Case Study

Seeing clearly — the future value of ASCRS annual meeting

Looking to boost exhibitor and sponsor ROI, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) implemented innovative Zenus technology to capture sentiment-based data.


American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery + Zenus




Show event value through a clear lens

The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), is an organization focused on education, philanthropy, and advocacy for anterior segment surgeons.

To support its annual meeting, ASCRS wanted to provide stronger ROI insights and boost the event value for its sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees. These insights would come from a better understanding of attendee behavior at event education sessions, responsiveness to speakers, and engagement on the show floor.

ASCRS was looking for a way to capture data and provide tangible insights on:

  • Attendee actions and sentiment
  • Exhibitor and sponsor value/ROI
  • Monetization of sponsorship solutions
  • Real estate value on the floor

The organization turned to long-time partner Freeman for a 360-degree show solution that included event services as well as data and strategy.


A sentiment-al approach to tangible data

Freeman and mdg, a Freeman company, worked side by side with ASCRS to uncover the additional insights the organization was looking for.

What data should be captured? 

  • Volume of traffic in strategically identified areas
  • How traffic moves and general sentiment
  • Engagement with different activations and traffic driving elements
  • Dwell time in booths, in front of digital walls, at show-sponsored events

How should the data be captured? 

ASCRS chose to implement Zenus, an innovative AI startup that maps attendee behavior, ethically captured by strategically placed smart cameras on the show floor. But these aren’t your typical cameras — they don’t record or store faces.

What the Zenus technology did provide was aggregate data that captured attendee impressions and facial expressions (in the form of dwell time, sentiment, demographic, and position — without taking video). Then, mdg, a Freeman Company, translated that data into insights empowering ASCRS to plan future events with data-driven decisions.

Where should the data be captured? 

The Zenus technology was strategically placed in key areas of the show floor that aligned with the value and engagement insights ASCRS wanted to provide exhibitors and sponsors.

  • Registration
  • Select sponsorship booths
  • The Tap Room (centralized location and bar for networking/educational opportunities)
  • Sails Pavilion
  • Main stage
  • Main hall
  • Ballroom (education room)


Insights with 20/20 vision

Capturing attendee sentiment with the Zenus technology provided insights that helped ASCRS have a clearer understanding of the attendee experience during the annual meeting. While also making it possible to report accurate and tangible results to exhibitors and sponsors, proving the show’s true value.

All eyes on these results for future ROI

  • Delight rate measured which areas offered the highest value sponsorship opportunities
    • Escalators and digital walls had the highest delight rates
  • Sentiment data helped identify top performing education sessions and most engaging speakers
    • Women had stronger engagement presence during sessions where men had stronger engagement on the show floor
  • Dwell time and stop rate helped strengthen the data provided to exhibitors showing the value of show floor real estate
    • Booth LED walls had some of the highest stop rates, capturing attendee attention on the aisles
  • Energy levels showed the most popular areas for attendees
    • The Tap Room had the highest energy levels, appealing to next generation attendees and networking opportunity

The saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20.” But with results like these, ASCRS has a much clearer view into the future of ROI, for exhibitors, sponsors, and even attendees. So, you could say implementing the Zenus technology helped ASCRS go from hindsight to “20/20 foresight.”

Hear more from ASCRS about why these insights are so important for the future of its Annual Event!

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