What are some use cases for crowd management solutions?

What are some use cases for crowd management solutions?
Crowd management solutions are in higher demand today as end user organizations seek to prevent crowd-related incidents, avoid gridlocks and improve the customer experience. Applications are manifold, from managing traffic at transportation hubs to keeping order at sports venues.
 
Crowd management has become a top priority in particular for city administrators as well as event/venue operators. Recent incidents such as the Nedbank Cup semi-final held in Cape Town in April, where violence erupting at the end of the game caused a total damage of some US$180,000, underscore the need for solutions that keep crowds under control.
 
Typically, crowd management solutions analyze crowd sizes, movement and behavior. Once an incident has been detected an alert can be issued immediately to notify the operator or event organizer. Data collected by devices can further help operator plan for future events or design better escape/evacuation routes.
 
Given the various benefits of crowd management solutions, their growth potential is not to be ignored. According to a report by Allied Market Research, the global market for crowd analytics was valued at $331 million in 2015 and is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24.9 percent to reach $1.5 billion by 2022. “The global crowd analytics market is expected to witness a high growth rate during the forecast period, due to increase in demand for better crowd distribution planning in smart cities, upsurge in the number of airlines and train passengers, and increased concerns of security and surveillance across several geographic regions including North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific,” the report said.
 

Applications

 
Applications are manifold and can be both security- and non-security-related. According to a whitepaper by GSM Association, applications include the following.
 

Transport hubs

 
According to the whitepaper, crowd management services can help transport hubs like airports and train stations plan for when people are arriving at security queues and monitor the impact that wait time may have on passengers arriving at gates. “Through intelligent placement of mobile-enabled IoT sensors, train stations can monitor how many people are queuing at ticket machines or waiting to get through barriers. At peak times of the year, such as Christmas or Chinese New Year, crowds can be corralled and managed in such a way as to optimize efficiency and prevent people descending en-masse onto already crowded platforms,” it said.
 

Sports and entertainment

 
Sports and entertainment events are a key market for crowd management technologies. “For example, a music festival organizer will be able to use a combination of crowd management technologies, including network data and IoT sensors to gauge crowd densities at different locations on site, how many people are visiting the concessions and food stands or how long the queue for the toilets is,” the paper said. “All of this data gives the event organizer real-time insight into the event so that they can maintain safety and ensure that people are moved around the site appropriately.”
 

Retail

 
Retailers can also benefit from crowd management technologies where accurate positioning data is needed for both planning and effective merchandising. “Retailers and managers of city retail zones can use this accurate data to improve both the visitor experience and increase the monetization opportunities for the store and city,” it said. “Crowd management technologies, such as IoT sensors from mobile operators, enable retailers to understand how many customers are in their store and how they move around it. IoT sensors can yield new insights including understanding how many people walk past the store without visiting, and how different promotions persuade people to come into the store.”


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