The Beacon, An Event’s Sidekick
Have you ever heard about the beacon? I certainly have not, until one of my colleagues introduced the product to me. Little did I know it, it would be one of the best products where event planners can use to enhance the level of interaction from their audience. Although the hype for this trendy product was enormous when it was first introduced in 2013 during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the use of the product is still relevant and growing.
After reading about Estimote & Apple’s iBeacon, Google’s Eddystone product, I compiled a list of ideas where a beacon can change up your game strategy when competing in the event industry. Not only will this help event planners with geolocations, data collection and push messaging can be done automatically with beacons. In other words, receive quick reports and send information to attendees in one go.
What is a beacon?
A beacon is a device that sends radio waves to Bluetooth detection devices such as our mobile phones.These devices collect data about one’s location and send the information automatically. It’s one directional therefore only the beacon users can determine what is being sent to the devices. Smartphone users may, however, choose to disable their Bluetooth connection to stop receiving anything from beacons.
There are many activities and events available that users can attend. However, not all are enjoyable. With a beacon, the level of engagement, however, can double or even triple. The purpose of this article is to insight you on how beacons can improve your events. There might be suggestions that you have heard of before, others you may not. Read on!
In any event, to speed up the registration and check-in process. A beacon can be added to the venue to reduce queues and allow users to automatically receive the check-in page. The check-in process can be used for concerts, conferences, any event that requires registrations/check-in.
Another way to use a beacon is to send programs on user’s smartphones. Right before your conference officially begins, participants can check out the event day’s schedule. They may also receive promotional items such as discount codes directly onto their phones. In addition to the event agenda and promotional codes sent to users, conferences speakers could also send their speech or presentations to the audience for them to stay better engaged during the conference.
Something a little more fun would be to use beacons in a treasure hunt. Instead of using pen and paper to write down the clues, have it all automated. Instead of sending people to the clue spots and waiting for groups to get to a location, instantly track their progress as they go through the different stations and area. If players get a little lost, beacon admins can send push notifications to the teams to set them back on track. This could be used for small or large scale treasure hunts.
At an exhibition, beacons can help you track approximately the number of attendees that went to a specific room. Overall, a beacon can help track the number of attendees and send out reports that help in relaying traffic from busier to more quiet places.
Beacons could also be placed on bikes in order to track them and its usage. It can be used in Bike sharing business where it is important to see the number of bikes available and those who are being in use.
Beacons could potentially also be placed near or on products. As soon as a customer goes near or holds the product, the product’s information could be found available on the user’s phone in seconds. This enables users to get to know the products at a faster pace and receiving information about the availabilities of the product’s size and colors.
Conventions & Exhibition Halls
For conventions and exhibitions that have a large number of vendors or stands, using beacons for identifying one’s location can help attendees find the booth of their interest more easily. Moreover, beacons can also help facilitate the exchange of a booth’s contact information by waving one’ smartphone at the stand. Once saved, attendees can access the saved information anytime during and after the event.
Once the event is over, participants will be automatically checked-out and a satisfaction survey could appear on their mobile devices as they walk out to the exit door.
Believe it or not, a few zoos have incorporated Beacons in their parks to educate and make guests interact with animals. Using a zoo application, they can learn more and access a list of intriguing activities to participates in.
Adding a beacon to meeting and using a room booking application can simplify the check-in process for room bookings. The beacon can send a check-in page once a person enters the room and enters their personal email used during booking. If no one enters the room and checked-in for a delay of 20 minutes, the room on the application can revert to being available for any other user who wants it.
Beacons could also be used during open houses for students going to specific departments. Once students reach the entrance hall, beacons can provide attendees with useful information and documents about the school particular programs.
Museums are already quite to adapt to technologies. In order to allow attendees to further get emersed in the arts and learn about it, beacons and the museum apps can help increase user’s engagement and creativity.
Getting a little more technical, beacons could also help with matching users together at a networking event. Information is collected through the phone, but send back if beacon admins feel the need for it.
That’s it for the ideas, what will you be doing with your beacon?