Project Description

Visitor Experience

Enhancing the visitor’s experience of an event is an important requirement for event organisers and cities wanting to innovate and stay competitive.

The MONICA Visitor Experience solution consist of two digital applications for greater enjoyment and quality: 1) an event app, enabling visitors to access and negotiate the event more easily and 2) a Smart IoT wristband solution, interacting with users through concert lightshows at festivals or at events with features like polls, attention notifications and connecting through social media.

MONICA Solution UE-2

The MONICA Visitor Experience solution can work as a stand-alone solution, but can also be combined with the MONICA Crowd and Capacity Monitoring with components which can be deployed for a variety of purposes (CCTV cameras and wristbands) and with the MONICA Crowd Management and Communication solution which allows contextual real-time oversight and feedback directly to the visitors wristbands.

Overview

Application areas Type of locations Main features
  • Enhance the visitor experience of the event
  • Enable safe entrance and exit
  • Offer exclusive content
  • Interact with visitors
  • Enable interaction between visitors
  • Sport stadiums
  • Street festivals
  • Outdoor concert events
  • Indoor conferences and conventions
  • Provide interactive maps and relevant information
  • Send notifications and give directions
  • Engage through competitions, poll, lightshows
  • Enable users to connect with each other through social media

Challenges, Features and Benefits

In an increasingly competitive event and tourism landscape, the demand today is for events that stand out and offer unique and personalised user experiences. This does not only include providing the frame for an enhanced experience of the actual performances, sports game or event content but also for an overall good experience of the event. Typical visitor experience challenges for event organisers are:

  • Providing a smooth entry and exit to events (public transport, traffic, parking)
  • Informing visitors about the event (time schedules, facilities, emergency services)
  • Communicating security related information. The lack of technology to communicate creates security risks, as communication can become slower, more unclear and less people can be communicated with simultaneously.
  • Adding value to the concert, festival or sports experience by offering exclusive, interactive or VIP content

The MONICA User Experience solution can be used at any type of gated or non-gated open-air event, e.g., concerts, festivals or sporting events. It can also be used for indoor conference or convention events. It leverages on cost-efficient wearables and existing smartphones and mobile technology with a high visitor reach.

  • Event App: The event app is customised to the specific event and provides event-related information and guidance, enables communication of important happenings or security situations with the choice of offering exclusive content and feedback-options. It can be integrated with the IoT wristband for location service and friend connect features.

The IoT wristband can be used in various settings, applying several features that fit the event, with and without the use of the app.

  • Light shows: The two RGB LEDs on the crowd wristband can be controlled by a management console available for operators wishing to synchronise the LEDs with the music from the stage
  • LED alerts: The two RGB LEDs on the crowd wristband can be used to guide people based on colour codes. A venue can have “coloured exits”. The LEDs of the wristbands can be controlled by individual base stations. A wristband will give priority to LEDs command from the base station that is nearest; based on this proximity characteristic the wristbands can be guided to the nearest exists indicated by a colour command of the LEDs.
  • Crowd density: leveraging the bi-directional 100 m range radio that is integrated in the wristband. The crowd monitoring feature can be used to create heat maps of the crowd, showing visitor densities.
  • Location Service: Since there is an approximate location for every wristband in near real time, every few minutes, this feature can be leveraged to implement a Location Service for visitors. In case a visitor needs to be found, the last known location can be queried from the COP in the MONICA cloud
  • Friend-Connect: A friend is connected by exchanging personal information (which is enabled during registration) by holding the button for 2 s until the LEDs light up blue. By holding the wristbands in close proximity of each other, the LEDs flash green and a connection is made (in the cloud database).
  • Conference-Like: When the button on the wristband is pushed for a moment, the location and time will be registered.

Providing an event app and an IoT wristband can help to improve the quality of the event and to boost visitor engagement and interest. The aim is to create a positive visitor experience before, during and after an event by preparing the visitor of the visit and by enhancing the event atmosphere through exclusive content or fun interaction between artist and audience and between audiences. Improving the entire visitor journey can improve the overall positive experience of the event and motivate the visitor to return or spread the word.

Additionally, the organiser can communicate important information about an event, gain insights into crowd behaviour and needs that help optimise content and procedures and thereby make the event fun and safe.

Benefits for the visitor:

  • Updated, clear and complete information about the event, weather, infrastructure and facilities for easy, stress-free navigation to the target destinations
  • Background stories and history of the event
  • Interactive and exclusive content

Benefits for the organiser / city:

  • Reach a greater number of people
  • Interact and engage with visitors
  • Receive feedback from visitors
  • Relief of emergency services (police, fire brigade, regulatory office, paramedics) by referring inquiring visitors to the app
  • Possibility of marketing and generating additional revenue by recruiting sponsors
  • Optimal use of infrastructure such as parking lots, shops and toilet areas by displaying and navigating to the nearest location
  • Stand operators have the option of self-promotion, by the description and mention in the app
  • Enhance the visitor experience of the event and the city and thereby improving the wellbeing, safety and security of the visitor

Technologies

For developers:
 
🛠 Wristband hardware & processor
The MONICA User Experience solution is built on several IoT physical world network infrastructures. The components are connected via dedicated communication network and data repositories. The entire solution is embedded in a MONICA Private Cloud structure as described in the MONICA Platform Architecture and Components.

