Canadian Heritage plays a vital role in the cultural, civic and economic life of Canadians. Yearly they are entrusted with the task of delivering an amazing Canada Day event in the Capital City. With the experience and knowledge from past celebrations, Canadian Heritage knew they needed enhanced crowd management data. The primary concern was to provide timely data for staffing management, and effectively communicate wait times to attendees for expectation management.
SMATS real-time, portable WiFi & Bluetooth traffic sensors and data analytics platform were chosen as the preferred solution to aid Canadian Heritage for the event. SMATS TrafficBox™ sensor was the perfect fit for this event, as it is battery powered (no power cabling required), and its portability and low cost is ideal for short period data collection. The TrafficBox™ sensors can detect both WiFi and Bluetooth signals from smart devices carried by people and calculates live wait time data. The data is automatically sync’d to SMATS web analytics platform, iNode™, through GSM communication. iNode’s™ MAC address matching and outlier filtering running in real-time during projects ensures the most accurate information is available. The sensors are easy to install, adjustable for any duration and data is easily accessible remotely through iNode™.
With SMATS TrafficBox™ sensors, a monitoring system was established throughout where the lineup would form, using WiFi & Bluetooth detection to monitor the wait time throughout the day. The WiFi and Bluetooth sensors monitor the movement of individual MAC addresses generated by smart devices. SMATS applies an encryption to each MAC address to ensure individual privacy and then records the time each altered address spends within a specific zone or movement between two zones. A total of 3 sensors were installed along the lineup path, monitoring 2 smaller links and the combined total line route. The SMATS system served multiple purposes on Canada Day. Firstly it provided real time data to Canadian Heritage on the wait time to get through the Parliament Hill access security apparatus. This was in turn communicated to their security partners, ensuring and confirming the flow efficiency of the public through security. Secondly it permitted PCH to advise the public on site of the estimated wait time thus facilitating decisions by the public on whether or not to access Parliament Hill.
Highlighted Monitor Routes and Sensor Locations
Sensor Deployed at Event
Advantageously, as the flow of crowds changed, staff could monitor the wait time impacts live on iNode™ . The crowd lineup originated at point 1 and ended at point 3 (Parliament Hill). For the Canada Day celebrations, the surrounding road closures allowed for seamless crowd traffic monitoring. Importantly, even if the roads had vehicle traffic, SMATS sensors are programmable to ignore a certain speed range, such as speeds that obviously could not be foot traffic. Staff monitored the live wait time information updates on the iNode™ dashboard and relayed that to the crowd. SMATS systems confirmed the wait times experienced by attendants.
After the event our client was delighted to hear that the data recorded can be exported. They can use this data to help plan for future events and compare efficiency of different crowd management techniques. Overall, the 2019 Ottawa Canada Day went smoothly and our client’s needs were met.
From firsthand experience, our client, Canadian Heritage, knew the impact of not having crowd wait-time monitoring tools in place. In past events, they had attempted to implement monitoring technology, but had yet to find a solution that offered live data. Thankfully for event managers, SMATS innovative traffic data technologies are adaptable for a plethora of use cases, including crowd monitoring.
Wait Time Displayed at Event
It was extremely difficult finding a solution for outdoor real-time wait time monitoring. The adaptability of SMATS sensors and the support provided by their team were crucial for the smooth running of our event.Jean-Marc Beauvalet Manager of Technical Service, Heritage Canada