While facial recognition is often thought of as modern technology, did you know that facial recognition is already 50 years old? And it has come a long way since its humble beginnings.

Computer vision, facial recognition and facial analysis

Today, facial recognition technology is more commonly seen in mobile devices – where our faces are used in place of passcodes and thumbprints. But even this implementation of the technology is likely to be primitive soon, as computer vision is set to take facial recognition (and by extension, facial analysis) to the next level. And one of its most notable implementations is at busy events.

Technology sees all

With one single camera, event planners can soon learn more about their event (and attendees) than ever before. Have a bigger space or multiple rooms to cover? Just add a few more cameras to the network and each camera will capture, collate and analyse massive amounts of information – that event planners could previously never have dreamed of capturing using manual processes.

What’s your headcount?

Want to know how many people are at your event? You can get that number based on registration figures. But do you know many people are at each area of your event? (i.e. Getting refreshments, browsing merchandise, attending presentations and breakout sessions, and more.)

The cameras you’ve placed around the event space have the answer. Better yet, they also know how many people are in each area – so you’ll have some solid analytics for optimising and planning future events.

Who’s there?

It gets even better. Facial recognition technology enables your cameras to not only count the number of faces it sees in a room – it also allows your cameras to identify the individuals at each of these spaces.

This will make it possible for you to see if a participant is following the programme or wandering off to wherever they please. In terms of security, this also makes it easier to spot unauthorised personnel and attendees – and your security team can be proactively alerted of such incidents, rather than having to eyeball every participant. (Which would not be humanly possible at all but the smallest of events.)

Details, details, details

Diving deeper into the possibilities of computer vision, facial analysis and artificial intelligence, your cameras and systems should accurately assess the age and gender of participants.

For public events where registration may not be necessary, this intelligence will be incredibly helpful for your both your events and marketing teams – as they will have a good overview of who’s interested in – and actually attending – your events.

What does all this data mean for event planners?

By putting all this information into a report and crunching your figures, you can get a really good overview of some key aspects of your event, including:

  • How much engagement was that at each area of your event? Which activities, exhibits, booths or speakers gathered the most attention from attendees?
  • Where and when did audiences seem to smile most? From this data (and your programme and event layout), you can probably conclude why.
  • Was the flow of human traffic well-planned or were there areas that participants seemed to be stuck – or lost – at?
  • Were your exhibitors happy, and could you improve on booth placement for future events? (A look at your traffic flow could help determine this.)

Facial recognition is only just beginning to find its place at events, but it could soon deliver significant advantages to event planners who take note of it. We certainly think it’s worth keeping an eye on this up-and-coming event tech.