An Insight into Face Recognition for Events

Himani Sheth
August 21, 2018

Technology is a fast-developing field with a few inventions bordering on mind-blowing. The influence of technology is all around us, from the most basic daily tasks to trade and commerce, technology has transformed every possible aspect of life.

As for the events industry, it is no stranger to this technological development. Event technology has seen a major leap over the years with event tech tools being optimized and transformed with time. What began with basic tools for tasks such as data filing and registrations have now evolved into AI speakers, VR tools, holograms and more.

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One such technology that has transformed event execution is the facial recognition system.

By definition, face recognition technology is,

“Facial recognition is a bio-metric software application capable of uniquely identifying or verifying a person by comparing and analyzing patterns based on the person’s facial contours. “

What began as an exclusive tech, meant mainly for security, made its way into the mainstream with Social Media platforms such as Facebook using face recognition to help people tag their pictures. The most recent example of the tech going mainstream is the iPhoneX. Users can unlock their phone using face recognition.

Coming back to the topic at hand, in this article, we shall be discussing the role of face recognition technology at events. There are a lot of ways in which planners can leverage the technology while planning multiple aspects of the event.

Here are a few ways in which face recognition can be handy during the event:

1. Check-ins

Face recognition can speed up the process of check-ins apart from making it more secure and precise. With events that have a huge number of attendees, such a tool can definitely help planners cut check-in time by a significant amount. Face recognition software that integrates with event management software has already been introduced in the market and is experimented with by event professionals. There have been many case studies recently where the process of check-in has been simplified and sped up using the face recognition technology. However, the tool is yet to enter the mainstream check-in app market.

2. Security

This technology initially was developed indeed for this same purpose. If recent events are any proof, event planners have accepted event security as a major concern while planning.

Planners take every possible measure to ensure that their event runs smoothly with the venue being safe and secure for the attendees. Hence, what better way to strengthen security than facial recognition?Face recognition at events is a good way to ensure event security. Pre-stored attendee data can help event security professionals detect any unusual activity, recognize tress-passers and take necessary security measures before any contingencies occur.

3. Audience Engagement

One of the facial recognition tools that help event planners engage their audience is a software that allows them to map the mood of the said audience. Event Profs can figure out what content they put out engages their audience, what their likes and dislikes really are. Apart from this, the software can also be used for audience polling, knowing their genuine opinion on the poll questions. A creative way to make the event more fun and engaging using facial recognition could be to set up photo booths that utilize the tech and create fun event pictures for your attendees. The tech has endless possibilities in terms of engaging your attendees. It’s best to brainstorm and utilize the tech to its best potential.

4. Session Tracking

Event planners may often need to track attendees individually in terms of what and how many sessions did they attend during the course of the event, what events did they participate in and more. Face recognition is a hassle-free way to track attendee activity, be it for the purpose of attendee engagement, event gamification, security, etc. With the recognition software, planners can know the attendees that are present in the room during a particular session and keep track of attendee activities.

5. Feedback

Event professionals can judge a person’s emotions using facial recognition technology. They can determine what a person’s true opinion is about an event based on their expressions.

This tech can then be used in gaining accurate and valuable feedback from attendees during and after the event to help planners strategize better. One way in which this can be leveraged is that the attendees can be given a feedback survey, the answers to which can then be evaluated using face recognition.

6. Lead Retrieval Face recognition can really simplify the process of lead retrieval, making it easy and convenient. The current system of lead retrieval at events is generally through a lead retrieval app or software for events. Instead of opting for QR code scans, exhibitors can use facial recognition software to scan and retrieve attendee data with an updated lead retrieval app. Apart from this, facial recognition technology can also be used to gauge lead reactions and strategize from thereon. Exhibitors can determine attendee emotions during their product/service demonstrations to receive accurate feedback. Thus, there are a lot of other ways in which this tech can be used for lead retrieval.

Data Privacy and Face Recognition

When event professionals decide to use a technology like facial recognition, they take up the responsibility to handle sensitive biometric data on their attendees that must be dealt with extremely carefully.

Before opting for the technology, event Profs must research all aspects of data security that they should be concerned with. One of the main laws that they should consider before opting for Facial Recognition software would be the applicability of EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Before we go ahead and discuss the role of GDPR in dealing with facial recognition tech for events, you can learn all about GDPR right here.

Under the General Data Protection Regulations, any organization dealing with the data of EU residents have to follow the regulations as required. Now coming to the topic of face recognition at events and the stake of data privacy in the same, it is necessary to know that facial recognition technology deals with biometric data.

By definition,

“Bio-metric verification is any means by which a person can be uniquely identified by evaluating one or more distinguishing biological traits.”

Facial recognition uses bio-metric verification to function. Planners are required to store biometric data which, under GDPR is considered to be a ‘special category of personal data’ that requires extra security measures.

Event professionals must take explicit consent of attendees whose data is being processed through the facial recognition tech at the event in whatsoever form. The data processing should not harm the attendees whose data is being processed in any way or form. You can check out detailed principles to be followed right here.

Before going for a facial recognition tool, you must make sure that the vendor you’re going for is aware of and compliant with these rules.

Face recognition at events has immense potential. The only way to develop this tech trend and bring it down to mainstream is for planners and developers to experiment with the same. It is only a matter of time to determine whether or not the tech is here to stay.

Want to know how Hubilo’s event-tech solutions can help transform your event? Know more about it here.

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Himani Sheth

Hemani Sheth is a Mass Communication major and an event enthusiast. She is currently associated with Hubilo, a cloud based event management platform that aims to help event professionals create exceptional events. Hemani strives to create resourceful guides that pave way for insightful discussion built around various facets of the event industry. She has a keen interest in event technology and how multiple innovations in the field can help transform the way events are created, marketed and executed. Hemani is also a content marketer and a key contributor to Hubilo Blog. An avid reader, traveler and a movie buff, she is open to conversations on any topic under the sun! Go ahead, say hello to her on twitter @HimaniSheth

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