Soon, our 5th research year will start

When we launched our first research project into the ROI for Public Events in 2014, we never dreamed that we would have been able to continuously expand our expertise and reclaim financial resources year after year for all these research projects. But we did it, thanks to the clear motivation of the event sector, our working field, for more knowledge development.

In September, we will start our 5th research project. This time we will focus on the development of a typology of VISITOR PROFILES and a research frame that can map the more detailled profile insights for the different types of public events. As with our previous research projects, we will again take up the challenge to translate our research results into online tools that can be used quickly, simply and at low cost by the organizers and other stakeholders of events.

Smart Cities require Smart Events

Our current research into the different methods for counting the number of visitors on free accessible public events is closely linked to the area of Smart Cities. Increasingly more technological applications are being used for visitor counts. Our expertise in these methods is growing every day. This is necessary, becasue in a couple of months we have to be ready to advise the event sector about the current and future offer of counting methods and possibilities. After all, also these insights will help to improve the (local) impact of events.

In view of this continuous development of knowledge, we are attending today the third edition of the Internet of Things (Smart Cities) Convention in Europe. Curious to learn more about which applications will influence the counting methodes of tomorrow and to find out about the latest trends for our smarter events.

Research provides more than just surprise

Research also provides inspiration, specific achievements and strategic insights. As a result, research is becoming increasingly important in companies and organizations. That is why it is important to make our future event and project managers more aware of the importance of research and to learn them how to use the different research methods and how to develop and interpret intelligent (research) data. In an increasingly rapid changing society, it is after all important for these young professionals that they can support and help companies transition into (market) intelligent organizations focused on quality and result improvement. As researchers, it is also our job (and pleasure) to help integrate these important (new) research skills as a sustainable part of their curriculum and contribute also in this way to the further professionalization of the event sector.

How to increase the impact of Open Monumentendag?

Each year, and this year for the 30th time already, this large-scaled public event is being organized by Herita. Counting the number of visitors on an event like this, with more than 1.000 activities on 600 locations spread all over Flanders, is a huge challenge. The aim of our workshop with this organisation today is to link our recommended counting method  to methods for increasing the strength and impact of Open Monumentendag.

Time to resonate

We’re almost there … Our recommendations and new online tool are almost ready. Our expertise in counting the number of visitors, also on free and open accessible public events, is growing every day. The last couple of months, we have been exploring the often complex offer of counting methods for being able to outline clear guidelines for the most appropriate counting methods for each type of event. The tool will provide recommendations as well as an insight into the application possibilities, the pro’s and contra’s, the prices and possible suppliers of the recommended counting method(s) for each type of public event. 

But before launching this new online tool via our ROI Toolkit, it needs to survive the disaster check of our steering committee today. Exciting!

Our GDPR coach, also at your disposal

In two months, also our research activities have to be GDPR compliant to the new and stricter European privacy legislation. Many talk and write about it, but only few understand what it really means. Our search for the right answers wasn’t without frustration either. But that has all changed thanks to the help of dr. Wim De Keyser, our personal GRPR coach. Wim isn’t only lecturer Applied Informatics at our college university, he is also founder and board member of DPO-pro, the only official professional association in Belgium for Data Protection Officers.

Is your (event) organization also looking for answers and solutions for this GDPR challenge? Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Think tank ‘Tranforming Tourism’

Tourism is an economic catalyst, good for the local trade and employment. But tourism is transforming, also in Flanders. That is why Tourism Flanders wants to get to the bottom of the transforming power of tourism, why it wants to develop a vision and initiate practices together with her ‘think tank’ partners.

During the second think tank today, organized in the Augustinian monastery in Ghent, research results were presented and follow-up research questions were formulated. An important research question is how to monitor the capacity of the touristic destinations. In other words, how many tourists/visitors can a city hold and how can the costs and benefits be spread fairly? This is also a focus of our research, not in the least because public events are important catalysts for tourism. To be continued!

First aid for research questions

You have a research question, but you don’t know how to get started? Also in these situations, you can ask us for tips & tricks. We do not only advice and guide the professional sector, but also our students and lecturers in solving specific problems, business cases and challenges.

Why do we do this? Because it is tremendously relevant and useful, but also because it is so very exciting and fun to do!

Instructional meeting at Vlaio

In order to continue our research into visitor counts at free and open accessible public events, we submitted a research proposal at the Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. We aim for a research period of two years, in which we will test different counting methods on different public events. A complex issue that requires a thorough research and will stimulate and support the innovation and entrepreneurship in the sector.  This week, we were invited by Vlaio for further explanation of our specific research approach, whilst the sun was shining. Let’s hope that this was a good omen, because it is this agency that will decide whether we will receive the necessary funding to continue our research.

Researching new research rules

As researchers it is important to keep abreast of the new knowledge developments and regulations in our profession. That is why we attended two information sessions today. This evening we learned more about Event Policy and Event Performance Evaluations thanks to the KU Leuven University and during the day we attended a  session regarding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), also in Leuven. As from May the 25th, this new privacy legislation for data collection with European civilians will be enforced in all organizations and thus also on our activities. Also for us it is therefore important to map the data processes in our research group and to take appropriate measures to secure our data (acquisition). After all, as true researchers we too have to research the new research rules.