Attendance tracking can provide a wealth of information about your attendees. However, all of this information can quickly turn into an overwhelming deluge if you haven’t decided ahead of time what to track or how to use that information. Here are three basic objectives that you can use to plan your attendance tracking strategy from start to finish.
1. Gather demographics, prepare for your crowd
Before they ever step foot on the show floor, your attendees have information that you can obtain—and use! At the point of registration, use your event management system to gather attendee demographics that will be relevant to you, your event, and your sponsors. Gathering this data ahead of time—or “tracking” your attendees before they arrive—can help you to anticipate attendee needs and provide an even more outstanding attendee experience.
Example: At registration, you request a link to each registrant’s preferred social media profile. Most people have included their Twitter handle, so you set up a giant real-time social media screen right at the front of the exhibit hall, highlighting the conference twitter page and any “mentions” of it by delegates. Online attendee engagement skyrockets!
2. Control traffic flow
Real-time heat maps can show where crowds are forming—and crowds can be either good or bad. Monitoring this map will help you to prevent a traffic jam . . . or capitalize on a sudden boom in interest at a certain exhibitor booth!
Example: A long line is forming at concession stand A, so you send a staff member to inform customers that concession stand B is open. No more hungry attendees!
3. Measure popularity, solve the “graveyard” problem
Maybe you have a sponsored charging station that no one seems to know about, or a premium sponsor booth just isn’t getting the traffic you promised. Without attendance tracking, you would never know about either of these issues, never mind be capable of solving them. However, by tracking your attendees’ activity, you can employ methods to direct attendees to where you want them to go.
Example: Draw attention to that empty charging station by making an announcement. Or drive more traffic to your premium sponsor’s booth by stationing a coffee cart nearby. Problems solved!