Exhibition News May 2019 - Page 42

Tech Tried and tested ITE Group partnered with Crowd Connected to gain real-time information about visitors on the show floor at Bett, EN finds out more F or many years there has been an ongoing debate around event apps. Opinions among organisers vary wildly, from those that swear by them to those that swear they will never use them. ITE Group sits in the former camp when it comes to its expansive education technology event Bett. “When you have an event of that scale, having an easy way for our UK and international visitors to navigate the show and map all the information they need is really important,” event director Eve Harper tells EN. “We want to ensure that we keep innovating and giving our visitors and exhibitors an improved experience.” As part of the company’s ongoing Transformation and Growth (TAG) programme, it has been investing heavily in improving its events, including looking into the use of technology to map visitor footfall and movement. “There are so many different technologies and they’re changing very fast at the moment,” explains Pippa Brook, head of project delivery. “It’s about looking at what the options are, trying and testing things and seeing what the best solutions are that can work together.” This is where location intelligence platform Crowd Connected comes into the picture. Around five years ago, CEO James Cobb was frustrated by a lack in the data he could gather about an event he was involved in running. “I was always looking to use data to try to improve the event and run it better,” he tells EN. “I had lots of data from ticketing and there was lots I could do before the event. I could look at ticket sales data and that could help drive marketing decisions. I could even look at ticket sales data and postcode analysis to try to inform traffic planning. “But the problem that I had was that when it actually came to the day of the event and when we actually opened the gates in the morning. There was very little we could do but effectively cross our fingers and hope.” By the time issues involving crowd management came to light at the event, it felt more like firefighting than prevention. Out of that frustration, Crowd Connected was born. “The very first event we “We don't get 100 percent opt-in rates, we get data from people who have chosen to buy into the system” – James Cobb 42 — May