Space Utilization

  1. Home
  2. Archive by category "Public sector"

Space Utilization

Every organization places great value on its working space. The area or environment dedicated to operating a facility comes with a significant cost, including the real estate value, the operating expenses and the effectiveness of people working in that space.

It’s difficult to achieve maximum efficiency and produce a proper return on investment without utilizing space to its fullest advantage. Whether it’s retail space, casino space, library space, museum space or university campus space, the facility’s area needs to maximize its space utilization. This is best done by measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) like the number of people using the allowable space.

These KPI measurements are commonly called metrics. They provide realistic data that can be analyzed and used to identify where space is ineffectively utilized. Space utilization metrics can also show what’s really working inside a workspace, which can add significant value to a facility’s operation.

Today’s technology allows facility managers to calculate their space utilization rate easily. Understanding factors like traffic trends and person-to-space occupancy ratios allow managers to improve business performance, secure funding and optimize labor by making better-informed decisions. One of the best technologies available for space utilization calculation and achieving maximum cost-effectiveness is a people counting system.

Read the full article or skip to a specific section:

What Is Space Utilization?

Simply put, space utilization is measuring how and whether allowable space is being used. It’s commonly expressed as a function of occupancy rate and frequency rate. The occupancy looks at how full the space is compared to its capacity, and the frequency rate measures the amount of time the space is used compared to its availability.

Space utilization rates are assessed by the actual use of a facility’s space experiences and the predicted use expected from a particular space. Private office space utilization is no different from public space use when it comes to examining metrics and calculating peak use and low-occupancy times. Whether it’s a corporate boardroom or a library reading area, effective managers must know how their space is truly utilized.

Space utilization is as much about managing people as it is about measuring space. Every facility has its high and low occupancy periods. The trick for managers is knowing how to measure those metrics accurately and move them into a matrix where meaningful data presents a true picture of how their space is used.

Calculating Space Utilization

Another way of viewing space utilization is by dividing a facility’s occupancy by its capacity. For instance, if a facility has the capacity to handle 300 employees but only has 200 on staff, the space utilization ratio is 3:2 or 67 percent utilized. That ratio indicates a lot of unused space, which is expensive real estate.

There is no magic or optimal formula for calculating peak space utilization because each facility has its own specific requirements for the people-to-place formula. For instance, a museum may require extra floor-to-visitor space because of exhibit requirements, while a casino environment will tolerate a much more packed feeling.

A retail outlet, such as a shopping mall location, depends on drop-in traffic. Retail managers have to analyze foot traffic flow trends and compare them with times and promotions so as to maximize their shop space. Education facilities like campuses and universities also have to measure occupancies to schedule staff to meet service needs.

To accurately monitor traffic and understand ultimate space utilization, it’s necessary to measure key factors that balance the people-and-place equation. One true indicator of traffic measurement is a people counting system. These are hardware and software components that provide accurate information on who’s coming, staying and going. People counting systems give a great picture of space utilization metrics.

Space Utilization Metrics

Metrics are an all-encompassing term for measurement units. There’s no precise metric list because there are so many variables in calculating which parts of a facility are being utilized efficiently and which are being under-utilized. Developing metrics is a matter of examining what key performance factors occur within a particular space.

Another way to look at space utilization metrics is by viewing them as data collection points. Getting meaningful data requires an accurate measurement of what people are doing within a particular place. Some common metrics applicable to calculating space use are:

  • Overall square footage: The first metric to establish is a facility’s size. In most American sites, like offices and retail outlets, this measurement is normally calculated by the square footage of floor area, rather than the cubic footage, which is a common warehouse metric. The total square footage is then defined by specific usage areas like meeting rooms and dedicated spots for displays.
  • Overall staff occupancy: An equally important metric for analyzing space utilization is identifying staff numbers and their functions. It’s a rare for a facility to employ all staff members at the same time, so allowance has to be made for high and low employee presence. Many facilities utilize the same space for multiple staff members, such as desk-sharing and common work stations.
  • Overall visitor trafficFor businesses open to the public, visitor traffic is a key performance issue. Monitoring visitor traffic provides a crucial metric that indicates the additional person-load impacting a workspace. It’s important that visitors have ample space to feel welcome and not repelled by crowded conditions.
  • Average peak usage: Both staff and visitors will have peak space-use periods. Some businesses experience periodic rushes, while others have a moderate traffic flow. Monitoring the average peak use in a facility is an important part of calculating the best use of available space.
  • Average peak frequency: Peak use times can vary in frequency. For example, a retail outlet can have an up-and-down scale of visits during the day while a learning institute will have longer fluctuations according to the season. It’s important to establish accurate metrics of how frequent peak capacities occur.
  • Ratio of visits to staff: This is a very important metric that affects staff scheduling. To manage customer interests, there have to be sufficient staff members present to handle their needs. Monitoring metrics like overall traffic and peak periods give managers a significant advantage to make sure resources match the demand, while allowing the space for them to interact.
  • Specific usage areas: Some facility areas are utilized more frequently than others. Both employees and customers move fluidly from one area to another, however, they tend to gravitate to certain spots more than others. Monitoring people’s movements within a facility gives managers a solid metric for what space is a highly utilized region and what’s not.