Crowd Wristband in MONICA design

Crowd Wristband in MONICA design

The IoT wristband; The IoT wristband is a wristband connected to base stations via wireless communication. It contains an integrated radio and microcontroller, battery, two bright LEDs, RFID chip, clock, button, and antennas. Connecting the wristbands to the cloud data base is performed through base stations using sub-GHz radios. The wristband can appear in multiple bracelet incarnations, leather, textile or silicon.

The wristband can be handed out to the event audience and will, by means of its coloured LEDs, be able to send simple messages to the wearer and send simple uplink messages to the event organiser using the small button on the wristband.

Crowd Wristband Woodstower

Crowd Wristband @ Woodstower 2018

Over the course of an event millions of messages are being collected. These messages are stored in a highly scalable distributed MongoDB database. The database contains information of all the visitors. It is completely up to the festival organiser to determine which kind of registration information is mandatory or optional. This data can be imported from the ticketing database or, depending on the capabilities of the ticketing database, automatically synchronised. The visitor database is replicated in real time to cloud instances.

The app: The app is customisable with respect to a map layout, displayed properties with their icons, event schedules and timings. This makes it possible to reuse the core of the app for other events.

For developers:
 
🛠 Wristband communication

The crowd wristbands need a dedicated infrastructure of base stations that communicate with each other and with the wristbands. A wristband must always be at maximum 75 m away from a base station in order to have coverage. This characteristic can be used to design and setup the base station infrastructure for a specific venue.

The base stations themselves are joined together in a software cluster. A unique redundant-communication protocol has been developed that enables the use of multiple physical communication layers between the base stations.

The server infrastructure is partly deployed locally on the festival premises and partly in the MONICA cloud. This setup enables the mobile apps that are running on the visitor’s smartphones to interact with the system.  The messages that are received from the wristband are used to perform real-time triangulation to drive the crowd monitoring system, heat map visualisation and individual wristband tracking.

The MONICA Visitor Experience solution is a complex solution that relies on both external components and technologies and technologies, enablers and tools from the MONICA project partners. Please contact the responsible partner listed below for more information.

External technologies required

  • Android and iOS app markets

Internal MONICA enablers and tools required

  • Smart IoT crowd wristbands and base stations supplied by Dexels BV / Sendrato
  • MONICA Platform Core Enabler
  • Professional APP Enabler
  • Public APP Enabler

Scalability

The following scalability issues should be considered:

  • The visitor app enables large amount of downloads
  • The visitor app must allow visitors to access the app at the same time without slowing down, force quitting etc.

Associated MONICA solutions

The MONICA User Experience solution is closely related to and have been demonstrated together with these additional MONICA solutions:

  • The MONICA Crowd Management and Communication solution, in particular the Common Operational Picture (COP). The app is built upon the COP API which has been factorised so that the efforts to adapt the different apps to other events can be minimised, thus increasing the reusability.
  • The MONICA Crowd and Capacity Monitoring solution including data and analytics results from other IoT frameworks including the MONICA Sound Level Monitoring solution and the MONICA Crowd and Capacity Monitoring solution.

Implementation

The MONICA Crowd and Capacity Monitoring solution can also be implemented as a customer specific solution independent of other MONICA solutions.

Preparation

The following information must be investigated and prepared before implementation is commenced:

  • Ensure proper internet connection near and inside the event venue.
  • Promote the app beforehand to the appropriate target audience. Make the app available to download prior to the event.
  • Perform a site visit to establish number of base stations needed to cover the venue and network setup. Identify sufficient spots to mount base stations at least 4 m high and identify suitable production office space.
  • Hire professional installation company for mounting and establishment of ethernet (PoE) network between base stations.
  • Ship wristbands well ahead of time and ensure proper storage space is at hand at the venue.

Deployment

The app can be further generalised to adopt to other events in different locations and languages. It can be produced in any environment where providing visitors with event information at a large scale is difficult and any event where the distribution of information is necessary.

The IoT wristband can be customised according to the profile of the event (indoor, outdoor, music festival to conference event).

Operation

Install base stations and wristband network, establishing ethernet (PoE) network between base stations. The maximum safe range between a wristband and a base station is 75 m. Test the network connection thoroughly.

Make sure to have extra batteries for replacement.

Reproducibility means that a MONICA solution (including data sets, software code, etc) can be made available to others for reproducing the same results.

No specific reproducibility data sets are available for the MONICA Collective Awareness Platform solution, However, the visitor app can be generalised to adopt other events with different location and language support. The app can be reproduced in any environment where the distribution of information (fixtures, live updates, street closure, amenity locations) is necessary.

