Accurately measuring your traffic is important to exhibitors and sponsors, as well as the trade show hosts themselves. An accurate traffic count can ensure that a sponsor or vendor wants to spend their marketing dollars on your event; traffic analytics can be the determiner on whether someone sees your show as successful or not. Unfortunately, hand counters at the show entrances, ticket check-ins, and ticket sales on-site only gives an estimate of true foot traffic and are outdated, especially if you have multiple ticket options. Technology is your solution to getting the most accurate metrics at a trade show. Best of all, these technological options don’t require a lot of staff. Here are 5 of the best technologies available to you to track metrics at a trade show.
WiFi Monitors and Heat Maps
The first type of tech to help you monitor your tradeshow traffic reads and tracks individual smart devices. These sensors can actually show attendee movement throughout the show, and then graph it on heat maps. The more advanced algorithms can even discount staff and vendor signals to ensure you are only counting attendees. Unfortunately, this tech is used only with WiFi enabled devices, so phones that are not smartphones or aren’t on/are on airplane mode will negatively affect the data.
he heat maps that are generated can also demonstrate how long attendees tend to stay in certain areas, which gives insight on human interest. Even more, the data can be analyzed on an hour-by-hour basis to show how traffic progresses and the areas that draw the most attention. These hotspots for traffic are also more valuable, and thus can bring in more sponsorship and/or exhibitor dollars.
Badge Scanners and Gamification
Tradeshow hosts can also set up kiosks throughout the floor that give people points for checking in and scanning their badge. The points and leader board encourage people to visit kiosks, and the placement of kiosks can strategically direct the flow of traffic in certain directions. With this interactive system, attendees are kept engaged while they continually move around the show floor, and the show hosts can track where the most people go and at what times.
Wearables and Beacons
Wearables can be wristbands, pendants, or some other configuration that helps track who goes where, at what time, and how many attendees are in a room at once. Strategically placed scanners will detect people as they pass through sensors to help keep accurate monitoring as attendees move around. This is an excellent option because it helps to account for all individuals without relying on smartphones or interaction; however, you have to count on attendees wearing them and remembering to keep them on.
In a similar vein, beacons can pick up the signal of wearables (or a smartphone app) to help show how many people are in a given space or where the flow of traffic is going. This can assist planners in suggesting attendees move to less crowded areas to help disperse traffic and aid booths in different locations.
Drones and 360-Degree Cameras
Drones can take pictures from a birds-eye-view that can be analyzed for an estimated headcount of people per 100 square feet. Drones work best for large showrooms and big events that are hard to keep track of; the method doesn’t depend on attendees, but rather mathematical analysis. However, it is definitely the most labor-intensive option.
360-degree cameras can capture all areas of the floor at once, ensuring that you don’t count any areas or people twice. Using these shots, analysts can estimate crowd size using a grid method like the one used with drone images.
Smart Floor Sensors
Smart floor sensors measure traffic anonymously without you having to do any of the work and can be used for any size area, and can provide real time data. Smart floor sensor mats can provide valuable insights, such as number of attendee visits, wait times, traffic flow, rush hour, bottleneck areas, and even which displays draw the most attendees. Thus, smart floor sensor mats provide insights important for the tradeshow as a whole as well as for individual exhibitors.
If these smart floor mats are exactly what you’re looking for to help manage a trade show, check out Scanalytics Inc. Their smart floor analytics make gathering and understanding data simple to help you get the most out of your trade show space. Floor sensors work best for the benefit of show hosts, show vendors, and even the attendees since they don’t need to have any part in helping track their whereabouts.