One of the best data-gathering tools for establishing space utilization metrics is a people counting system. Monitoring people through technology gives real-time data about accurate movements within a facility. People monitoring identifies peak usage in all areas like meeting spaces, individual workspaces and common spaces within any facility. Installing a people counting system will truly benefit space utilization management.

7 Benefits of Space Utilization Metrics

Facility space is one of the top costs of operating any business. To be cost-effective and deliver the best return on investment, facility operators have to manage their space as best as possible.

There are many ways that prudent managers benefit from wisely utilizing their space. By developing realistic metrics and applying data generated through people counting, every facility has the opportunity to increase performance and use their allowable space to its advantage. Here are seven benefits gained from space utilization metrics:

  1. Maximizing space use: Knowing the rate of people-flow through a facility is a crucial metric to establish. By having accurate counts of low and high usage periods, a facility manager knows what space is highly utilized and what can be considered a waste of space. Developing metrics from counting people builds a solid foundation for assessing and achieving maximum space use.
  2. Minimizing space costs: Wasted space can really impact a facility’s operating costs. Analyzing metrics developed from people counting gives a true picture of how space is used to its best efficiency. Eliminating unused space significantly saves operating costs and adds to profitability.
  3. Improving employee relations: It’s well-known that employees function best when they have sufficient space to work. However, some suggest that they can’t prosper in excessive space either, as it doesn’t contribute to a satisfying work environment. Clearly defined space metrics will result in building a workplace with optimum space utilization for best employee performance.
  4. Enhancing customer experience: Customers might not be able to recognize maximum space utilization, but they can certainly experience it. They intrinsically know when a private business or public facility is well managed, and they feel the effects of a well laid-out space. Metrics gained from people counting technology can have a positive impact on increasing customer experiences when properly implemented.
  5. Promoting agile environments: There’s an increasing trend to design optimum workspaces that promote agile environments, meaning a working space that seamlessly integrates with multiple activities. One of the principles around agile designs is having unassigned seating where workers have the freedom to use what space serves them best for their assignment.
  6. Conserving energy expenses: It stands to reason that maximized spaces make the best use of energy resources. This goes beyond conserving utility expenses and involves human energy that’s needlessly expended through inefficient environments. A people counting system provides excellent metrics for knowing how to improve space utilization and conserve energy expenses.
  7. Optimizing internal services: Communication between workers and outward to their management team is optimized by having efficient services integrated with excellent use of space. People counting is a support tool for establishing internal service efficiency, and is one more benefit a facility gains through space utilization metrics.

Every company that employs space utilization metrics and implements positive changes can expect a positive impact. Investing in technology support like people counting systems shows up as more than an improved bottom line. The return on investment also comes through as customer satisfaction, employee efficiency and organizational safety.

Technology That Can Improve Space Utilization

People counting systems are fascinating technological tools. They work on a straightforward principle of monitoring human movements in and out of a facility. Technology-based counters also track people as they move about the place.

People counters serve two main purposes. The first is acting as a customer relationship management tool. The second is acting as an internal data-gathering device that builds metrics to monitor employee patterns. In both roles, people counting systems provide excellent benefits that help make the best use of space in every application.

As with all technology, people counting systems continue to evolve. These systems are now highly sensitive compared to early models that simply clicked as people passed by. Many of today’s people counters are complex integrations of hardware and software. Here is a brief view of current people counting technology:

  • Density counting uses depth data and computer vision, mixed with machine learning, to anonymously track human movement.
  • Optical sensors are smart cameras that use real-time images to detect movement and identify people.
  • Break-beams are active infrared monitors that emit and receive light-wave interruption signals.
  • Thermal imagers detect body heat and register people’s moves on a software platform that builds metric patterns.
  • Wi-Fi trackers follow cell and smartphone signals to recognize individuals and know if they’ve seen them before.
  • Seat sensors detect human presence at work stations, on transportation systems and even in movie theaters.
  • Ultrasonic sensors use sound waves that bounce off people as they pass, and then use the information to supply movement metrics.

Investing in people counting systems is a must for progressive facility managers who want to make the most of their space utilization. There is a wide range of components used for counting people, and they vary in sophistication. These are the common components found in most people counter systems:

  • Overhead beam counters detect movement from above.
  • Horizontal beam counters identify sideways motion.
  • Uni-directional counters follow one-way traffic.
  • Bi-directional counters track two-way motion.
  • Wired counters use hard-wired components.
  • Wireless counters rely on wi-fi or radio signal communication.

Integrated software is an important technological support to integrated people counting systems. Compatible software takes data sent from counting sensors and transmits it into meaningful metrics. Information generated in software reports lets a management team clearly view what human activity takes place inside their premises. From this valuable content, managers make serious decisions about utilizing space.

Traf-Sys People Counting Systems Help Utilize Space

Traf-Sys provided top technological solutions where facilities want to maximize their use of space. Traf-Sys people counting systems provide component and software support for traffic monitoring challenges that mine raw data and turn it into meaningful metrics. From this information, business owners and operators have an excellent base on which to plan their optimal space use.

