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NEC launches Show Insights to help organisers maximize sales and grow events

NEC Birmingham has developed a new tool called Show Insights, to help event organisers better understand visitor habits and profiles.

The first UK venue to combine both Wi-Fi insights with capacity counting technology, NEC organisers can now receive an in-depth insights package from the venue post-event. This is presented in a dedicated online dashboard showing key data that optimises organiser understanding of their event and help support future growth.

The dashboard integrates multiple technologies ensuring simple and clear usability for organisers and their teams:

  • Live capacity counting. By using Cisco hardware and WaitTime AI software, introduced by the venue in 2022, real-time measurement of venue capacity and crowd density data can now be provided

  • Gives an insight into the behaviour of event visitors. For example, dwell times and activity hot spots

  • Benefits from improved Wi-Fi connectivity for organisers, exhibitors and visitors using Cisco technology

As well as this, organisers can now access a post-event report which includes utilities reporting, marketing insights and visitor feedback, providing an all-encompassing set of analytics.

Working with GHD on the development, this is the latest step for the NEC’s investment in its technological capabilities, with the venue completing a Wi-Fi network upgrade last year which saw 1,800 state-of-the-art access points installed as part of a £7 million technology infrastructure investment.

Kelly Haslehurst, Marketing Director for Conventions and Exhibitions at NEC Birmingham, said: “At our venue we pride ourselves on building connections between audiences and events, between physical and digital worlds.

“NEC Show Insights reaffirms our commitment to being the best-connected venue in the UK, both digitally and physically, investing in our technology infrastructure to help provide more information for event organisers. We see this new offering as a crucial part of our post-event reporting for them.

“This new technology will provide so many benefits. From hard data to evidence of hall floor movement, to discovering the popularity and dwell time of each area, this will help inform event growth strategies and identify upselling opportunities.”

The project has seen 12 months of extensive building and testing behind the scenes, working with both GHD and event organisers to refine the offering, being trialled at events including UK Metals Expo and Autumn Fair.

Simon Babes, Market Development Leader at GHD, said: “It is fantastic to see our solution being rolled out at the NEC. It is designed to extract meaningful insights from data generated by both the wireless network and smart cameras installed at the venue, helping to deliver real value to show organisers.

“Piloted at recent test events, feedback from show organisers has not only validated the data-driven insights provided, but it has also confirmed its broader value as a solution to help create safe, digitally enabled places for communities to enjoy events now and in the future.

“We look forward to building on our excellent relationship with the NEC as they continue to enhance the experience of their visitors and show organisers.”

Ian Solomon, Operations Director at Hyve Group, organiser of Spring Fair, said: “It’s important for us to spend time understanding the behaviour of our visitors and it’s for this reason we’re delighted the NEC is launching Show Insights.

“The data provided will further enhance our knowledge, while giving us another source of insight to both validate and challenge our thinking when it comes to creating first-class events for our visitors.”

Chris Asselin, Co-Founder and CMO at UK Metals Expo, said: “We try to accumulate as much data as possible to support our decisions as organisers. This data comes from our registration systems, visitor, speaker and exhibitor research surveys, social media trends analysis, catering sales and now wi-fi mapping at the venue. Wi-Fi mapping gives a useful insight into where our attendees spend most of their time.

“Interpreting this information enables us to both improve our shows for attendees and develop them in a way that is beneficial and profitable for all of our stakeholders, partners and customers.”

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