The ‘internet of things’ continues to be one of the buzz words within the technology world. What does it mean? Essentially it is the next step in the level of communication capability within our daily lives. This is the fridge talking to the supermarket, your car warning the garage you have a part that might need replacing and the dishwasher politely reminding you it will do a self-cleaning cycle overnight when energy rates are cheaper. Depending on your perspective that might all feel a little big brother but for most people it makes things simpler and of course provides new levels of opportunity for business, the same as 5 years ago having your phone know where you are seemed dangerous but now most people use it to find the nearest restaurant which is well reviewed or a car park with spaces.
Great. So what does this mean to events?
Events are unique in the way they deal with a huge amount of information on a site within a very short time. The information recorded can have two fundamental impacts; firstly that during the live there may be an opportunity to make some changes very quickly and address an issue but perhaps even more importantly the information can drive decisions for the next event, be that a couple of weeks, months or a year away.
From discussions with customers the key areas that timely information could be supplied with group into key areas;
Environmental Monitoring – Temperatures, sound levels and potential fire detection. Helping record trends and proactively monitoring increases which are not expected. Sound monitoring, for example, would not replace the current monitoring points required by licence but provide greater granularity over site.
Audience – Monitoring of social media systems to identify trend topics on site or specific issues. A running social media feed may identify issues which are being reported (perhaps even encouraging a specific hash tag) and can be used for archiving purposes
Ticketing – Gate counts and volume per minute. Working with ticketing providers to collect and report their data to show gates which may need additional resource.
Power management – Fuel level monitoring, power load etc allowing the power teams to evaluate load over areas for site and where capacity is required.
Whatever happens with the ‘Internet of things’ certainly events can benefit from increased levels of monitoring and post event reporting.