Over 17,000 locations depend on Traf-Sys people counters to inform them of patterns that affect business decisions and bottom lines. These include facilities like universities, retail stores, shopping malls, casinos, libraries and museums. Each one has benefitted by profiling their human movements, and they’ve made better use of their space from it as well as improving their bottom line.

Learn more about how people counter systems can improve your space utilization by contacting Traf-Sys today. Call us at 1-888-815-6568 or contact us online.

How To Measure Foot Traffic

  1. Home
  2. Archive by category "Public sector"

Many types of businesses, including for- and non-profits, rely on people patronizing them. Without adfoot equate pedestrian traffic near your business, you may not hit the numbers you need. But getting people into the door is not the only reason you will want to evaluate foot traffic data.

Identifying pedestrian cycles gives you the information you need to optimize your operations. Whatever your sector, you will find a use for measuring traffic in the area. If you want a people counting software and hardware solution for your business, learn the best way to set it up for assessing the habits of those walking in your building.

Read the full guide or jump to a specific section:

Why Collecting Foot Traffic Data Matters Across Industries

While most associate people counting with retail, this information is vital in multiple fields, including:

  • Non-Profits: Non-profit institutes can gather information about their popularity to best schedule staff and volunteers, making the most of these limited resources.
  • Warehouses: Identifying the most commonly used routes through doors of a warehouse can help you rearrange the design to prevent traffic jams that can slow the process of moving products.
  • Libraries: Instead of hiring a person to count patrons, having an automated system gives you more accurate data about people entering the library.
  • Malls: Foot traffic into a mall drastically impacts the profits of businesses inside. Identifying foot traffic trends can help improve security and advertising.
  • Retailers: You can gauge your marketing success by counting how many patrons enter your stores.
  • Restaurants: Identify trends in times and patrons and see whether they relate to special occasions, deals or other events. Foot traffic data can help you make server schedules, plan promotions and find ways to increase profits.
  • Urban Planning: Creating walkable neighborhoods requires urban planners to find out where people walk. Planners must know how to count pedestrians to decide how to lay out city areas.
  • Utility Managers: Determining times of peak occupancy at various points during the week and year can help you set more accurate HVAC schedules to maximize efficiency and comfort.
  • Casinos: Casino managers can change the layout of their gaming areas by inserting games or ATMs where people congregate. Also, staffing and security personnel schedules can adapt to more popular times.

Ready to get a people counter for your business? Ge a free quote today!

How to Measure Pedestrian Traffic

How you measure pedestrian traffic depends on what you will do with the data. Setting up hardware and software for the counting process automates things so you can save your workers’ time while gathering necessary information about foot traffic. Following these steps ensures you have a setup that will accurately count people.

1. Create Goals for Measuring Foot Traffic

If you want to know how to collect foot traffic data, you need to determine your goals before creating a data-gathering strategy. What you intend to do with the information will help you choose the best hardware for counting people. Will you be:

  • Entering People: Use a self-contained door counter to find out how many people pass the door during a given time.
  • Passing Pedestrians: Employ an outdoor counting sensor if you want to measure the number of pedestrians walking through a point.
  • Find Peak Traffic: Identifying peak traffic times or average length of visits requires you to install sensors that connect to people counting software.

These goals only account for some of the ends you could achieve through using sensors and software. If you have a different purpose for your business, decide what information you want to collect and use the data type and business entry points to determine the sensors you need — outdoor, thermal, video or bidirectional.

2. Identify Entry and Exit Points For Data Collection

Where do you want to count people? While this question seems straightforward, where you install the sensor will help you choose the right model for your project. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you need to know how often workers pass between buildings?
  • Is your goal to count the number of customers entering your business?
  • Does the number of people who leave an area matter?
  • Will the time of day affect your counting goals?
  • Do people move past the monitoring point in groups or individually?

Measure the entry and exit points where you want to install the sensors. Opening height and width determine how many sensors and the type you will need. The dimensions of the entryways, as well as the type of information you want to collect, will help you choose the best sensors for your people counting needs.

3. Select Traffic Counting Sensors

Consider how many entrances and exits you need to monitor to plan the number of people counting monitoring devices you need. Look at the entrance designs. Whether you have doors or an open walkway will make a difference in the sensors you use for that location.

You have two main choices for sensor position and two options for how they count. Horizontal sensors send a beam across an opening and count how many times it breaks. These may come in wireless or wired options. Overhead designs install in the ceiling and require wired network connections. These can be unidirectional or bidirectional counters. The former only counts the number of people passing through, regardless of direction. However, the latter distinguishes whether people enter or exit.

If you have a swinging door that opens outward, you can use a horizontal counter. Swinging doors that open inward can block the detection beam across people’s legs. The door funnels people through the entryway in single file, making the horizontal sensor more accurate. Ideally, only use horizontal beam devices across doorways of 15-feet wide or narrower.

For open entrances or extra-wide entry points where people can move in groups or stand in the opening, overhead sensors will give you a more accurate count. Depending on how high the ceiling is, you should plan to install at least one overhead sensor for every 11 feet of entrance width. Make sure you can get network cables and power to the overhead door sensors if you select a wired design. If your model requires a wired connection or power supply, factor that into the installation costs and time when planning.

