Microsoft Logo PNG
15.5.2015

Implementation of Storesense Expo solution at Microsoft NT conference

Microsoft NT conference is the largest technological event in Slovenia and the main training and professional event held by Microsoft Slovenia. The conference presents visitors with technological novelties and the seminars provide deep insight into selected topics. Organizers celebrated the 20th jubilee of the conference with a highly engaging program, attracting more than 1,700 exhibition visitors to Grand Hotel Bernardin in Portorož. Despite the great outcome, Microsoft is already drawing up plans on how to make the 21st NT conference even more engaging for sponsors and visitors.

Microsoft has decided to organize next year's event using real data on visitor dynamics at the 20th NT conference. Using NIL's solution Storesense Expo organizers gained accurate data on visitor movement across event locations and on the popularity of individual exhibitor stands, visiting times and locations during the main two days of the event. Based on these information Microsoft will be able to further optimize the arrangement of exhibitor stands and conference events and as a result provide sponsors, visitors, and partners with firm arguments for being part of the conference.

A clear requirement: complete insight into conference developments

At previous NT conferences Microsoft monitored the number of visitors at lectures, and measured customer satisfaction with surveys. These methods enabled access to satisfactory information on lecture attendance and on the general impressions of visitors, but they lacked a detailed insight into other conference developments, such as visitor attendance at sponsor presentations and exhibitor stands, visitor dwell times at various conference locations, etc. These aspects were evaluated based on sponsor feedback, but these estimations were subjective, inadequate and therefore unreliable. Microsoft also incorporated their own observations, but the reliability of such observations was also limited.


“Microsoft understands the importance of being innovative in business, which makes us quite open to novelties. NIL's solution Storesense Expo is one of the solutions that convinced us. With concrete data and analyses it supported our intuitive understanding of visitor dynamics at the event. We gained an improved starting point for next year's event organization and for making arrangements with partners. So, the next NT conference will be even more engaging for visitors and exhibitors as well.”

Gregor Potočar, Sales Director, Microsoft Slovenia


For organizing future NT conferences, Microsoft Slovenia wants to utilize as much actionable information as possible. This will help optimize events and also serve sponsors and partners with convincing arguments for participating at the conference. For this purpose, Microsoft chose for the 20th NT conference to use NIL's solution Storesense, or to be exact, its conference version Storesense Expo. The solution works on wireless technology and enables anonymous tracking of visitor movement through their smart devices and analyzes the gathered data.
Another important factor is the fact that the solution does not require from visitors to log into the Wi-Fi network, making sure that their privacy remains intact

Organizers can focus on the event

Storesense uses Wi-Fi network to gather data. Event organizers only need to provide information on key event locations, stand placement and layout depictions. The NT conference spread over 5,000 m2 on two floors, with 26 Cisco Access Points enabling wireless signal across the venue. NIL set up the entire infrastructure in three days, while the implementation of the Storesense solution was carried out in a single day. Storesense required from organizers only to provide the basic data on venue layout, which enabled them to place their full attention on organizing the conference and working with sponsors and exhibitors.

NIL NTK WiFi Access Points 

The solution was fully functional already a day before the conference. NIL set up user profiles for organizers, giving them access to Storesense data through web browsers. Data is refreshed in real time, and can be accessed through a smart phone, tablet, or computer. With the exception of a web browser, the system requires no additional applications and can function on any operating system.


“Implementing technical novelties is always an extra concern for organizers, because up until the event you cannot know with certainty that everything will go according to plans. Also, you have your hands full with arranging last-minute details. Storesense was a novelty for us and I was quite relieved to see that the night before the event I was able to quickly confirm my access data and made sure everything was running smoothly. But then the next moment the phone rang and I had to deal with one truly last event detail.”

Lara Vodlan, NT conference Event Manager, Microsoft Slovenia


Tangible and actionable advice on improvements

Storesense provided Microsoft with a great number of actionable data on the movement dynamics of visitors across conference halls and the popularity of individual sites. Among others the solution enabled tracking visitor flows, measuring the number of visits and dwell time at individual locations and lectures, measuring conversion rates for individual exhibition sites (ratio between passers-by and those visitors that stop at a site) and arranging a typical visitor profile based on the content of the stands they visited. The data was made available to organizers in real time.

NIL NTK display of the number of visits and dwell time

NIL NTK Example display of the tracking of visitor flows

Additionally, after the conference organizers were given a complete report on the event equipped with suggestions for improvement. These will be of great help to Microsoft Slovenia in organizing the next NT conference.


“Storesense confirmed and denied some of our observations, but mostly gave us an insight into why some of our exhibitor stands were not placed on most optimal sites. One of such stands was our own—even though it was positioned in an area with strong flows of visitors, it was observed that visitors did not stop at this particular place or they moved quite swiftly past it to get to lectures. Also, we saw that at certain locations visitors spent more time, but that there no exhibitor stands or promo materials available at these sites. For future events, we will take into account all information and recommendations provided by Storsense in order to ensure a more optimal layout of exhibitor stands.”

Lara Vodlan, NT conference Event Manager, Microsoft Slovenia


BUSINESS BENEFITS

  • Recommendations and guidelines for optimizing conference layout
  • Accurate measurement of the success rate of individual exhibitor stands
  • Actionable information on visitors available to sponsors and partners
  • Real-time insight into event development
  • Simple setup and complete visitor anonymity

Solutions characteristics

  • Identifying the  ow of visitors and measuring dwell time at individual sites
  • Conversion rates for individual exhibitor stands Identifying best spots to reach visitors
  • Identifying visitor profiles
  • Online data access Solution is powered by the Microsoft Azure platform
  • Wi-Fi network, 26 Cisco Access Points