form part of a broader evaluation initiative that combines qualitative and quantitative information to help event planners understand what can be done to drive positive experiences for their audience.
By gathering insights into their personas, focusing on detractors and promoters, and offering VIP experiences to their most valued customers, exhibition organisers can create an exceptional customer experience that will leave a lasting impression on their audiences.
With the right combination of metrics and tools, you can optimise your exhibition performance for an improved overall customer experience.