4. Choose How You Will Store or Transmit Data

Again, ask yourself some questions:

  • How will the sensors store the data, or will they transmit it to a server?
  • Do you want someone to read the data and reset the counter manually?
  • Would you prefer the sensors send data to your people counting software over the network or via a data controller? The latter option gives you the flexibility to automate the data collection process.

Additionally, you can buy server space, so you don’t need to use your servers to host the information collected by the sensors. Using a hosting service for your data will help you keep the data organized, especially if you have multiple sensors around your facility or numerous buildings with sensors installed. For instance, our Traf-Sys hosting service combines information storage and reporting into a single solution to free you from managing the database or updating software.

5. Install Counting Sensors

To ensure accurate counts, you must install the sensors correctly. The type of sensor will dictate where you must set up the device. Guard the spacing between sensors, especially overhead models, to avoid double counting or missing people who pass through the entrance.

Horizontal counters fit inside a doorframe. Install these so the door opening does not interfere with the readings. You want to count people only, not how many times the door opens. Select a site in the doorframe, so the door opens away from the sensor and does not cross the path of the counting beam. These counters have two parts that must sit directly across from each other for the laser to work. Most horizontal sensors work on batteries, but if you want a wired model, verify that you have an electrical outlet near the installation site first.

Overhead people counters install inside the upper portion of the doorframe or in the ceiling. These devices typically require hardwiring into the network to get power and transmit data. Read the instructions to see if you must set the height in the sensor or install the device at a particular level. Also, review from the instructions whether you need to set the counter to measure unidirectionally or bidirectionally.

6. Set Up Foot Traffic Data Collection Procedures

Collecting data from your sensors depends on the type of monitors you have installed. If you have display-only counters, you will need to have one of your workers record the number each day and reset the total.

Should you prefer to have the data delivered from the sensors to your computer, you may need to add data controllers. These devices gather data from multiple sensors and can store it until you need to send it to your computer or upload to the network.

Other sensors have direct connections to the network and will upload the data to your server or a hosted server. If you choose this option, you will need network-connected sensors and a server set up to receive the data.

7. Begin Collecting Information on Foot Traffic

To collect information from base models of sensors, you will need to schedule checks of the devices to record the data and reset the counters. Checking your sensors throughout the day will help you break down the people counting data to shorter periods for more thorough information than once daily checks. Looking at these devices, especially soon after installation, gives you peace of mind that you put them into place correctly and they provide accurate information.

Even if you have a sensor that automatically uploads its data to a server, you still should check them regularly to ensure network connection and accurate people counting.

8. Analyze Foot Traffic Data

Raw data is challenging to use. You need analytical software to make sense of the information, especially if you have your sensors consistently collecting and transmitting the data.

Software, such as VisiCount, analyzes the information from your sensors and generates easy-to-understand reports. With flexible import and export options, you can give the software the information you need to read. Look over the information in a variety of formats — tables, graphs and drill down — to spot trends. See whether the day or time affected business. You can even examine if weather played a role in a rise or fall in foot traffic.

Scaling the data gives your business room to grow because you can increase the number of branches you monitor easily. Being able to examine various departments of your business can help you make decisions about:

  • Worker schedules
  • Facility layout
  • Logistics

Reports can aggregate data from multiple locations while still allowing you to access information from a particular branch or entrance. For instance, if you have a graph showing trends across all your sites, you can drill down through the data to get details for each facility. If you want to analyze the data from a single store, you can see information from each monitored entrance.

The software creates conversions, which tie the traffic information gathered into percentages to indicate the success of your business. For retailers, this means how many people entering purchased something. In libraries, it could correlate to how many people check out books. By looking over the data in terms of your business’s operations, you get a real-world means of seeing how the number of people entering affects your company.

Incorporating data hosting gives you a secure server for storing your sensor data and generating reports. With such a system, you never need to install software on a single computer. You have access to the information from anywhere, a boon to managers who travel or run multiple facilities. You also don’t have to worry about keeping your servers or managing databases to host your sensors’ information.

9. Make Decisions

Once you’ve reviewed the data analytics, you need to use them effectively. Without making changes based on the data gathered, you will not use the sensors to their fullest potential.

The data you collect will help you make decisions about worker schedules, facility layouts, marketing success and more. Foot traffic data will be valuable when determining the success of your operations. Look at conversions and how changes in your advertising or selling methods influence the numbers.

After making changes based on the people counting information you collected, continue using the sensors and software to determine if your changes create the desired results. The information you gather and review will only help you as much as you use it to improve operations.

A Complete People Counting System

Regardless of your business sector, you cannot forego gathering information about foot traffic. People counting software and hardware are now vital tools for any company. However, setting one of these systems up from scratch poses multiple problems with hardware compatibility and accuracy of data collection. Don’t try to piece together your counting system by cobbling hardware and software on your own.

Get professional help for your people counting needs from Traf-Sys. Speak to one of our trained experts in people counting systems to get the ideal solution for your facility’s needs. Our team of experts can work with you to create a system that will help meet your data goals. Contact our experts for a customized approach to evaluating pedestrian traffic flow for your business.

