Crowdshaping Technology – Orwellian Creepiness or Better For Everyone?

Crowdshaping is a powerful tool that creates the best event experiences for us based on our feedback and our emotions. But at what cost?

Knowing what the people attending an event think is an invaluable part of hosting a great one. It gives you the knowledge to keep getting better, but you can rarely act until after the event has happened. This means that if something didn’t go well, you can’t test what you learned until the next one… with a different set of people and circumstances. To make it harder, social comments, feedback forms, phone calls and emails are your usual means to find out what worked, and what didn’t. How easy is it to share the feeling you have at a specific moment with someone else once that moment has passed?

Introducing Crowdshaping

Crowdshaping is a new technology that lets you find out what’s happening as an event unfolds, meaning you don’t have to wait, and changes can be made on the fly. Crowdshaping is about the collection of live behavioural and emotional data and reacting to it, which sounds a touch Orwellian. However, it’s a tool to help you make changes to a situation in real-time based on immediate feedback from the people attending an event. It allows event managers to spontaneously adjust and customise each moment. It can be as simple as listening to what people are saying and changing the music, lighting, or temperature based on their preferences.

The proliferation of high-tech personal devices such as smart phones and watches have paved the way for its existence. Data collected includes behavioural factors but can be can extend into biodata such as skin temperature and heart rate, or location and movement information. To avoid going full 1984, modern technology can equally provide a lighter touch by simply allowing people to leave comments or feedback by voting for changes they’d like. Entertainment shows on tv being one of the earliest and most visible adopters of this approach.

Manipulative or effective?

If you know what people want and can respond to their requests, it should mean that they have a better time and you know better how to provide it. People love being listened to and having an input in what’s happening around them. However, in an age where everyone is especially aware of their personal data and a wariness of being monitored, it’s probably a good idea to ask people to share rather than plugging them in for bio-monitoring… Despite this, if used correctly, crowdshaping can be an effective tool for event managers. Unforeseen situations can be handled more effectively, and a better experience offered. We’ve all been to events that haven’t ran the way we would have liked. Would we have been happier if we could have been involved in influencing improvements? Probably.

The Future

We expect to see the growth of crowdshaping continue– from catering events where food or dietary requirements can be better met, to trade shows where footfall and traffic are key, or clubs where the music or lighting can be adapted to the preference of the people on the dance floor.

If you are planning your next event, do these things to dip your toe into crowdshaping:

  • Conduct real time surveys through event apps to gain instant feedback.
  • Arrange sensors and scanners to track attendance and movement.
  • Execute and encourage discussion boards.
  • Implement wearable biotechnology such as smart watches to gather data.

In short, crowdshaping can enhance all of our experiences, if we’re just prepared to offer a little more personal data.

To have the complete tool for events management, download WorkGaps today!  

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