IT company Coding Sans, in partnership with Neuron Solutions, has created a business and technology innovation that uses computer vision, an artificial intelligence technology, to analyse visitor behaviour – their movements, “the direction of their attention” – for use at fairs or other public events such as museums or shops. The data collected can be used to better exploit more visible areas for marketing purposes, which in turn means greater revenue opportunities for event and exhibition organisers as a result of more effective marketing and better services. At the same time, the application is fully compliant with all privacy laws, but also with all ethical guidelines beyond the official regulations, as it does not identify visitors, but only monitors their movements.
A detailed description of the project is given below:
Prototype development of an artificial intelligence-based video analytics system
The basic idea behind the development and prototype is to develop a system that can accurately determine (without GDPR issues)
- the location,
- and focus of interest
of personas in a customer / customer / visitor space.
A further innovative feature of the system is that it generates the above parameters in a quantifiable way (number of visitors, in which area, what visibility is detected, how many visitors spend how much time, etc.), which, with the development of further data science and analysis algorithms, will generate valuable conclusions. Current plans are to develop the system primarily for the trade EXPO business, with the potential to further increase the market size in the future with other areas of use. E.g. in museums to determine the interest in exhibits.
Consumers are faced with a number of stimuli when making decisions at an exhibition or when making a purchase, which do not fulfil their incentive plans and therefore only increase the costs of the company. Nevertheless, targeted and consciously designed promotional marketing communication tools can significantly influence consumers to buy one product or another. Male and female consumers focus their attention on different products, but when stimuli are presented simultaneously to several senses (colours, smell, sound), the area of focus is the same for both sexes.
The results of the Communication Tools Survey (source: Consumer Behaviour – Nielsen research) show that consumers only notice four POS materials out of 100 and can focus for 1.6 seconds. Only 5 to 10 percent notice exhibitor floor stickers or hanging communication signs. They spend only 15 seconds a day in front of a shelf. In fact, they “see” only 40 percent of what is on offer on a shelf or stand. Consumers are most able to focus on the face on the product packaging: it is the face and the eyes that they notice most. However, novelty, ambiguity and liveliness can make a product stand out from the crowd, as consumers are much more receptive to this.
Complicated communication scares away potential buyers: messages that require mental effort usually miss the mark. For this reason, data is needed first and foremost, and then analysed in such a way that it can be intervened in real-time (e.g. by moving a stand) to ensure the highest possible customer satisfaction. The planned system will lay the foundations for this, in a workable and easy to deploy and use format to facilitate and refine data-driven marketing decisions.
Technical / business uncertainty:
Many companies in Europe and worldwide are involved in the provision of exhibition venues. Some 27 are listed by EMECA ( https://www.emeca.eu/members-membership ) but there are many more, e.g. HUNGEXPO is not included and there are many hotels and other event centres whose activities include the use of their premises for expo purposes. Such places in Hungary are for example the Várkert Bazár and the Corinthia Hotel. Overall, there are 100 (even 1000) of institutions that are not specifically EXPO, but also organize expos around the EU, so it is worth paying attention to their problems and needs.
The business uncertainty stems from the fact that the COVID-19 situation has a negative impact on all public events requiring personal presence and it is expected that, as in other areas of life, this sector will not recover 100% to its pre-pandemic situation. COVID-19 is therefore likely to have a negative impact on this industry in the longer term, with some potential exhibitors staying away and others finding it harder to afford to attend EXPOs. In addition, the crisis will reduce the revenues of many companies, and therefore their marketing budgets to finance their presence at fairs.
In order for EXPO companies to be able to attract fairs and fairs to attract exhibitors, there is a need for a service that will better enable exhibitors to understand how many visitors are actually visiting their stands, in what time distribution and for how long, and thus to understand whether it is (was) worth exhibiting, or for expo organisers to provide exhibitors with such analytical data.
The aim of this project is to develop an AI-based video analytics solution that can provide these statistics and analytics, thus improving the relationship and business opportunities for exhibitors and operators.