5 Components of a Memorable Museum Visitor Experience

  1. Home
  2. Archive by category "Public sector"

First-time visitors to your museum will leave with new knowledge and stunning visual memories that will inspire them to learn and create. Challenge: create museum visitor experiences that will also inspire them to return.  A visit to your museum should leave a lasting impression that may also spark conversations with friends and family or on social media, which can help direct even more people to your door.

So how do you turn your museum into a must-see attraction with regular visitors? Here are five ideas you can use to orchestrate museum visitor experiences that help you achieve that goal and how you can measure the effectiveness of your efforts with people counting technology.

Read the full article or skip to a specific section:

Make Your Museum Visitor Space Welcoming

You need more than an entrance point and “Welcome” sign. From the moment your guests cross the threshold of your museum, they should be engaged and have a clear idea of what you have to offer. Some ways to achieve this are:

  • Have well-trained and friendly docents available to greet your visitors and provide information and enhance the museum visitor experience.
  • Provide clear signage or video monitors that display the highlights of what you have to offer. Strategically place easy-to-read floor plans and suggested starting points to give visitors the choice of how they want their experience to unfold.
  • Become a center for discussion by providing floor space or meeting rooms to promote educational topics, community diversity support, or quiet meditative environments.
  • Vary museums hours to make it accessible to a wider variety of people. Many potential visitors may work during the day, so providing an evening opportunity can open the way for more foot traffic at your facility.

Make Your Museum Space Interactive

A museum visitor experience can be greatly enhanced through modern interactive technology. Motion sensor and touchscreen interactivity have been around for some time and are still effective display tools. Imagine, however, an interactive display that can respond to questions in your native language or a robot that responds to your commands or queries. How about visitors being able to immerse themselves into a prehistoric setting using a VR headset? Combining older technology with advanced artificial intelligence tools and virtual reality can take museum visitor experiences to a whole new level and elevate your museum to can’t-miss-destination status.

Utilize Social Media to Engage Museum Visitors

Let’s face it, younger audiences, especially millennials and Gen Z, use social media as a form of communication. Use it to your advantage:

  • Use social platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram to attract young visitors to your facility’s offerings.
  • Video segments that show your feature attractions or a Facebook Live tour hosted by a curator can be engaging and encourage all types of audiences to visit.
  • Visitors love to take selfies when vacationing, so why not create spaces in your museum to encourage this activity? Provide them with hashtags for this purpose and watch your museum attractions reach an even larger audience.

Take Advantage of Digital Technology for Museums

Nearly all your visitors carry smartphones or tablets with them wherever they go. The museum visitor experience can be even more fun and engaging if you provide free downloadable apps that they can use to find more information on exhibits while touring your facility. Site maps, exhibit information, and digital galleries can also help compliment their journey and make it a more memorable visit.

On the operations side, invest in technology to count the people coming into your space so you have an accurate view of visitor numbers. You can even take that a step further by choosing a technology like ceiling mounted video-based sensors. This type of people counting technology gives you the ability to differentiate between and adults and children, taking your visitor statistics to a new, more in-depth level.

Control Museum Traffic Flow With People Counters

Whether your museum has a directional, one-way route or multiple ways for visitors to wander, it is vital to have proper signage that can help them navigate. Controlling the flow of foot traffic helps prevent congestion, which can detract from the museum visitor experience.

Using people counters at strategic entry and exit points can help pinpoint areas prone to traffic jams. This data gives you an opportunity to make improvements in crowd flow and can help determine the success of new exhibits.

Crafting memorable and enjoyable visitor experience is very important to your museum’s reputation and future success. Initiating these five strategies can help you build an environment that invites people to return. Your facility will become more valued by the community—and benefactors—once the word spreads about all the great experiences you have to offer.

If you’ve decided it’s time to start counting the adults and children who visit your museum each day with people counting technology like a video-based overhead sensor, contact Traf-Sys for a quote.

First-time visitors to your museum will leave with new knowledge and stunning visual memories that will inspire them to learn and create. Challenge: create museum visitor experiences that will also inspire them to return.  A visit to your museum should leave a lasting impression that may also spark conversations with friends and family or on social media, which can help direct even more people to your door.

Start improving your museum experience with people counters from Traf-Sys. Get a free quote today!

How to Count Crowds & Measure Attendance at Events

  1. Home
  2. Archive by category "Public sector"

You invested a lot of time and money planning, marketing, and holding your special event. After all is said and done, you may feel good about the outcome—it seemed like a success. Or was it? Your true marker for positive return on investment hinges on reliable large crowd counting to determine the actual number of people that attended your new store opening, a guest author engagement at your library or a visiting exhibit at your museum.

Using estimated counts or cruder methods of crowd size measuring do not give you the important data you need to determine success. Use these processes to get the answer you really need: The actual number of attendees.

Read the full article or skip to a specific section:

How to Count Attendance at Events

Events that are enclosed and have defined entrance areas with a place to mount an overhead sensor in a doorway or entryway are the easiest to manage. Thermal-based and video-based sensor people counting devices are perfect for these situations and for large crowd counting.

Thermal devices monitor body heat signatures to collect data while video people counters have the ability to filter strollers and children, as well as tight groups of people entering at the same time, making it ideal for counting people at an event where you experience a heavier volume of foot traffic than you normally experience.

