We have been working with the exhibition industry to help them explain what is special about being at an event. In the old days people were surveyed as they left, or maybe in the show. The problem is that a lot of what is interesting about people’s behaviour is unconscious – so we can’t tell the researcher what we did, or why we did it.
Yesterday we were in Islington at the design show doing some mobile eye tracking. This meant getting real visitors to spend some time wearing a pair of special glasses, that record what is in front of them and what exactly they focus on. It is a revelation – at last we can see what is catching attention as people wander around the show.
Our client told us that the industry believes you have only 3 seconds to catch attention at a stand. We are now wondering if even that is too much.
Not the most elegant glasses
On a practical note, the clientele included lots of architects so no one felt out of place wearing our rather large glasses. The truth is you get used to wearing them rather quickly, and forget you are being recorded. This was not a problem yesterday, but at the last trade show for the gaming industry, there was a lot of surreptitious glancing at the hostesses being recorded.