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Key characteristics of a good KPI?

Every business uses Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to determine success and measure their achievement. However, not every company understands what constitutes a good KPI or how to go about setting one. There are a few basic steps to correcting this – starting with the definition of a KPI and an understanding of what attributes a good one.

What is a KPI?

As mentioned above, KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. This is essentially a way for companies to measure and present their success and achievements.

An important distinction to make here is between KPIs and metrics. A metric is a form of measurement used to ascertain the relative performance of a particular activity. A KPI is a type of metric in the sense that it measures performance, but this doesn’t mean that all metrics are KPIs.

The key distinction is that KPIs always reflect company goals and strategies whereas other metrics may not.

To ascertain what makes a good KPI you must, therefore, understand exactly what company goals you want to achieve, and how.

Determining your company goals

Determining your company goals

One of the first step to creating successful KPIs for your business is to determine overall company goals. This is more involved than simply asking yourself what you hope to achieve.

Begin by thinking about the core aims of your business. What is it you hope to achieve in the long-run and where would you position yourself in your industry or sector?

Once you have this broad idea nailed down, you can begin to focus more closely and work out shorter-term goals and aims that will help you achieve your wider objective.

KPIs don’t have to be financial measurements, they can be more qualitative value-driven measurements. This could be something concerning customer satisfaction or product quality.

If your overall aim is to be a respected manufacturer or retailer of a particular product in your industry, then your short-term goal should be to bring customer satisfaction or product quality to the desired level.

A good KPI will not only give you an indication of your current success, but it will also be a realistic measurement that is not skewed by other data. In addition, good KPIs will provide valuable insight for your business and its performance.  It will also provide vital data that can be used to inform future decisions that in turn could deliver tangible returns back to your business.

Setting KPIs at an Exhibition

Investing in an exhibition stand is expensive, so you need measure return on your investment. Setting strategic objectives across different job functions and then related KPIs to measure the success is vital.

For example strategic marketing objectives could be:

  • Marketing new product/services
  • Building brand awareness
  • Generating editorial coverage
  • Developing new markets

An example of related KPIs to these strategic objectives could be:

  • Quality of feedback
  • Number of impressions on your website pre,-during and post show
  • Number of articles generated
  • Number of quality leads gathered from new markets

Measuring success from leads taken at an exhibition means that you can assess how much revenue you made from them in total and also begin to set future benchmarks.

Exhibitions are a great way to get noticed and to promote your business to new potential audiences. You will need to have a suitable stand and promotional materials to display but once this is arranged it is down to you to put your best foot forward and sell your business.

Sales lead generation and improved brand awareness are the main benefits of this activity.  However, you may want to go one step further and set a KPI against a number of visitors who answered a survey on your stand in order to understand how many new people you have engaged with at an event and screen for quality leads.

Without feedback from an audience, you’ll find it hard to ascertain whether you’re hitting the right mark or providing great service, products or both. No matter what the overall aim of your business, chances are good customer satisfaction will be high on your list of KPIs. No company wants to be remembered for bad service or products.

Customer feedback forms are a great way to gather initial responses. You may find that the return rate is poor depending on the format you choose. Stick to simple open-ended questions that are easy to answer (multiple choice is always best) and if you can afford it. Further, consider offering an incentive for completing the survey.

Finally, it is important set KPIs in order to understand why the business is performing as it is. It’s important that KPIs are tracked at all times so that you can act on the information and become even more successful in the future.

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