Transforming a 3,500 delegate conference

Transforming a 3,500 delegate conference
09 Nov 2023 | Written by Jon Squire
Attendee Tracking Conferences Delegate Tracking

How Informa Connect delivered a seamless event experience for more than 3,500 delegates

The Challenge

Biotech Week Boston is Informa Connect’s premier US event sitting within its Life Sciences Division. A series of co-located events, it serves the spectrum of biopharmaceutical development and production.

It’s a high profile convention attracting more than 3,500 delegates and running over five days. With multiple content streams, this global showcase brings together thought-leaders across science and business.

Biotech Week is a demanding event to run, with twenty-two separate content areas. Typically, as with any event at this scale, sponsors hold the key to success.

The need to understand who attends which sessions - and for how long - is therefore business critical.

Especially important is the need for accuracy across such scale and scope. All while keeping a careful eye on delegate experience.

In spite of the event’s reputation, the experience on the ground had become marred by badge scanning, the incumbent tracking solution.There was a sense it held the event back, given the pioneering thought leadership and medical innovations on show.

In attendee tracking, the event team saw an opportunity to push the envelope and elevate the 2023 edition. It was a risk, given the scale and complexities to be managed, but one deemed worth taking…

Transformational change in two easy steps

Crowd Connected’s new attendee tracking solution - using a Wirepas Mesh based smart tag attached to the lanyard of each delegate - was already validated at Medtech Summit, a sister event within Informa Connect’s Life Sciences division. As a smaller scale deployment of 360 delegates, both teams were confident of success on a larger scale, yet cautious not to underestimate the need for careful planning.

STEP 1 Monitoring places

Ease of beacon deployment: In a matter of hours a team of three had the entire event footprint covered, thanks to Wirepas Mesh technology. The deployment required fewer than 10 wall-mounted beacons per session space. Because these battery-powered units combine to form a mesh network, only one gateway per floor level was needed. The gateway units required power and ethernet connection, readily available in any number of locations.

STEP 2 Pairing tags with badges

A key part of the workflow is pairing each tracking tag with the corresponding delegate’s badge. Crowd Connected’s approach: make this very straightforward. A simple double scan of the badge and tag (pre-attached to the lanyard) is all that’s required. Once complete, each delegate’s attendance at the specified places was recorded for the duration of the event, without the need for scanning or any other action.

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Client Feedback

“Crowd Connected’s proven technology gives us what we need: accurate session attendance tracking while getting rid of pesky room scanning that we know delegates resoundingly hate.” Josh Sinclair, Head of Technology Transformation

“Delivering accurate and timely data to stakeholders is a strategic priority for us. With this new system, suddenly all the friction and inefficiency was removed from our onsite data capture process. Sponsor clients now receive more value from our events and our attendees enjoy a better experience too!” Eric Warner, Head of Client Data Delivery

WORLD FIRST Dual application of our partner technology

Crowd Connected leveraged the same smart beacons to enable accurate blue dot navigation at Biotech Week Boston, delivered via the event’s mobile app.

The beacon network therefore underpinned dual indoor positioning applications, of both attendee tracking and wayfinding. This is the first time Wirepas Mesh technology had been used in this way by a single partner, with implications beyond live events, where people or things need to be tracked on a map, such as hospitals or university campuses.

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