How Emotional Heatmapping Will Unlock New Ways to Track Event ROI

Imagine the wealth of data at your fingertips if you were to truly understand how an attendee has engaged with an activation, keynote speech or entertainment experience at your conference or event. This data would not only give a better understanding of whether you’ve hit your success metrics, but also help to drive key decision making across future events. 

One such approach to gathering this data that’s currently gaining momentum is emotional heatmapping. By combining advanced emotion-recognition technology with traditional data tracking, emotional heatmapping allows us to gain far greater insights into attendee engagement and satisfaction across the key touchpoints of an event. 

We spoke to our UK team from the Collective to learn more.

What is emotional heatmapping?

Emotional heatmapping is a cutting-edge technology that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision to detect and analyse emotions displayed by event attendees in real-time. Using state-of-the-art facial recognition algorithms, emotional heatmapping captures micro-expressions, body language, and other non-verbal cues, translating them into emotional data. This technology can identify a range of emotions, such as happiness, sadness, anger, and surprise. 

This data is then visualised as a heatmap, providing a color-coded representation of the audience's emotional response throughout the event. The heatmap shows the areas of your event that are generating the strongest emotional responses. This information can be used to identify the parts of your event that are working well and the parts that need improvement.


How emotional heatmapping supports ROI tracking

The ultimate goal of any event is to deliver a memorable experience that resonates with attendees. Emotional heatmapping helps event organizers gain a deep understanding of the emotional highs and lows experienced by participants during different segments of the event. Emotional heatmapping provides a more holistic view of your event's performance. Traditional ROI metrics only measure the surface-level results of your event, such as attendance and leads generated. Emotional heatmapping, on the other hand, can help you understand how attendees are feeling at your event, which can give you insights into what's working and what's not.

This information can then be used to tailor future events to better meet attendees' preferences and expectations. By enhancing the overall experience, organisers can foster stronger connections with attendees, leading to increased brand loyalty and higher attendance rates in the future.


1.  Optimal Content Curation:

Event content plays a vital role in engaging attendees and delivering valuable insights. Emotional heatmapping allows organisers to identify the most impactful content by analysing emotional responses during presentations, workshops, and panel discussions. Armed with this data, event planners can curate content that aligns with the audience's interests, ensuring a more engaged and satisfied crowd. This is especially effective for events held over a longer period, with organisers able to better curate content throughout the latter part of the event. Consequently, the event gains a reputation for providing valuable insights, attracting more attendees and potentially higher sponsorship opportunities, thereby bolstering ROI.

2.  Sponsor and Exhibitor ROI:

​​​​​​​For events heavily reliant on sponsors and exhibitors, emotional heatmapping offers a game-changing advantage. By understanding how attendees react to various sponsored activations or exhibitor booths, organisers can provide valuable data to sponsors and exhibitors about their reach and effectiveness. This, in turn, could lead to higher investment and revenue for the event. Additionally, event organisers can use this information to strategically allocate space and opportunities for sponsors, optimising the sponsor-to-attendee engagement ratio.

3.  Speaker Performance Evaluation:

Emotional heatmapping allows event organisers to evaluate the effectiveness of speakers by analysing the emotional responses of the audience during their presentations. This data can be used to curate future agendas, or to understand which video replays may perform the best as future marketing material.  

Emotional heatmapping at events and conferences is going to be a game-changer in the events industry. By leveraging cutting-edge AI technology to decode non-verbal cues, organisers can curate events that resonate on a more profound emotional level with participants. As the technology continues to evolve, emotional heatmapping will undoubtedly play an increasingly significant role in revolutionising how we track ROI and shape the future of events and conferences.


The latest insights on event technology from The Collective

Read the latest technology insights from The Collective by BCD M&E in their latest report to learn more about emotional heatmapping, generative AI and the latest event technologies.

Originally published Sep 4, 2023 5:57:42 AM
Last updated on Sep 8, 2023 9:52:43 AM

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