May 16, 2019

Weekly Focus: Bristol Cathedral

Bristol CathedralThe grade 1 listed building of Bristol Cathedral provided some unique challenges for the Axiomatic Installations department.

The Brief

Prior to inquiring to us at Axiomatic, the team at Bristol Cathedral was using staff to manually count visitor footfall over defined periods. They were well aware this approach had various drawbacks – it only captures a snapshot of visitor numbers on a certain day/time, as well as being vulnerable to good old fashioned human error.

As with other organisations that require various forms funding applications, they need measures of footfall to evidence their requests, as well as data to guide marketing activity and staff levels to improve their visitor experience. Manually counting footfall wasn’t thorough enough for this purpose.

After their initial enquiry, a member of Axiomatic’s team paid the cathedral a visit, bringing along examples of our automated people counting hardware so the staff could get an idea of what a system would look like when in place. It was also useful to discuss pros and cons of different ways to go about cabling the device, as it would need both power and network connectivity. This presented difficulties – Bristol Cathedral is grade 1 listed and so every effort must be required to preserve its original state.

The Solution

To get around this problem, Bristol Cathedral would employ their own technical team to run cabling – to take advantage of their advanced knowledge of the site. This work would be completed before Axiomatic’s engineers arrived to install the automated counter.

The type of counter we recommend would be the Irisys Thermal people counter. We concluded that due to the narrow entrance area, large numbers of people passing and varying light levels, a thermal counter would be the optimum choice. These devices are extremely accurate and unaffected by changing light levels.

So save the staff at Bristol Cathedral from the hassle of having to manage a dedicated server, their system is hosted by Axiomatic. Bristol Cathedral employees access their data via an online dashboard, as well as having access to raw CSV files.

Bristol Cathedral have also signed up to our ongoing support and maintenance package – ensuring that their system is regularly monitored by our technical team to check for faults or discrepancies. This allows Axiomatic to be proactive and minimise any disruption to the system in the event of any abnormalities.

The results of this project speak for themselves:

During 2017 we installed new people counting technology in the main porch, which showed that our footfall is much higher than we anticipated – in excess of 250-300,000 annually which is twice our previous estimates. The new data will inform our thinking about how we improve the visitor experience.” – Outlined in Bristol Cathedral’s latest report and financial statements

We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Bristol Cathedral in the future.