Zenus and fielddrive teamed up to support an event hosted by the Keller Williams team. Read this case study and learn how face recognition streamlined the check-in process and made registration seamless.

Based on Case Study by Panos Moutafis, President, Zenus. More information about Event Manager Blog’s case studies.

ABOUT THE EVENT

Spring Masterminds 2018 took place in the US at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. This 3-day event is an official Keller Williams event hosted annually by KW MAPS Coaching.

KW MAPS Coaching, one of the leading training and coaching organizations in the world, offers award-winning programs designed for real estate professionals and business leaders committed to transforming their businesses and lives through education and coaching.

The event audience consisted mostly of Keller Williams agents, team leaders, and coaches.

EVENT IN NUMBERS

  • A 3-day event

  • 1,360 attendees registered online for the 2018 event

  • 664 provided a picture to opt-in for face recognition - a total of 48% of attendees

  • 63 additional attendees registered on-site

  • 978 Attendees checked-in on-site using the kiosks and 118 Attendees checked-in at the registration desk

  • First time using  face recognition for this event

THE CHALLENGE

  • Creating a fast and seamless check-in process.

  • Checking-in 1360 attendees in a short period of time.

  • Providing personalized information on the badge: personalized agenda on the back of the badge and information on the session room,  to help attendees them navigate through the venue.

THE EVENT OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the event are to educate real estate agents and help them improve their skills while facilitating networking which can result in more business opportunities. Therefore, it was important that people entered the venue in the right mindset to socialize and spend as much time as possible talking to each other.

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WHY FACE RECOGNITION?

  • Adding face recognition makes the process faster. It costs a few cents per attendee and potentially saves thousands for each event due to the reduced number of check-in stations, registration hours, and temporary staff required.

  • The face recognition software works with any device that has a camera such as smartphones and tablets. No extra hardware or installations costs are required. All you need is a regular WiFi connection as it is a cloud-based service.

  • No personal data is ever transferred to Zenus. The registration platform anonymizes the images and sends them to a cloud-based service. The de-identified images are processed and instantly discarded without ever being stored. Metadata is also discarded after the event. The process is secure and GDPR compliant.

Follow this link for a full overview of facial recognition technology and the most common myths and misconceptions.

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HOW WERE THE OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED IN FOUR STEPS?

1. Online registration

The event planner used etouches for online registration, fielddrive for on-site badge printing, and Zenus for face recognition.The fielddrive API integrates into existing event management platforms. As a result, event planners do not have to switch providers or migrate data.

Attendees registered online and they had the option to upload a picture of themselves and opt-in for face recognition.

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2. Collecting pictures

For Spring Masterminds 2018 Zenus implemented a customizable image collection microsite which was used to collect people’s picture via an email campaign. Each attendee received an email upon registration with a unique URL which took them to a dedicated landing page and prompted them to opt-in for face recognition. This special microsite offers real-time feedback and quality control to attendees and ensures that the pictures they submit are suitable for face recognition.

3. Internet bandwidth

The internet connection at many venues is slow unless the event host makes a significant investment. For this event, different implementations were tested to assess the real-world internet bandwidth requirements for face recognition. It was found that as little as 0.5Mbps upload speed per check-in station can be enough to provide a reliable and easy to use facial recognition registration process (this is equivalent to the WiFi that is available at Starbucks and so not insurmountable to venues and planners).

4. On-site check-in

On-site the event planner used five kiosks all of which had a regular web-camera attached to them. On event day, the attendees were automatically identified when they stand in front of the camera. If a match was found, the system would return a message to welcome them by name. If a match was not found, the attendees were asked to either scan their barcode or enter their name. The fact that all kiosks were equipped with face recognition made the logistics easy. While attendees confirmed that they were correctly recognized by camera the bade was printed by the kiosk.

Attendees who did not opt-in to face recognition could be find in the system by typing in their name to the search engine in BadgeDrive, a software installed in the kiosk.

Badge Printing

The registration process then enabled the badges to be automatically printed in real time as the attendees checked in. The badges were printed from blank stock allowing tailored content to be displayed on each badge. This year, the event planner chose to display the personalized agenda along with different icons corresponding to different rooms to help attendees navigate through the venue and make their sessions on time.

Speed of Check-in

The face recognition technology was able to increase the speed of check-in bringing down the total transaction time to 9 seconds on average.

The attendees were pleased with the process because they did not need to print their ticket and they did not have to look through their messages to find a pdf file or code to be scanned. These user actions usually slow down the on-site registration process considerably.

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THE RESULTS

The feedback from attendees was very positive. Many commented that they were just trying to pull their phone out of their pocket as they approached the desk and but before they did they were already recognized and greeted by name. Attendees were keen to see face recognition technology at more events in the future.

The event planning team was impressed with how quick and seamless the process was, without any queues. It was the most stress-free registration experience in the history of the Masterminds event. More importantly, the increased throughput of each check-in station means that for subsequent events the event planner will be confident to rent fewer kiosks. The process was so fast that even during the peak rush hour no more than two or three kiosks were utilized. This will reduce the budget requirements for hardware rental, shipping, staffing, and leasing a large registration area and so impacts on the bottom line of the event.

The attendees were happy, there was no stress or hold ups and it offered a great start to the event. The throughput for each kiosk was 400 per hour. 49% of attendees opted into facial recognition the first time Keller Williams tried out this solution. It is expected that the opt-in rate will grow for repeat events because attendees will become more familiar with the process.

TAKEAWAYS FOR EVENT PLANNERS

Minimize User Actions to Speed Up Registration

Face recognition minimizes the user actions required as attendees do not have to search for an event confirmation. Finding a ticket or email can be the biggest hold up at the registration desks, so removing this requirement boosts the check-in speed.

Use Technology to Reduce Event Costs

The higher throughput offered by each check-in station translates to significant cost savings, as well as happier attendees. The event planner is now confident to calculate the precise number of kiosks, staff, and technology required, after closely monitoring the process at the 2018 event.

Use Image Quality Control

Collecting pictures during online registration is a good way to obtain a high opt-in rate for face recognition, however, ensure that the images are checked for quality (for example, are without multiple faces in the same picture)  and suitability to ensure high match rates.

Reassure Attendees and Address their Concerns for a Higher Opt-in Rate

Sending email blasts and answering frequently asked questions about face recognition and data handling will go a long way in reassuring attendees and increasing the opt-in rate. As this case study demonstrates, even if less than 50% have opted in it is still sufficient to positively speed up the check-in procedure.

Use a Knowledgeable and Experienced Vendor

Working with a technology provider that has experience deploying facial recognition is vital in ensuring a smooth registration process as the challenges in an event environment are different to other circumstances.

 
 

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