These people counting technologies can achieve a 95% to 98% accuracy rate so you can feel confident in your counts, regardless of the number of people that are attending your special event.

Estimating Attendance at Open Venues

Public events that are not ticketed such as community festivals, college days or outdoor fundraisers require a different method of large crowd counting and are a little trickier. However, you can also use thermal and video counting technology in these cases with a little creativity.

First, to estimate attendance at an event, you will have to define a specific entrance area where all the guests must pass through. Second, you need to build something to give you overhead mounting capability for your people counting technology. Generally, this can be easily accomplished with a simple trussing system.

The extra effort is worthwhile when you consider how difficult it is to count the number of people at a free or public event. If your event is an annual occurrence, then understanding your attendance rates for budgeting and funding purposes is even more crucial.

Use People Counters to Count Attendance at Events

Using thermal-based or video-based sensors to gather accurate date and analyzing that data can provide information for journalistic or even historic records. Additionally, accurate large crowd counting arms you with ammunition to procure future funding by showing concrete proof of ROI. This hard data can also help determine staffing needs for future events, whether you need extra security or more volunteers to make things run smoothly.

Whatever your venue, understand that an accurate count of the extra people you bring into your space because of a special event is going to provide you valuable insight for planning future events.

Improve your next event with the help of Traf-Sys people counters. Request a free quote today!

Reasons to Choose Thermal Imaging People Counters

  1. Home
  2. Archive by category "Public sector"

There are many people counting products available in the retail business market (e.g., door-mounted horizontal infrared beams, overhead video, thermal imaging, etc.), and not every type is right for every application. For malls and larger retail stores, museums, and libraries, the smart choice is a thermal imaging people counter designed to accurately monitor foot traffic numbers and pattern and to provide insights into customer or patron habits. Traf-Sys designed its Gazelle series thermal imaging systems to meet the challenges of these applications and deliver the best coverage and data collecting accuracy in the market today.

Here are six reasons thermal imaging people counters are the best investment for your business. 

Read the full article or jump to a specific section: 

Foot Traffic Data from Thermal People Counters

A thermal imaging people counter provides more accurate foot traffic data when compared with less expensive systems such as infrared beam door monitors. Using infrared radiation detection, it is triggered by body heat, and can determine exactly how many people enter your store. Our Gazelle IP features state-of-the-art thermal counting technology and also provides you remote configuration capabilities.

Variable Lighting Conditions

Whether your establishment has bright sunlight or darker, lower lighting conditions, a thermal imaging people counter will be able to accurately determine traffic data because it does not depend on ambient light. The infrared sensors monitor temperature changes only, so the amount of light is irrelevant. This is especially beneficial in rapidly changing lighting conditions such as day-to-night outdoor monitoring. Our Gazelle 2 90° Wide-Angle Format people counting sensor is designed for highly accurate counts in these conditions. It also provides a 40% greater detection area than standard counters.

Accuracy Over an Extended Area

Larger facilities such as major retail businesses, university libraries, and museums have a more complex layout but still need an accurate people count over a large area for proper data analysis. Using multiple thermal imaging solutions, such as our Gazelle DualView or Gazelle IP along with Gazelle IP Node and Gazelle Relay Output for areas where a wired connection is impractical, provide counting capability over extended areas.

Easy Installation

Do you prefer a system that can be installed well out of the way? Thermal people counters usually are ceiling mounted — though they can be affixed to a wall with brackets if preferred — and you can install them between 11.5 feet and 27 feet from the ground. Discrete and unobtrusive, thermal people counters are a great solution for businesses looking to keep their traffic-tallying technology tucked away.

Array of Sizes of Thermal People Counters

While some people counters are limited in terms of where they can be installed effectively, thermal people counters perform well in entrances that are expansive or narrow, again because they rely on heat mapping to assign a count to each person in your doorway. In especially wide entrances, you can network together several thermal people counters to ensure that you’re achieving the most accurate count possible.

Thermal people counters also separate individuals entering from those who are exiting so you better understand the comings and goings of your traffic patterns.

Benefits of Thermal Imaging People Counter vs. Video Counters

Business owners and facility managers may question whether a video imaging or a thermal imaging people counter is the better choice. Each system has its own advantages, a thermal imaging counter system is superior for obtaining accurate counts and video gives you “eyes” to verify the numbers or filter to count only the demographics you are looking for.

Why debate? A solution that integrates both technologies will provide you with the best of both worlds. For example, in a retail application where you want to consider only adult consumers who enter a store, you can opt for our Gazelle DualView that includes thermal detection technology along with video that enables verification.

Choose Traf-Sys Thermal Imaging People Counters

Thermal imaging people counters are clearly the best choice for retail stores or other facilities that have high customer traffic, larger coverage areas, and challenges with lighting. Our Gazelle series incorporates this technology into solutions that can meet the needs of any business or organization that needs reliable, accurate people counting data.

Click to learn more about our Gazelle series or request a quote for additional information.

