For us here at Bluewater, being a leader in experiential AV and event technology isn’t just about offering the latest and greatest systems and technology. It’s about the opportunity for innovation and value that this technology provides — the chance to positively disrupt a traditional event venue, the opportunity to connect further with attendees, and most importantly, the chance to make an impact that lasts long after the event is over.
So, when we had the opportunity to expand our service offering to include a partnership with WaitTime — an industry leader in crowd intelligence and real-time live event experiences — we jumped at the chance to offer even more value and impact to both our retail and event partners through real-time crowd reporting and data.
How does WaitTime work?
WaitTime is a patented artificial intelligence that provides event professionals with real-time information on crowd movement and density, while also providing live information to guests on where to find the shortest wait times (“wait finding”), or what attractions are garnering the most attention (“wayfinding”).
However, while WaitTime has worked with several industry leaders across the sports world to form better customer service experiences, including arenas, stadiums, and sports organizations directly, the real-time technology offered by WaitTime can also provide huge benefits to everything from trade shows to retail experiences.
That’s why we here at Bluewater are so excited to offer the opportunity to help our clients better understand where people are moving, staying, and even avoiding through WaitTime’s real-time data technology — helping both event and retail professionals quantify fan behavior, create better fan experiences, and even create efficiences in their marketing, layout, and processes.
How to enhance your experience with Bluewater + WaitTime:
#1: Provide Live Event Wayfinding
We’ve been to plenty of events in our time. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you have, too. The truth is, some of them are just plain hard to navigate.
It’s not always the event host’s fault. Some venues are harder to work with than others, and many impose limitations on the type of signage that you’re allowed to use to direct your attendees.
Thankfully, wayfinding services can be easily provided via monitors throughout the event space, and some events can even use an app-based interface that can offer a live, interactive map to attendees right in their pocket.
#2: Analyze Booth and Space Engagement at Events
WaitTime’s platform uses mounted sensors placed strategically throughout an event space to collect actionable data that can be put to use. In stadiums or sports arenas, this tech can be used to show relative wait times at various concessions areas, bars, restaurants, and restrooms, helping attendees navigate the space more efficiently.
In the event space, we anticipate using this software to analyze where people are spending their time at an event or within a trade show booth. Using this technology, you can quickly learn which booths and spaces were big draws at the event, as well as which ones were not. You can then account for this in the future to maximize the impact that you are making at each event.
This is powerful information: for recurring yearly or semiannual events, you can use the intelligence gathered to better plan your layout next year. Plus, knowing how valuable a given exhibitor is to your attendees can guide your decision-making at future events.
#3: Calculate ROI for your Digital Signage
Digital signage is a big deal, and it’s something vendors and even event tech companies like us truly find a lot of value in. But, what if for once we could actually calculate it’s ROI? What if we could tell companies how many people viewed a certain message, or even correlate those numbers to sell-through data during a certain time period? That’s the kind of impact we’re talking about having with this alliance.
Digital signage is a massively powerful tool that gets results. But, we also understand that digital signage isn’t cheap. So, if you’re planning an event on a budget, you have to be judicious in where you use digital signage, and having a more exact calculation of its ROI helps to understand which content is working vs. which is not.
By deploying WaitTime’s sensor technology at digital signage locations, you can capture and analyze data in both real time and during post engagement. This means you can calculate the real impact (not just the imagined or inferred impact) of your digital signage by measuring who stops and interacts with it, and even who follows through with any promotion related to its content.
Armed with this data, at next year’s event you can upgrade or enhance the successful digital signage placements and kill off the unsuccessful ones.
#4: Analyze Retail Activation and Kiosk Placement
Another use we’ve identified for WaitTime’s sensor technology is in retail environments. With a handful of well-placed sensors, you’ll get a clear picture (like a heatmap) of where people are and aren’t spending time in your store.
Are there bottlenecks or barriers to checkout? Are there certain departments that attract more visitors? Do certain areas of the store have a conversion problem? Is there a better place to put a kiosk or a certain piece of POP than another? What could you place at “Buy Online, Pickup in Store” (BOPIS) locations to increase order size? These questions are vital for today’s retailers and answering them becomes possible when you combine the power of Bluewater & WaitTime.
You can use this data to make strategic choices regarding kiosk placement and customized retail activations, and even use real-time data to determine the optimal location in the store for placement.
#5: Optimize Traffic Flow
Lastly, we anticipate using WaitTime technology to help our retail partners optimize traffic flow in their stores. If you’ve been to Costco, Sams Club, or other warehouse or big box stores on a Saturday afternoon, you know that things can be a bit chaotic when big crowds usher in at peak times — especially around the checkout area and other points of sale. Using the same principles sensor technology that we outlined above, retail partners can easily spot problem areas, optimize their layout, and get real-time intelligence related to line speed and more.
If you can’t tell by now, we’re excited! That’s because the areas identified above are just the beginning. As WaitTime’s AI-powered crowd insight tech continues to evolve, we’ll continue identifying new strategic ways to leverage it. So, stay tuned!