My take on this is simple: if we're having more fun, the expansion was a success. If there are more folks in nullsec having honest-to-goodness fights, blowing up capitals and super capitals, if there are more people from hisec poking their heads into lowsec, nullsec and w-space, if there are more people deciding that losing ships isn't the end of the world, then it will be a success.
Encouraging people to venture into danger is as much about controlling the negative PR (the toxic atmosphere of starter corps where people are told horror stories of perma-red gate camps on every lowsec entrance, PL hot drops on frigates doing exploration, and other such nonsense) as it is about providing something interesting to do.
Which means that it's really down to the players to encourage other players to join them in lowsec.
What are you doing to make this expansion a success?
Me? I'm heading out to lowsec for exploration and hauling.