Extravaganza 2023 Evaluation Results

The Extravaganza planning team leaders just completed their annual meeting to review and debrief from the 2023 Extravaganza, and to launch the planning process for Extravaganza 2024.

The planning team is thankful for all of the people who chose to participate in the 2023 event, either in person or online. And we are grateful to the 169 participants (not including exhibitors) who took the time to fill out the event evaluation. The time and energy you invested in helping us to continue to improve the Extravaganza is deeply appreciated. We read every evaluation, and every comment. And the team took seriously all of the content that was submitted.

Extravaganza 2023 had a total of 658 participants, when you add together the in person and online participants. Some interesting data:

  • Of the 658 participants, 207 came to the event from regions 3 and 5, representing the upper midwest. That’s not a surprise, given the demographics of the Lutheran Church. The next largest region was 4, followed by region 2, which hosted the event. 
  • The participants of this year’s Extravaganza was an experienced crew. 60% of the participants had at least 10 years of experience. 11% had 5-10 years of experience, 29%had 1-5 years of experience and 14% had less than one year of experience.
  • This year, only 1% of participants identified as a volunteer, compared with 11% last year. We think this might be because the location and the perceived costs of being in Southern California may have deterred volunteers from participating. 20% of participants were rostered leaders.
  • 27% of participants were attending the E for the first time, while 33% had attended at least six times.
  • 11.7% of participants identified as people of color. This percentage has remained pretty steady over the years.

On a scale of 1-10, when we asked the question: “How likely are you to recommend the Extravaganza to a friend?” the answer was 8.76, which is a very strong score. And the event’s net promoter score was 58. The Net Promoter score evaluates how participants feel about the overall quality of an event. The scale for scores is -100 to +100. And any score over 0 is considered good. Over 50 is “very good,” and over 70 is considered “world class.” 

There were lots and lots of comments. The total length of the report was 41 pages (small font, single spaced!)

And as one might expect, comments were all over the board. Some people loved the music, some didn’t. Some loved the way the theme was carried out, and some didn’t. Some loved the time of lament, and some didn’t.

One of the things we learned was the importance of communicating at the beginning, where the “arc” of the story will take the group. All of the sessions are connected, and through the c course of the event, the main stage team works to “tell a story,” ultimately the story of God’s great love. We think we could have done a better job communicating that this year. For instance, some were surprised by the somber and heavy nature of the night we focused on lament…but didn’t realize that the journey we were on was going to take us from lament to resurrection and joy. We need to do a better job setting up that story, and your feedback helped us to realize that. Thank you!

Every year, some people make comments about the strong emphasis we place on inclusion in the people we put on the main stage. This is an intentional effort. Some people really loved that. Others thought perhaps that it got in the way of what we were trying to communicate. We believe that God has a vision for the church that represents “…every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9) This will continue to be a focus for the E team. And our goal is that this feels natural and organic…that someday the stage and the whole event is diverse and inclusive because our church is. 

Some people felt like the E didn’t lift up the name of Jesus enough. We think this is a good critique. While we believe that God’s presence was real, and was woven throughout the event, we probably could have “named” Jesus more throughout the event.

There were many other comments and themes that were lifted up. And we are thankful for them. Trust me when I tell you that we are paying attention.

E Team Leaders

Another thing we pay attention is the question: “I will be back next year.” 81% indicated that they would be participating in person or online in 2024. 17% said they may take a year or two off and 1% (only 3 people) said there was no chance they would be back. While we grieve the 3 people, we are grateful for all of those who plan on making the Extravaganza an ongoing part of their vocational formation. 

The team that plans the event has incredible passion for their work. They love this work and they love the Extravaganza. 

Thank you again to all of you for being a part of it. The E is the event it is because of those who choose to come and be a part of it. We take your investment in time, energy and financial resources very seriously…and we work hard to steward those investments. We want your participation to be helpful and important in your work and ministry.

We will start very soon putting more information out for Extravaganza 2024. Keep an eye on the web site and the Network’s social channels to learn more.

God’s peace!

Todd Buegler
Executive Director

  1. Thanks Todd and the Board for publishing this report. It models well how to receive feedback, evaluate areas of growth, and name convictions for why somethings will continue to be the same.


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