Performance Against Purpose. How do Tourist Attractions know they’re doing a good job?

October 10th, 2017

Your vision drives you. If you’re running a visitor attraction, such as a museum or a theme park, you’ll have a clearly defined vision, mission and purpose. You might not be completely familiar with it, so now is the time to go and look it up. You’ll find it in your strategy handbook.

Some are short, others are long. Either way, your written purpose is a vital set of words. It acts as a compass, pointing you in the right direction. It captures the reason you and your colleagues come to work. Ultimately it defines the impact you intend to have on the world.

Let’s look at some examples. Take this excerpt from the Natural History Museum:
"The Museum’s purpose is to challenge the way people think about the natural world – its past, present and future."

Or this one from Merlin Entertainments:
"Our business is about creating unique, memorable and rewarding visitor experiences."

If those organisations are too big for you to be able to compare against, how about the Museum of London:
"The Museum of London tells the story of the capital from its first settlers to modern times." Now, to the point of this article: How do you measure your success?

How to Measure Success

Most of you will be driven by concrete Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on a day-to-day basis. They will be some easy-to-measure statistic such as ‘visitor numbers’, gift shop sales, or Net Promoter Score (NPS). KPIs are important because they drive daily success, and in that light they are a solid way of showing how well you’re doing.

But in this article we want you to think bigger. We want you to think beyond your simple KPIs and start asking whether or not you’re ‘hitting your purpose’.


After all, KPIs are small and detailed and specific and easy-to-measure. And your purpose is BIG and amorphous and hard-to-measure.

Or is it?

Let’s use the Natural History Museum example to challenge ourselves. As a reminder: "The Museum’s purpose is to challenge the way people think about the natural world – its past, present and future."

You may already be using a post-visit survey to ask your visitors for feedback. Hopefully you’ll be asking them various KPI-related questions such as ‘How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?’, ‘Where did you travel in from?’, and ‘Which exhibits did you see during your visit?’.

The Natural History Museum could simply add an extra question to such a survey, asking “To what extent did we challenge the way you think about the natural world?” If they use a Likert scale then they can turn the responses into a numerical score.

Suddenly it doesn’t seem so hard to track performance against purpose, does it? And that’s really all there is to it: Check that you are asking your visitors a question taken directly from your mission statement.

Before you go, we think there’s an even better feedback method than using post-visit surveys.

OMBEA Insights

OMBEA Insights is our solution. It’s based on physical kiosks called ExpressPods. Each ExpressPod features a single, simple question, such as, "How much did this exhibit challenge the way you think?" You can place as many ExpressPods as you wish around your site.

Data is fed to a central dashboard with plenty of options for aggregation, comparison, and monitoring trends over time.

The twist is that people vote throughout the day, every day, without breaking their stride. It captures feedback on-site, in real time, while your visitors are still going through their experience with you. No more low response rates, no more waiting for weeks before you see vague feedback based on people’s recollections of their visit! ExpressPods give you an ongoing stream of feedback trends broken down by location and by time, right down to the hour!

Since ExpressPods can display the data as a NPS, they’re also going to make light work of some of your simpler KPIs. But we think you should definitely use them to check your performance against purpose. You can find out more about OMBEA ExpressPod here.


OMBEA provides leading solutions for capturing and analyzing real-time feedback. Governments, Fortune 100 corporations and top-rated universities across the globe use our solutions to visualize feedback, generate insight, and make evidence-based decisions. This helps them make their students smarter, their customers happier and their employees more engaged.

Find out more

Give us a few minutes and we will let you know how organizations just like yours have increased their revenue and engagement.