I’ve always been a big fan of science fiction.
When I was a child, I used to read science fiction magazines and watch all sorts of science fiction movies. What astounds me today is just how many of the gadgets and technological advances in those science fiction stories are now a reality today.
- Hoverboards actually exist.
- We have fully functional computers in our pockets with features often surpassing the power of standard desktops.
- We have virtual and augmented reality.
- We even have the beginnings of consumer-based artificial intelligence with Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant.
What does facial recognition tech mean for event planners?
Facial recognition technology
I’ve compiled the three major benefits of facial recognition technology for event managers. These benefits range from research to security, both of which will leave event planners safer and far more knowledgeable.
1. Event Feedback Research
There is a lot you can tell from one’s facial expression.
Our faces convey happiness, sadness, interest, excitement, confusion, and intrigue. If you pay attention to one’s face, you are able to develop an idea for what another person is thinking and what they might do next.
All of this information is unbelievably helpful for event marketers and ultimately, event managers.
Via Science of People
Luckily, facial recognition technology is making it easier to quantify human expressions into readings on event crowd interest and excitement (or lack thereof).
Event Manager Blog has speculated over whether or not facial recognition technology spells the end of event feedback forms:
Recent advances in face recognition and emotion tracking software will likely spell the end for the traditional event feedback form. Eventprofs will be able to use data from cameras placed around the event to recognize attendees and report back on how they are feeling based on what their face is telling the system.
What this means is that as facial recognition and survey software progresses, the veil of doubt that looms over every feedback result due to reporting inaccuracy or failure of admission from respondents will continue to recede.
‘Facial recognition will allow marketers to effectively know their customers better,’ he said. ‘Visitors’ photos may function as cookies referring to the identification and storage of user settings. In other words, loyalty cards will become obsolete. As soon as you walk into a store, the staff will already know what you bought last time, thanks to the camera’s footage and our technology.’
Opinions over whether or not an event is satisfying the desires of attendees won’t be left to qualitative feedback form respondents, but the more accurate readings of the attendant’s facial expressions.
Not only will the readings be far more accurate, but they won’t require any effort on the part of attendees to give them. In turn, this means that the data pool to operate off of will grow in size. With this software, you will be able to quantify whether or not your guests were interested in one speaker over another, whether your catering tasted good, and which table displays pleased your guests the most.
According to Event Manager Blog, widespread use of facial recognition software at events is still a ways away. But as the software progresses, the need for survey forms will scale back accordingly.
2. Social media exposure through Facebook auto tagging
Facial recognition technology has the potential to increase social media exposure for your events as well. Websites like Facebook have already explored this technology in their automatic tagging feature.
If you haven’t noticed this technology before, what this feature does is use facial recognition algorithms to scan unique features of faces in Facebook photos to provide automatic tagging suggestions for your photos. This makes your social media experience far more in-depth and intimate. Facebook provides your connections with the opportunity to experience these memories as soon as they are uploaded to Facebook’s servers.
So, how do technologies like this benefit event planners?
In order to . take advantage of this Facebook algorithm, it’s important for event marketers to influence the sharing of photos at their events. Set up photo requests and incentivized photo campaigns with unique hashtags created by your event. Request that event participants attach your hashtags to any photo they upload to Facebook.
Dreamforce does this each year. Not only do they request participants post photos with their own hashtags, but they actively participate in posting attendee photos as well.
Not only are your photos easily found under specific hashtags, but that your event attendees will tag each other through Facebook’s automatic tagging feature, leading to a higher chance of your event reaching a wider audience.
3. Increased event security
Facial recognition software is the ability to help detect threats more efficiently than relying on standard video surveillance and security personnel. Facial recognition software will be able to determine the moods of event attendees as well as cross-referencing faces with criminal databases, looking for signs of potential dangers to your event.
Some events have already embraced this technology, such as the Download Festival in the UK, with more looking to follow in their footsteps. Over 90,000 people had their faces scanned by cameras strategically placed all over the event grounds for security reasons.
Using the same technology used for market research, facial recognition technology has the capability to read the expressions and body language of event attendees to assess their moods.
For example, hypothetically this technology would be able to build a profile of a person of interest based on certain behaviors which denote aggression, anxiety, and isolation, which would then categorize their potential threats.
According to Forbes, facial recognition software will improve in the years to come. Companies like Google have already made significant in-roads with their own algorithms, such as the ability to recognize hairstyles, body shapes, and body language:
High-tech billboards can target ads based on the gender of who’s standing in front of them. In 2011, researchers at Carnegie Mellon pointed a camera at a public area on campus and were able to match live video footage with a public database of tagged photos in real time. Already government and commercial authorities have set up facial recognition systems to identify and monitor people at sporting events, music festivals, and even churches. The Dubai police are working on integrating facial recognition into Google Glass, and more US local police forces are using the technology.
All over the world, facial recognition is a proven useful tool for spotting threats as well as targeting advertisements. If you have the money to invest in this kind of tech, there are facial recognition software providers out there already, such as Luxand, FaceFirst, and Betaface.
Be sure to keep an eye on this technology as it develops, because as any event planner knows, the safety of event attendees is always of the utmost importance.
More event technology trends
There are plenty more technologies to explore, and the Capterra event management blog does just that. Be sure to check out these other Capterra pieces on event software and trends:
- The 4 Most Important Event Technology Trends for 2017
- Top 5 Free Tools to Live Stream Your Event Online
- How Ridesharing Will Save You Thousands at Your Next Event
- The Top 5 Free Tools for Designing Event Graphics
What are you most excited about when it comes to facial recognition technology? Will you consider using facial recognition software at your event? Why or why not? Let me know in the comment section below!
Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.