How do you measure the success of a major event in a city? Does an event increase revenue? How many more people are in the city during an large-scale event? Where do they park? These are some of the questions, that Aalborg City Business Association gets answered using crowd-sourced data.
The Aalborg City Business Association has installed BlipTrack Wi-Fi device-detecting sensors in pedestrian areas of the Danish city to track visitor behaviour. The solution is used to monitor real-time pedestrian flow, visitor dwell time and movement patterns—from the moment they enter an area until they leave, and everywhere in between.
The data provides Aalborg City Business Association with an in-depth understanding of the impact of large-scale events, such as the annual Christmas market, Black Friday and The Tall Ships Races. In addition, the data is used by the municipality for urban development, to optimise the flow of cars and people. And finally, shopkeepers are able to understand retail browsing and purchasing patterns in order to streamline future retail operation, such as tweaking opening hours and allocate staff resources in accordance with demand.
“The solution works by detecting Wi-Fi devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, in the proximity of a Bliptrack sensor. Each device has a unique MAC address which is assigned to the device during manufacturing. These MAC addresses do not link to any individual user data, thus personal information is not revealed. As pedestrians, cyclists or cars passes the sensors, travel times, dwell times, average speeds and movement patterns become available, both in real-time and historically", explains BLIP Systems Marketing Manager Christian Bugislaus Carstens.
“If we are not able to measure the impact of events, such as the Christmas market, which costs over 1 million DKK ($160,000 US) to arrange, then the event is not justifiable, and perhaps money could be better utilized elsewhere,” Flemming Tingbak, director of Aalborg City Business Association, said in a statement.
Aalborg City Business Association have also gathered other useful information during other events, such as at The Tall Ships Races. With visitors totaling 2.4 million, The Tall Ships Races constitute the biggest events in the history of Aalborg. Here the collected data showed that during the event, there were twice as many people in the city's shopping areas, which represents an increase that exceeds the Christmas shopping season. The data unfortunately also showed that there were many people present at times when the stores had closed. This information enables the Business Association to adjust opening hours when similar events are arranged.
"The data show that even when the municipality and sponsors spend a lot of money on these kind of events, the money comes back one way or another. It contributes to underpin retail, cafes and restaurants in the city, that needs to hire people," says Flemming Tingbak, director of Aalborg City Business Association.
In the case of the Aalborg City Business Association, seven sensors was mounted, but in the Aalborg municipality, around 75 sensors are placed. These sensors measure travel times and flow on the highway, port and airport.
In addition to measuring traffic in cities, ports, ski resorts, amusement parks and at events around the world, the solution is successfully employed in optimisation efforts in more than 25 international airports, including JFK in New York, Cincinnati, Amsterdam, Dubai, Dublin, Toronto, Milano, Barcelona, Auckland, Brussels, Oslo, Manchester, Copenhagen and Helsinki.
BlipTrack solutions used in this case
“The BlipTrack solution provides the Aalborg City Business Association with an in-depth understanding on how people move within the city and measures the economic impact of events. The data allow us to analyze, optimize and improve large-scale events”. Read more
Director of Aalborg City Business Association
“BLIP systems´ traffic monitoring solution BlipTrack has given us a unique opportunity to deliver new logistics solutions for the benefit of our customers”. Read more
Chief Technical Officer for the Port of Aalborg
“BlipTrack helps us manage and eliminate potential problem spots within the facility. Sharing the processing time with our travelers provides them with peace of mind, so they may continue to expect a pleasant travel experience.” Read more
Gert-Jan de Graaff
President and CEO of JFKIAT
“BlipTrack provides us with immediate visibility to the customer experience and resource effectiveness with throughput planning. The solution allows us to put the customer at ease at a critical stress point and reinforces our expectations around superior customer experience.” Read more
Vice President, Customer Experience at CVG