Exhibition World Issue 2 — 2019 - Page 50

Analysis ‘Developer’ in their title, rather than those with direct buying power. When applying KPIs to gauge the type of attendee the show is attracting, we should consider including measures such as ‘time spent by the buyer on reviewing a product’ and ‘buyer interaction with the exhibitor’. Indeed, just how long is the buyer’s attention span? The ways in which attendees interact can tell us a lot about the performance of the event and is also a strong indicator of engagement. But who is best positioned to assess the KPIs a modern exhibition organiser should be using? With the industry being a lot bolder in the exploration and incorporation of technology and digital innovations to greater influence the customer experience, I asked one technology company whether their clients were presenting them with the kind of KPIs they would expect when it comes to isolating the data they think they require to succeed. “Some clients do provide us with the KPIs to track, and they are almost always in line with our thinking,” said Mykyta Fastovets from Expoplatform, a UK-based technology provider for business events. “Some clients do ask for suggestions. Which scenario happens depends on how much of an expert the client is in the area that they are trying to measure success in. Often, ExpoPlatform is the expert rather than the client, so it can be down to us to establish KPIs together with the client, and then deliver the data to derive them.” KPIs used for internal measurement are also being improved by technology. Revenue isn’t the only route to a more attractive bottom line. If that value can be multiplied through the use of modern exhibition tools, such as biometrics or self-scan check-in, or a simple-to-use smartphone-based matchmaking tool, then the overall performance of your operations team is likely to improve. 50 Issue 2 2019 “Our business environment is not the same as it was 20, 10, or even five years ago and the way in which we measure performance should reflect this” Engagement can be measured through post-event surveys, but it can also be assessed in a live environment. And, in a digitally enabled exhibition environment, KPIs taken during the event can be used to affect change while the show is ongoing. Companies such as Explori use technology to help organisers understand and manage audience satisfaction through their Digital Exhibition Management Services. The system enables management to have a clearer view of the customer experience across comparable products and portfolios, enabling them to better understand drivers of loyalty, growth and opportunity. With event technology being used more and more at events, such as event apps which have now become standard and allow organisers to monitor trends more effectively, engaged attendees can be a KPI themselves. Above: Matthias Baur Making KPIs relevant A good 10 to 15 years ago, we all realised that quality was more important than quantity and started vetting the visitors and exhibitors a lot more, paying close attention to the calibre and variety of exhibitors impacting on show standard and the potential to support show evolution. It may be time to now consider how else we can measure the quality of the experience. The ease of doing business should be measured with the focus on how to increase the opportunity of conducting quality business, providing participants with value-based networking opportunities to conduct quality business done within short time- frames. We should also be open to benchmarking on competing events. Events should not be measured in isolation, they need to keep abreast of competitors to ensure the quality of the industry as a whole is elevated year-on-year. There is a variety of KPIs that can be included to measure events and company performance which can promote event and industry growth. The question is, are traditional KPIs sufficient or do we need to choose more relevant indicators and, if so, how should we define these new-age KPIs to ensure they are applicable beyond current changing trends? In a digital, fast-paced world, reinvention, innovation and maintaining the competitive edge should be ingrained in everything we do. Key performance indicators are the tools to keep these driving forces alive. Is it not time for industry associations, organisers and venues should start actively challenging the current status quo and devise new indicators that fit into the demands and dynamics of today’s revolutionising world? What the KPIs of the future should be is a question we should be formulating to ensure the future of our business. w w w.exhibitionworld.co.uk