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One of the key metrics for reporting on your event is visitor numbers. Traditional measurement methods, such as recording registrations on the day or positioning someone on the door with a hand clicker/tally counter, are still popular. But many events are now using technology to increase automation and get more insight into how their events evolve. Here’s a quick how and why…

Measuring accuracy

Traditional methods rely on a person to constantly watch people coming in and out. They need to accurately click each time. And, probably hardest of all, they need to avoid being distracted. Anyone on the door of an event will always get asked questions. Can they keep track of visitors, as well as answer questions from arriving delegates?

Woman standing on stage at event
Delegates at a roadshow (delivered by i3), where measuring footfall can be particularly challenging

Electronic counters remove this risk. They can be mounted at different heights. They’re robust, can be waterproof (perfect for outdoor use). So far so good? Kind of. Studies have found that when there are heavy flows of people, or people passing together (eg with arms linked), electronic counters struggle. If you’re using a wide entrance, this can also affect the sensor’s accuracy.

Encouraging engagement

Someone standing on the door will often be the first point of contact for your visitors. Which is good for reassurance (people like to know they’ve arrived at the correct event). But it can be unnerving speaking to someone who is constantly looking around and whose hand is constantly clicking.

Electronic counters can be combined with digital displays for a different way of engaging. A digital display can show real-time footfall. If you’re expecting a large number of people, this obviously works well to build interest. You can also use it as a promotional tool (“Congratulations, you’re visitor number 300!”)

Improving insight

At the end of an event, traditional counting methods will show how many people attended. Feedback sheets might tell you what they thought. And there’s no technical knowledge required for producing this data. So is that enough?

An i3-delivered conference

Sensors can transmit live information, or store data for subsequent download. You can use it to build up patterns of footfall — by the minute, hour or day. You can then generate reports to analyse which events and venues are working well for you. In a live situation you could monitor visitor flow, helping you decide where place or move existing staff.

Decisions, decisions

Electronic sensor? Hand clicker/tally counter? Which do you choose?

Both are tried-and-tested tools, so it depends on the job you need to do. If you’re not sure, get in touch. We’ve delivered events in all types of venues, so can advise you on the best solution to meet your needs.

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