How Some of the Most Visited Museums Use People Counters to their Advantage

  1. Home
  2. Archive by category "Public sector"

Most Visited MuseumsWhile some of the country’s most-visited museums might be best known for the dazzling treasures within their four walls, they also have something else in common. In addition to organizing top-notch exhibitions, institutions ranging from New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh all use people-counting technology to yield insights into exhibition performance, facility management and staffing needs.

Eyes on the Experience

You spent countless weeks assembling the exhibition and gathering just the right objects to tell a memorable story. Once the opening-day butterflies have faded away, it’s time to start measuring how the exhibition is faring with visitors. The most-visited museums use traffic-counting systems to monitor the flow of visitors into and throughout the facility, and data on hotspots where crowds gather can yield useful information about the areas attracting audiences and others that are overlooked. People counters also can reveal where visitors begin and end their journey, helpful in understanding how many experience the exhibition in its entirety.

Staging a successful exhibition is a blend of art and science. Data you collect from exhibitions can help you plan well-received efforts in the future and optimize the guest experience throughout the whole event.

Keep Your Building in Tip-Top Shape

The most-visited museums keep their facilities as pristine as their art and artifacts, thanks in part to the strategic use of people-counting systems. There are a number of factors that play into becoming a first-tier cultural institution beyond collections and curators. How often do the floors need to be mopped? Do restrooms need to be refreshed twice daily? What about larger maintenance projects, like structural repairs, window washing and more? Use your people counters to understand the level of traffic your building can endure before maintenance is required. A well-kept facility helps to attract visitors; many museum-goers are drawn to the peaceful, sanctuary-like feel of these cultural spaces.

Safe and Secure

You can always find large crowds thronging to the most-visited museums, and more often than not, it’s an orderly, civilized affair. How do powerhouse museums like Carnegie, Getty and The Met run a tight ship? By leveraging people-counting data to get security staffing levels just right.

It’s important to ensure you’ve deployed enough security personnel not to just to protect your priceless objects but also to keep crowds under control. Are visitors bunching up in one specific area of a special exhibition? Security can help to keep everyone safe by steering museum-goers from one room to another, optimizing visitor flow as much as possible.

People-counting data aids not only with security staffing but also with your workforce management overall. By reviewing your historical traffic data, you can get a feel for the days, weeks and months when you attract the greatest volumes of visitors and times when you can lower costs by scheduling only essential personnel. For example, perhaps you need only half the visitor assistants on a slow Tuesday that you would on a perfect Saturday afternoon. The most-visited museums rely on actionable insights from traffic-counting data to right-size their staff schedules and keep labor costs under control.

The most-visited museums achieve their success not just by acquiring invaluable objects but also by the strategic use of technology both to enhance the visitor experience as well as optimize organizational operations. Take a cue from the leaders in your field and see what people counters can do for you.

How Counting People Can Help with Your Program Funding Proposal

  1. Home
  2. Archive by category "Public sector"

woman writing program funding proposalGetting your programs funded can seem like an uphill battle. Decision-makers have myriad proposals to review, and making your pitch stand out can be quite the challenge. But did you know that you can leverage people counting technology to benefit your program funding proposal? Learn how to make traffic counters work for you.

Highlight Your Past Successes

To grab a decision-maker’s attention, point to prior success when writing your program funding proposal. Review traffic counts from your last program or initiative to demonstrate strong attendance and connect the dots to indicate why similar future programs will draw substantial crowds. Everyone loves a good success story, so paint the reader a compelling picture of how you’ll replicate past successes going forward.

Gain an edge over the competition by doing the little things to stand out. Get your program funding proposal professionally edited (or ask a talented friend for help), write from the heart in concise, hard-hitting sentences to capture the emotion you want to convey, and look up proposals that actually got funded to see concrete examples of what works.

Is Your Growth Game Strong?

Win over your audience by showing them your organization is growing. Traffic counting technology can demonstrate an increase in your foot traffic over time, which can indicate a positive trend in your current programs’ success. Armed with people counting data, you can prove that your organization is moving in the right direction and urge decision-makers to continue the trajectory by greenlighting your program funding proposal.

Did your most recent library children’s reading group attract a record number of parents and kids? Did the special sculpture exhibition at your museum draw an historic crowd? Make your audience understand that you need their assistance to continue the exciting forward momentum.

Dollars and Sense: Set a Realistic Budget

Traffic counting data can give you a look inside the nuts and bolts of your daily operations. Use these numbers to take a hard look at what a practical budget might be for your future programs. What worked for you in the past can set a grounded roadmap for what you’re planning for the next go-around. A budget that’s firmly rooted in reality shows decision-makers that you’ve done your homework and crunched the numbers in your program funding proposal. The more down-to-earth and specific your proposal, the better the chance of funding programs “showing you the money.”

Settle on a Starting Point: Draft Goals You Can Achieve

In your program funding proposal, include traffic counting numbers from past programs or service to understand just how realistic are your goals for the new set of initiative you have in mind. For example, if your last campus guest lecture drew just a handful of attendees, you probably shouldn’t expect a massive turnout for the next special talk. Setting expectations is helpful for the decision-maker reviewing your program funding proposal. When you highlight previous people counts for your events, you show that your proposal isn’t simply a flight of fancy but is buttressed by solid numbers.

Following this advice, you can draft a proposal that convinces funding programs that your projects are worth their investment.

