This interview is used for a general social media blog.

The growing use and influence of social media provides unprecedented opportunities, says Frank Wijnveld, director of CrowdProfessionals. His company uses for its clients gratefully all the messages to increase safety in large-scale urban, sporting and other events. Usually managers look at the costs that such monitoring entails. According to Wijnveld it actually would be better to look at the opportunities that social media offers to increase safety and reduce costs, or even better, to enhace the efficiency of an event or to improve the reputation of the organizer or the event.

Wijnveld provides three advantages of such an analysis his companies makes during events.

First, he says, “Pro active, the information can be used in social media to prevent incidents. Everyone knows that prevention of incidents is cheaper than solving them. But it also works the other way: people and resources are often planned and deployed because there is a chance that there may … etcetera. In those cases, monitoring social media also helps in making decisions on the deployment of people and resources”. Thus in his opinion, customization can be delivered while responsibilities are still well filled in.

Secondly Wijnveld suggests that a better analysis can take place on what visitors experience during the event: “For example, when we see that there are twitter reports of huge crowds for a beer tent, we will take immediate steps to streamline the situation because if you can’t reach  the bar nothing will be sold..

And third, he believes the online analysis can enhance the reputation of the organizer, “by reading messages and see what people expect and experience you can provide them proactively (eg, via an app.) with information. Thus when a particular street or passageway starts filling up, then proactive advice on following a different route will be received as a positive service element. For the longer term, the analysis is also useful, for example, for the marketing strategy”.

The analysis of social media is used to provide the visitor maximum service and giving an optimal sense of satisfaction. “People who feel safe and satisfied will be a sort of ambassadors for the organizer, they will come back and also attract other people.” This all apart from the fact that they will behave better because of the positive experience, says Wijnveld.