NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo

Join peers and experts at the premier global professional learning and networking event for all international educators and organizations that support international education for the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, "Global Leadership, Learning, and Change."

NAFSA utilizes eventBit® technology to better understand conference attendee traffic in various parts of the convention center. This secure technology will allow NAFSA to gain statistical insight into the trends, issues, and topics relevant to the conference's diverse attendees. Below you will find information about why NAFSA is using the technology, how it works, how NAFSA will use the data gathered, and the security of the technology.

Why are we capturing attendee location information?

Conference attendees vote with their feet. NAFSA has always conducted manual room counts to inform conference planners about what sessions and content are most popular. eventBit allows NAFSA to take these efforts a step further by providing not only more accurate room counts, but also insight into general session attendance trends.

When combined with registration and evaluation data, this technology allows NAFSA to understand the content that is most relevant to the diverse needs of different international educators. NAFSA will be able to segment session attendance information by geography, institution type, knowledge community, and additional categories. The ability to segment attendance by demographic categories allows NAFSA to develop more relevant and valuable content that effectively meets the needs of all international educators.

NAFSA's stated objectives for using 2019 eventBit® data include:

  • Learn more about the topics and trends most relevant and interesting to NAFSA's international attendees and to increase the number of programs available to all attendees.
  • Attempt to identify additional content tracks based upon audience makeup of sessions. This would be accomplished by analyzing whether there is a distinct set of sessions attended by a particular segment of conference attendees (for example, young professionals in international enrollment management).
  • Discern what kind of session formats—panels, workshops, single presenter, interactive, etc.—attract more attendees. NAFSA would also learn if there are preferences for session times, types, etc., among different types of conference attendees.

About EventBit® Technology

eventBit is based on Bluetooth Smart technology a.k.a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). NAFSA only acquires location data and the date/time stamp during conference operational hours, when the beacon chip that is adhered to each name badge is near any of the receivers and the beacon chip has been read by the receiver. Receivers will be placed in the session rooms, Expo Hall, and plenary hall.

Industry standard safeguards have been implemented to protect information transmitted using eventBit technology. These safeguards include encryption for location information that is sent to Experient servers. The chips adhered to name badges will contain no personally identifiable information. The chips only have a pairing number that matches up with registration data once the data is sent to Experient's servers.

Data Sharing

NAFSA will not share your personal information with any other organization, group, or individual. NAFSA will aggregate session attendance data and exhibit hall traffic data to provide reports on trends and issues affecting international educators. Personal information will not be included in any report that NAFSA shares or sells.

EventBit and Exhibitors

All NAFSA's exhibitors will have the option to have eventBit devices located in their booths. This will provide them with anonymized, general information about the attendees at or near their booths. This data is then aggregated and provided to the exhibitors to give information on how many attendees beacons are read by receivers near their booths, the average span of time attendees visited their booth, and how many leads they have captured via attendee name badge scanning.

Exhibitors receive NO personal information, such as names, emails, institutions, etc., about conference attendees without the attendee's consent. The only way for an exhibitor to get personal contact information for an attendee is if the attendee ELECTS to have their name badge scanned by the exhibitor's scanning device.

eventBit® Options and Data Deletion

While NAFSA strongly encourages all conference attendees to participate, attendees are not required to have a beacon chip adhered to their conference name badge. NAFSA understands sensitivities related to data acquisition so any attendee that wishes to opt of having their information collected in sessions, plenaries, and the Expo Hall can opt out at registration.

There are two options for opting out:

  • Attendees can choose to have a beacon chip on their badge, but not to have the location information connect to ANY professional or demographic information. This will allow NAFSA to maintain accurate session room counts. (Recommended.)
  • Attendees can choose not to opt in and not to receive a beacon chip.

To elect to keep your data anonymous OR to later choose to opt out entirely, we recommend attendees go to the on-site registration area of the convention center (not to the "scan and go" registration area) and inform a registration staff team member that they would like to opt out of eventBit. Attendees can always change their mind about having their information collected. If an attendee opts in, but then decides to not participate, they can choose to either have their information completely anonymized (recommended) or removed. Both processes take time to complete so NAFSA will collect the attendee's information and conduct the selected adjustment) post-conference. Once the changes have been made the individual will be contacted for confirmation.

To have information made anonymous or removed, an attendee should visit conference registration and speak with a registration team member who will take their name, email address, and additional information to ensure that NAFSA is able to follow up after the changes have been made.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does eventBit® improve my conference experience?

NAFSA has always counted attendees at conference sessions. Conference attendees "vote with their feet" meaning that NAFSA gains important insight into the trends, topics, and issues that are most important to international educators, based on the events they choose to attend. eventBit® allows NAFSA to obtain more accurate counts and to learn about the types of educators that attend these sessions—for example, their knowledge community, professional level, etc. The data gained from eventBit® technology will be useful to NAFSA in developing, planning, and improving new and existing programs and services.

How and where will you collect attendee information?

Each conference attendee badge contains a small chip that sends signals to beacon reader devices. These beacons only collect attendee data in certain areas of the convention center: conference session rooms, the plenary hall, and the Expo Hall. The chips do not transmit in any area where a beacon device has not been placed. In addition, the beacon readers are only activated during conference hours.

Can I choose to share information but remain anonymous?

Yes. You can choose to opt in and to allow a beacon to count you as having attended an event, but not include demographic or professional interest information. Attendees can also choose to opt out of wearing a beacon at any time during the conference by visiting conference registration.

If I opt in but then decide later to opt out, can I have my information removed?

Yes. Any attendee who opted in to sharing their information but later wishes to have their data deleted, can do so. The process is not immediate and may take a few weeks to complete. NAFSA will notify you when your information has been removed.

Will NAFSA share my EventBit® information?

NAFSA will never share your personally identifiable information with any third-party organization. NAFSA may compile aggregated attendee data into audience segments, by geographic location, knowledge community, etc., to share insights into trends, issues, and relevant content with partner organizations, members, and in NAFSA published materials.

Exhibitors keep asking to scan my badge. Are they receiving my location data?

Exhibitors have access to anonymous attendee data, such as attendee professional level, knowledge community, etc., that provide general insights into the types of attendees who visit or are near the exhibitor's booth. The only way for an exhibitor to obtain an attendee's personal information is by scanning an attendee's name badge.