People Counting in Public Buildings is a Crucial – And Here’s Why

February 14, 2024

People counting in smart buildings

People counting in public buildings is extremely important to enhance the visitor experience, improve traffic flow, and ensure their safety and security. 

Public buildings can be extremely crowded, especially if they are located in a city or town with a high population. Of course, other factors, such as their size and purpose, also come into play. Airports, train stations, and shopping malls can be especially crowded during peak hours, major events, and holiday seasons. The same applies to public buildings run by organizations such as museums, stadiums, and theaters. 

On the other hand, government offices, libraries, and community centers may not be as crowded since they do not attract as many visitors or may have restrictions on the number of people allowed in. However, even these buildings have peak hours depending on several elements and sometimes attract even more visitors due to changes in law or regulations. Either way, managers of such public buildings are responsible for delivering the best experience for their visitors and ensuring their safety and security. 

If you are responsible for managing a public building, it’s always best to know who your visitors are, why they visit your building, and which zones or specific areas they tend to crowd. Cutting-edge people counting sensors and visitor analytics solutions are powerful tools that can help you enhance the visitor experience in a public building, and they can provide you with information no other solution can deliver.

As a decision-maker for a public building, you can use this technology to create an efficient and satisfying visitor experience. People counting technology allows you to eliminate long queues, monitor capacity levels in real-time, optimize visitor traffic flow throughout the building, adjust your staffing levels according to visitor data collected over time, and even save you energy and resources while reducing costs. 

In this article, we will shortly explain what public buildings are and why they may be overcrowded at specific times. We will then talk about how you can use people counting to optimize all your operations and ensure your public building reaches its full potential.

What is a Public Building?

The definition of a public building is quite obvious; the term refers to a structure that is open to the public. Most public buildings are operated by governments, such as schools, hospitals, libraries, courthouses, community centers, government facilities, and more. However, some privately owned buildings can also be open to the public during specific hours.

These buildings must provide a safe and secure environment for the public, whether government-owned or operated by a private company. Obviously, if the public building is used by the government, it’s funded by tax money and other resources the government entities provide. On the other hand, privately owned public buildings such as sports arenas, theatres, and cinemas want to maximize their revenue by optimizing their operations and becoming more efficient. 

These buildings can also serve as tourist attractions, points of interest, landmarks, or symbols of pride and identity.

How Visitor Analytics Can Help Public Building Management

You can employ people counting systems to monitor footfall traffic, understand visitor flow and behavior, track live occupancy levels, manage your resources better, and more. Traffic counting sensors provide you with extremely accurate visitor data, and online analytics platforms transform this data into actionable insights.

According to recent research published by Gartner, companies and organizations are investing more and more in people counting technologies. The research and consulting firm’s recent study says the people counting segment will grow from $0.5 billion to $7.3 billion by 2028, and similar levels of growth are expected in related segments such as location and zone analytics for the physical world.

Moreover, the potential for expanding your government funding becomes more secure and predictable when there is clear data on the daily foot traffic in your public building. By having accurate statistics on the number of people who visit your establishment on a regular basis, you gain a better understanding of the resources needed to maintain and improve services. This information can then be used to justify an increase in funding, ensuring the continued operation and development of your public facility.

Having said that, if you are interested in trying visitor analytics, make sure to pick a provider that offers state-of-the-art technology that can deliver nearly perfect accuracy in data collection and solutions that align with your organization. Outdated technologies such as beam sensors, CCTV cameras, infrared, and a few others can’t provide precise data, and making decisions based on polluted data can do more harm than good for your campaigns.

Provided you are keen on trying this technology, we strongly recommend opting for people counters powered by 3D Active Stereo Vision technology. It mimics the human eye, collects and processes combined images, and creates depth maps. This technology can provide accurate results even when it’s completely dark or too sunny outside.

Revealing Visitor Demographics

A modern and accurate people counting system can significantly improve your metrics where it matters and counts. If you can track the number of visitors your public building is pulling accurately at all times, you can then take things to the next level and invest in demographic analysis solutions

Knowing who your visitors are and which items are more popular with certain age and gender groups can allow you to tailor your marketing efforts to appeal to certain demographics. You can adjust your offerings according to who visits your store and when. For all you know, your building attracts more young women during the early hours, and then the majority of visitors are older men or a mix of both. Demographic analysis can reveal it all and allow you to come up with strategies based on factual visitor data.

The right technology and solutions can do way more than just let you know what times of day are busiest and which days of the week attract the most visitors. Empower your visitor data collection with accurate zone analytics and heatmap solutions, and you will discover which zones are more popular than others and which aren’t doing so well. A modern zone analytics solution uses the grid system and can generate extremely specific results per grid. This allows your people-counting system to understand which products are more popular and among whom.

For instance, a powerful zone analytics solution like heatmaps can unveil which areas of your public building are being used more often, if they’re overcrowded, and even help you understand patterns and behavior in visitor behavior. It can also help you decrease energy spending, therefore reducing your building’s carbon footprint. You can also reduce unnecessary costs by finding out which places are underused but still have HVAC systems or power on.

Managing Visitor Flow

People counting powered with zone analytics and heatmaps will also deliver actionable insights into visitor flow across the building. Not only will you know who your guests are, but you will also know what routes they take when they visit your building. You can use this information to optimize the layout of the building, adjust digital signage campaigns, and manage your inventory levels accordingly. Collecting and analyzing visitor data over time is crucial when it comes to improving the visitor experience at a physical location. 

Understanding visitor flow can also help you manage staffing levels and optimize your organization’s resources more efficiently. When you know who visits your building, when they visit, and which routes they take, you can always ensure your employees are always at the right place and at the right time to improve the visitor experience.

Monitoring Capacity in Real-Time

If you’re in charge of managing a public building, you can most certainly benefit from real-time occupancy monitoring. Your establishment will be much safer, and it will be easier to comply with government regulations if you track existing and incoming visitor traffic in real time. By monitoring live occupancy levels and displaying them at entrances, you can keep both your visitors and staff safe. If your building or a specific zone gets overcrowded, you can take precautions and ensure that you are complying with safety regulations.

Another great benefit to knowing how many people are at your store at any given time is you can use digital signage to promote explicit campaigns or items directly to your target audience.


Tracking footfall traffic is becoming the new norm for providing the best visitor/guest experience you can. Choosing the right real-life traffic counting technology is extremely important if you want your business or organization to stay ahead of others. Investing in a modern and reliable people counter will have you see improved metrics where it’s relevant and improve visitor satisfaction.

If you are interested in trying this innovative and ever-growing technology, drop us a line, and we will connect you with one of our people counting experts in no time. Let’s shape the future together!