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DataEQ supports Expo 2020 in uncovering visitor experience insights and trends

Social media data proves critical to tracking hybrid-model exhibition success

With a working relationship that spans back to 2017, Expo 2020 Dubai initially enlisted the analytic support of DataEQ to better understand public sentiment towards key initiatives and map visitor experience throughout the world expo event set to kick off in October 2020.

Despite being postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the first ever universal exhibition hosted in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) went ahead in Dubai from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. The pandemic-driven global shift towards digital, however, saw a much greater emphasis placed on the virtual experiences on offer, making social media data all the more valuable as an overall success metric for the event.

Accurate social media sentiment tracking

DataEQ analysed close to four million social media mentions about Expo 2020, with a million of these mentions pertaining to the opening and closing ceremonies.

While the majority of this online conversation originated from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other parts of Asia, large volumes of conversations about the event also came from social media users in the United States, Africa, and Europe.

Country breakdown of Twitter volume for Expo2020

To ensure the accurate verification and categorization of mentions originating from multiple markets in a variety of languages, DataEQ ran the data through a Crowd of trained and vetted local language contributors from around the world.

Analysis of conversation from multiple markets and in multiple languages:

By accurately structuring all relevant online conversation, DataEQ was able to provide a robust customer satisfaction metric known as Net Sentiment, which enabled Expo2020 to track public sentiment towards the event in real time. Calculated by subtracting the total volume of negative sentiment from positive sentiment, Net Sentiment is an aggregated and real-time metric that assists in giving a more accurate view of user experience. Over the six-month period, the Net Sentiment of Expo 2020 was overwhelmingly positive at 16.8%.

Root cause analysis

Considering the wide variety of experiences on offer, with over 200 participants – including nations, multilateral organizations, businesses, and educational institutions – Expo 2020 also required all pavilion-related conversation to be segmented for further analysis. To do this, DataEQ applied a range of meta tags to the data, allowing a granular analysis of pavilion performance.

Overall, the top pavilions that contributed to posts about Expo 2020 were the Italian and Indian pavilions, while the pavilion posts that garnered the most engagement on social media were India and Saudi Arabia.

The Expo 2020 activities that drove the highest level of social media engagement were the Kpop and SB19 concerts. The SB19 performance saw high engagement from press and the public as well.

Visitor journey mapping

To gain a deeper understanding of visitor experience, Expo 2020 online conversation was categorized according to customer journey stages, which included ticket purchasing; ticket cancellation; assistance requests; and customer feedback.

As Expo 2020 ran its course, people increasingly gave feedback around the experiences they had and were more eager to purchase tickets and attend.

With social media conversation having been identified as a key source of real-time data for Expo 2020, we needed a partner that could provide us with highly accurate social data across multiple languages. Through DataEQ’s daily, weekly and monthly reports, we are able to gain unique insights into the visitor experience, tackle priority issues around servicing and ticket purchases, and better understand what factors were driving public sentiment towards Expo 2020

Shobha Srinath, Head of Media Planning and Buying - Marketing
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