Beacon technologies are making headway for events. Companies have been using this technology to automate event check-in, for networking, for wayfinding, location-aware polling, generating heat maps of crowd flow and a range of other tasks to improve the event experience for attendees.
However, this technology requires that attendees have the app installed, their Bluetooth on, and their batteries charged in order for things to work. To have these criteria fully met for all of the attendees almost never happens, and, often times the percentage of active beacon users is much smaller than thought. That's why beacon producers moved on to the next generation of beacon technology comes in – wearable two-way beacons. Each attendee wears the beacon as a badge or as attached to the lanyard. The beacon is always transmitting its BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) signal with a battery life of several days. With 100% of the event participants using it, this opens up many new capabilities.
Today, gamification plays a crucial role in creating positive brand awareness while offering enhanced visitor engagement. Keeping attendees engaged during sessions at an event by letting them ask questions or delivering personalized deals and messages based on a visitor's proximity to a trade show booth are all efficient event management tools. You can encourage your attendees to explore less popular areas of your trade show by offering them special rewards for doing so. You could also reward them for certain valued actions such as completing a feedback questionnaire with free coupons or merchandise.
One of the things that most attendees hate the most at large-scale events is waiting in long lines. Many event organizers are now experimenting with beacons to speed up the check-in process. You can deploy these tiny pieces of hardware at the entrance of your exhibition or conference venue and use them to send QR codes to the attendees' apps for easy check-in. To get things moving faster, you can even use beacons to potentially check-in your attendees immediately as they arrive or get the badges automatically printed at a self-service terminal nearby.
Networking is one of the primary reasons why people attend events. The event app can use beacons to take the participation level of your attendees to a whole new level. Most apps use visitor self-tagging or LinkedIn integration to match profiles based on user's interests to send them notifications when they are in close proximity to a match. You can even extend your service to offer guided tour of the event arena based on the interests of the user.
For example, if a particular user is interested in mobile commerce, you can enable the app to guide them to all relevant stalls at the trade show and also provide additional information on exhibitor and the services offered by them thus helping them connect and exchange contact details effortlessly.
Event organizers can also leverage beacons for additional revenue. For example, when a user passes by a certain zone at the trade show venue, they receive a notification prompting them to come and check out the closest booth. This can be a premium service offered to sponsors.
Navigation and Heat Mapping
When it comes to trade shows or concerts, one of the best uses of mobile apps is floor maps. Beacons are a great way of telling your attendees where they are and directing them to their desired locations within the venue. For example, users can be sent notifications about a session that is about to commence, when they walk by the session hall. This is a great way to foster engagement during the conference while making sure attendees get the maximum out of a particular event.
With access to real-time statistics, beacons even recognize hotspots and alerts organizers about locations that are overcrowded and more prone to security breaches.
Most attendees at an event flock behind presenters for a copy of the presentation slides or end up waiting for weeks for the content to arrive in their inbox. You can avoid this long taxing wait by using Beacons to recognize attendees at the session and automatically deliver slides, ebooks etc during or immediately after the session.
Event organizers can easily gather information on the number of people attending an event or a trade show and view their profiles in real-time by setting up beacons to simulate check-ins at the entrance of the conference venue. This requires no action from the user's side. If the user has downloaded the app and enabled bluetooth on his/her mobile device, the app will automatically check-in as soon as the user walks into the venue.Thus, by enabling brands to breathe life into the traditional event experience, beacons are believed to be an integral part of any company's digital strategy in the near future.