Ways to Build Your Funding Request With People Counters

These days you have to fight for every possible dollar you can get to subsidize higher education, so when you’re requesting funding for new projects and activities on your campus, you’ll need to provide data that the money will be used for a worthy project. With so many parties competing for their slice of a very limited pie, it benefits your campus to use every tool at your disposal to advance the projects you believe in.

Did you know that campus visitor counters can be your best friend when it comes to funding requests? Discover three important ways how this essential technology can help you to land the budget you need.

Up-to-date Decision-making Data

Campus visitor counters collect pedestrian traffic data in real time, revealing precisely where students gather most frequently, most consistently, and in the greatest numbers. Campuses are full of all kinds of buildings, from dorms and libraries to athletic centers and cafeterias. While each building serves a purpose, some may be experiencing higher pedestrian traffic than others and warrant greater upkeep or even expansion. This can be persuasive proof that your campus has an urgent need for the money you are requesting from your school’s budget committee or from a government or foundation program.

Perfecting Your Promotions

Campuses use visitor counters to gain insights into how their promotional displays are performing and how they might be improved. By comparing your displays with traffic data from visitor counters in that location, you can get a better picture of the varied reasons why your intended audience may not be responding to your campaign. Using visitor counter data you might discover that certain audiences could be better reached by running promotions in a different area of campus.

You can also use insights from your campus visitor counter to understand which buildings may be underutilized and in need of expanded awareness. With this new knowledge in hand, you’re better equipped to launch new initiatives to drive students to campus resources that could stand a little extra exposure. And if you’re planning new activities and events, turn to your campus visitor counter to identify strategic locations that have been proven to draw substantial traffic, in order to give your efforts the greatest chance of success. This insight will be helpful when you present your plan to request funding — decision-makers will have confidence that you can back up your strategy with data.

Making the Case for Security 

Campus visitor counters are especially effective for revealing how best to allocate your security resources. Use evidence-based insights to manage your security scheduling. You may discover areas of your campus that have been overlooked in terms of security staffing and patrols, or realize that high-traffic locations require additional safety resources. With hard numbers in hand, you’ll have a much higher chance of getting the green light for security funding requests.

With increased campus violence making the headlines these days, it’s important to leverage data insights from visitor counters in prioritizing funding for enhanced campus security resources.

Purchase a School Visitor Counter Today

Visitor counters are a wise investment and indispensable asset when you’re seeking funding for campus projects and activities. By leveraging the hard data and critical insights that visitor counters provide, you’ll make a clear and compelling case for why your requests deserve the go-ahead. Contact a Traf-Sys representative today to learn more about how you can add people counting to your campus.

Four Reasons Why People Counting is Critical for Visitor Centers

  1. Home
  2. Archive by category "Public sector"

people countingThe operational aspects of the visitor centers at parks and historic sites are easy to take for granted. But first impressions are as important for places as they are for people, and the welcome provided by a well-run visitor center can set the tone for people’s enjoyment of a site and its attractions.

People counting technology can be a valuable tool for improving those operations, providing insights into how best to schedule and allocate staff as well as which exhibits are drawing interest and attention. Perhaps most important, people counters provide the hard data required to justify funding requests, whether for ongoing expenses or in support of a facility renovation or expansion. Even centers operated as part of 501(c)(3) or non-profit organizations need the solid information that any for-profit retail or hospitality business routinely uses.

At a minimum, visitor centers should place people counting sensors at entrances and exits. The time-stamped data produced by these systems is more accurate (and less labor-intensive to obtain) than using staff to conduct manual counts. In addition, visitor centers get valuable information about what times of day, days of the week, and seasons of the year attract the most people.

This data can help determine if it makes sense to expand (or contract) the center’s operating hours, and can also help to optimize labor, ensuring the center is fully staffed at its busiest times but not overstaffed at quieter times.

Investing in people counting technology placed in key locations throughout a visitor center provides even richer insights. Measuring foot traffic can determine which exhibits are successful at drawing people to them. Operators can figure out what works and what doesn’t, try new approaches, and then test the success of their efforts.

By determining traffic flows throughout a center, people counters also reveal how the center’s physical layout affects usage. Does the design pull visitors through the entire center, or are only a few areas popular? Under-used space is not only a waste in itself, but it can also negatively affect future funding requests.

Once people counters determine how people actually use the center, operators can figure out ways to maximize their assets. Are features that are attractive to children easily identified in brochures, maps, and signage? Is information available in the major languages spoken by visitors? Are staff trained to communicate all the features of the center? Addressing these issues will help solve the challenge, but operators won’t even be aware of the scope of the problem until they have hard data in hand.

The analytic insights provided by people counters has become essential to the detailed reporting that now needs to accompany funding requests. When solid information about overall visitor totals can be supplemented with breakdowns by day, week, month, and season, those making financial decisions will be impressed with the level of detail that’s provided.

In addition, data from traffic patterns within a visitor center, such as that showing the impact of redesigned exhibits or clearer signage, demonstrate that operators are responsive to the needs of their guests and understand the center’s mission. Using quantifiable information as the basis for a success story is a powerful proof of the impact of money well spent.