How Sapphire Now Is Using Attendee-Tracking Systems
Find out how the tech conference is using iBeacons and Wi-Fi heat mapping to improve the customer experience.
As more than 20,000 customers, partners, and employees of German software company SAP AG traverse the Orange County Convention Center during Sapphire Now, the company’s largest annual conference, iBeacons and sensors are tracking their movements. The conference, which wraps up today, has more than 1,000 iBeacons and 30 Wi-Fi sensors around the one million-square-foot show floor and in common areas and meeting rooms around the convention center. While the data is being monitored in real time, organizers said the real value will come when they analyze it after the event.
“I will see how people moved, how they progressed, where they stayed longer, where the crowded areas were,” said Michael Trovalli, SAP’s vice president of global events. “I can also start to build models out of that. If you are a C.E.O., this is the pattern you followed; if you are a vice president, here is the pattern you followed. I can break it by industry, job titles, lines of business. There will be all sorts of ways to slice this information.”
The iBeacons are located throughout the floor, in every demonstration station, partner exhibit, presentation theater, and meeting room. Attendees opt in through the event app, provided by Eventbase, and then can use the iBeacons for navigation and wayfinding. By opting in, organizers can correlate the iBeacon data to specific user profiles. Trovalli said they are also using the iBeacons for limited push messaging. For example, as attendees walk in the south concourse they receive an alert to visit a nearby display demonstrating SAP’s work with Mercedes-AMG.
The second tracking system, which monitors devices as they connect to Wi-Fi, is anonymous. Trovalli said this data will provide an overall look at traffic patterns and areas of interest. “If I see that everyone on the floor starts here and has to go way over there, maybe next year I put these stations closer together for a better customer experience. It’s all about what they’re doing. That’s what this data is going to tell me,” he said.
Attendance at Sapphire Now is up about 6 percent compared to 2014, and Trovalli estimates there will also be 150,000 unique online views for the live stream of keynotes and presentations.
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