Engaging fashionistas and the power of analytics

New breakthroughs in technology can often present innovative new ways for organisations to learn more about their target audience. Such was the case for South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), which recently discovered the benefits of data analytics, and how it can help shape its calendar of events. Step forward one of the biggest fashion events in the Aussie calendar: the annual Adelaide Fashion Festival.

In collaboration with Microsoft Gold Partner, Satalyst, SATC decided to trial the use of people movement trackers to learn more about the experience of attendees at the popular fashion event which had 5500 ticketed attendees this year.

Speaking about the use of data analytics, Michelle Stokes, ICT Manager, South Australian Tourism Commission said the insights would be crucial in helping SATC achieve more in the future through technology.

“Adelaide Fashion Festival is all about celebrating local designers. In the span of five days, this year we’ve put on 20 events featuring industry workshops, designer markets, new season hair and makeup looks, and food and beverage sampling stalls, as well as the crowd favourite, ten international standard runway shows. It was important for us to be able to understand how our guests were interacting with each program, and look into how we can improve our future events.”

This is where Satalyst’s breakthrough tracking tool comes in.

Satalyst’s People Movement Monitor uses Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform and Power BI to count, monitor and analyse the flow of people.  The tool collects data from any mobile device within the event venue that has its Wi-Fi settings enabled. A comprehensive set of meaningful data was collected by positioning a number of unobtrusive collection points around the catwalk and feature marquee, allowing them to see behind the scenes which catwalks and stalls people visited, when and how long they were there for, and whether they visited any other sessions afterwards without compromising individuals’ privacy.

Michelle added, “What attracted me to the People Movement Monitor was that the tool did not collect any personal data, a critical requirement for the SATC. This gave me the confidence our tracking wasn’t affecting the customer experience. More importantly, I was able to assure our internal stakeholders that any data captured and collected would be hosted on Microsoft’s trusted and secure cloud platform – which made the decision to use this tool an easy one to make.”

With the new insights from the data collected, the SATC hopes to identify trends and patterns that can help it make better decisions around marketing and staffing events, space optimisation, merchandising and the broader infrastructure.

“Looking at how long someone is spending in an area, who is returning to the event or who is attending our different events will in the future help with the placement of refreshments, seating and other facilities. Ideally, it’ll help enhance our guests’ experience.

Previous methods to track event attendance involved time-consuming manual methods using hand-held counters by event staff. Although a cost-effective solution, the hand-held counters were less than ideal often presenting an inaccurate assessment of data.

“It was a no-brainer for us to use the tracker given it was a more precise, easier, cost-effective and resourceful solution than previous manual tracking methods. For us it’s about capturing some really simple information that we can use to learn and grow” Michelle added.

The Adelaide Fashion Festival is just the start of a much bigger picture with plans to track people from sports enthusiasts to foodies at events including Santos Tour Down Under and Tasting Australia next year.

Michelle concludes, “There really is no limit as to how far intelligent data insights will be able to take us!”

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