Here's a secured placement for our client Control Group in BizBash. The article looks at how technology is changing the way event planners are engaging with attendees, and the previous work Control Group has done in this space with previous partners O'Reilly Where Conference, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, and with Chevron at the World Petroleum Conference.

Control Group is an innovation strategy firm that uses technology and design to help clients envision what's possible and build it with them.

For the BizBash article, Control Group CEO Campbell Hyers presents three examples of attendee tracking and how it can be used to enhance user experience at an event:

1. Tracking movement throughout a large space, such as a convention hall.
Control Group demonstrated this capability at the O’Reilly Where Conference in April. The company built a Wi-Fi network to capture real-time location patterns of attendees through their Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The data indicated the types and concentration of devices in the room at any given moment, for example indicating the booths that attracted the most people. “The purpose was to allow people at that conference who are interested in proximity marketing and intelligence to have a conversation about what it means to have that sort of information,” said Hyers. This type of tracking can also be used to make the space and signage react differently based on a person’s movement. “If I am returning to a space that [has], let’s say a display screen, it would be good if you didn’t repeat what I had previously experienced. There’s knowledge that can be gained from knowing you have a returning person. For example, to let the booth manager know, ‘Hey somebody is here for a second time. You should seek them out,’” said Hyers. 

2. Tracking what a person does in a particular location, such as within a booth. 
At the World Petroleum Conference in Qatar last December, Control Group created a 12- by 80-foot interactive display wall for Chevron. “Rather than creating a whole bunch of touch-screen interfaces—honestly, I think there is too much of that in the industry—there was an infrared sensor that could detect when [attendees] were walking and when they stopped. And when they stopped, materials start to present themselves on the screen. If the person leans forward to the screen, the material further unveils itself. [It's] almost turning your body into the point-and-click device,” said Hyers. The technology is transparent to the attendees, which is the most effective way to use it. “Do not try to make someone learn a new interface to interact with your communications effort. Allow them to do the most natural thing they do in order to get access to your message or product,” said Hyers.

3. Tracking what a person does in more detail within a booth or display.
Sensors can provide data on what people are touching and holding, and that data can trigger the type of information presented within that display. “For example, it’s a vacuum cleaner [display]. If you see a lot of people are giving it a subtle shake to check its weight, you learn a little bit about the sales process. That is an opportunity to pull something up on the screen that provides more information about weight,” said Hyers.