How to Count Crowds & Measure Attendance at Events

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large crowd counting

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.

Counting Crowds at Gated Venues

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.

Counting 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, you will have to define a specific entrance area where all the guest 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.

Large Crowd Counting is Possible at Your Next Event

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.