The Replayer module, that replays OGC observations stored by GOST servers in Postgres databases during pilot events, can be used to test and demonstrate app-events.

Technical regulations

  • The Smart IoT crowd wristband must be CE-market that it complies with ETSI EN 300 220-2 V3.2.1 (2018-06) Short Range Devices (SRD) operating in the frequency range 25 MHz to 1 000 MHz; Part 2: Harmonised Standard for access to radio spectrum for non-specific radio equipment.
  • The wristband is an electronic equipment and the supplier and the organiser must agree on the proper take-back procedure for the used wristbands.
  • The wristband must comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE 2012/19/EU).
  • The wristband must comply with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (RoHS 2011/65/EU).
  • The wristband must be marked with the WEEE mark.

Other local/national regulations

  • Location data is collected through the app the user has downloaded it on to his/her phone. In this instance, the user will have to agree to the terms of use for tracking of his/her location to be activated.
  • Location data is collected through the MONICA crowd wristband anonymously.
  • Only when registering the wristband e.g. to exchange his/her profile with others, the user will have to agree to the terms of use i.e. exchange of person-related details.

Ethics

  • The festival organiser should consider if there is a legitimate reason for requesting visitors to register when using the wristbands. If so, only personal data directly relevant to the use and purpose of the wristband should be collected.
  • If personal data is collected for the registration, internal procedures for protection of personal data and data subjects’ rights must be in place (GDPR requirement)
  • The term and conditions for downloading the app must be in concise language and contain a clear affirmative action (an opt in).
  • Information about the wristband and its functionalities should be described prior to the festival, e.g. on a related website, to enhance visitors’ awareness and basis for opting in.

Lessons Learned have been collected throughout the deployment and demonstration phases of the MONICA project and the relevant Lessons Learned are provided here for reference. Please note, that a number of the experienced issues have been corrected in the final MONICA products so please check with the responsible partner for the newest updates.

The following main Lessons Learned from the MONICA demonstrations and reference deployments are:

Event app

  • Timely completion of the app, considering language versions, age restrictions and data information
  • Ensure app availability in different app markets (Android and iOS)
  • Ensure proper internet connection near and inside the event venue because of extensive mobile usage
  • Ensure the app is available to download prior to the event, to publicise the app more effectively and boost user engagement
  • The app must be promoted effectively to the appropriate target audience

IoT wristband

  • Ensure communication about the wristband and distribution of the wristband beforehand to make the wristband better known, thereby ensuring better acceptance and adoption
  • Add several user features to the wristband to create better user value
  • Consider the environmental impact of the wristband making it attractive as a souvenir or making it reusable/recyclable

Replication

Business models

The Business Model Canvas is used to give a high-level overview of the contents in the value configuration and in the customer group side related to a specific value proposition. The MONICA Visitor Experience App is too customer specific to be usable for a generic Business Model Canvas.

Revenue models

The choice of business model and pricing schemes is entirely up to the partner that have commercialised the solutions. Hence, the following information is solely provided as a guide to the expected business conditions that the solutions might be provided at. Please contact the responsible partner for further, up-to-date details.

Solution Type Anticipated revenue model
Event app Software Provided as a customized commercial product with a fixed cost
IoT wristband Hardware, software, service Hardware (wristbands, antenna anchors): is provided at a fixed cost.

The use of the wristband software and event database is provided at a recurrent charge.

Localisation design of wristbands is provided as an add-on on-off service and hardware cost.

Installation and operation is provided at a fixed service cost.

Reference deployments in MONICA

During the project period 2017 – 2020, the MONICA Visitor Experience solution were deployed in various forms and tested in real-life situations during planned pilot events. Validated results from these reference implementations can be found in D9.2 Final Assessment and Validation Report of the MONICA IoT Platform. Follow the links below to read articles about the demonstrations.

MONICA demonstration events
Leeds Rugby Club

Leeds Rhinos Rugby Club

City of Bonn

Pützchens Markt

For more information, please see the contact list below


Replicators

During the project, the MONICA Visitor Experience solution was deployed and tested in real-life situations in events outside the planned MONICA demonstrations. These events were suggested by external partners due to their interest in the MONICA solutions. Please contact the organisers for further information.

MONICA Replication events
IoT Week 2019, Århus

IoT Week 2019

Woodstower festival 2019, Lyon

Woodstower 2019

What is the wristband for?

The following partners are responsible for various components of the MONICA Visitor Experience solution:

Solution Responsible Acronym Details
Event app CNet Svenska CNET CNet will develop a customised app for your event possible in cooperation with your existing app developer
IoT wristband Dexels BV / Sendrato DEXELS Dexels / Sandrato will design and supply the wristbands in the needed quanitites. Dexel will also provide the anchors and communication infrastructure and may install and operate the entire system during your event

Photo Gallery – Visitor Experience