Meeting apps aren’t new anymore. You already know you need one. You also know it had better be worth attendees’ trouble to download—or they just won’t use it. But with as fast as technology changes, not to mention your event plans, it’s hard to keep that app relevant.
So, what if you could make your app 1000% more usable and attractive to attendees, simply by designing it to interact not only with people, but with your venue, as well?
That’s right. It’s not enough now just to deliver high-powered, customized event content to your attendees’ phones. Now, you can elevate your meeting app by enabling that app to sense where your attendees are located within the space … and deliver them more customized information that relates to that area. Right now. Right this second. Right in the palm of their hand.
With iBeacon technology, this capability is now within reach for your next event—and it is more budget-friendly than you might imagine.
So how does iBeacon really work?
Apple introduced iBeacon technology back in 2013 as a series of small, coin- or chip- sized transmitters that use Bluetooth low energy (BLE) frequencies to share real-time information to an app inside any device within a small radius of the transmitter.
Okay, you say, but what does that actually mean?
Think of iBeacons like a series of miniature lighthouses positioned through your event space. They’re tiny chips, of course, so they can be affixed easily on a wall, under your tables or beneath a product display. As attendees move through the space, their mobile devices—like ships—seek out the beam sent out by the nearest lighthouse. When their devices find that beam, ping! A message flashes on the screen.
Through the use of these digital lighthouses, you can communicate with attendees much more quickly and provide information about what’s happening in their immediate environment at the event. It’s like a digital version of the old-fashioned sandwich board, or that dancing, sign-waving mascot. Only a lot, lot cooler.
Who uses iBeacons?
Brick-and-mortar retailers first embraced iBeacons to tease customers with specials and coupons as they walk past or through a store. They also use iBeacon technology to accept mobile payments or deliver coupons.
The event world, too, has embraced this technology to for all the same functions, and to make real-time communication easier in a crowded venue. Because who doesn’t look at their phone every two seconds, anyway? While they’re looking at the phone, they may as well read a message you just sent about something they’re walking right past.
And it doesn’t have to be a big event, either. Even a smaller, more curated, high-end experience can use iBeacons to customize and enrich each VIP guest’s experience. iBeacons are not just efficient; they make communication intimately personal.
What can you do with iBeacon at your event?
If your attendees have downloaded a Beacon-enabled meeting app, and you’ve placed the chips throughout your venue, you will be able to share a real-time stream of information that is location-specific.
Attendees who have downloaded the app can receive an iBeacon-enabled message any time they walk past the individual beacon that contains it. Whenever a beacon does deliver a message, the attendee will see it immediately on his or her device.
Here are some common event scenarios:
- Got a special going on at a nearby booth? As attendees approach that exhibitor’s aisle, a message flashes on their phone.
- Need to remind them about their reservation for speed networking at 2:30 PM? Oh look, they just got another message.
- Want to nudge them that their most desired contact at the show is now lounging just one high-top away? It’s popping up on their phone … right … now.
With iBeacon technology, tied to your event app, you can begin communicating with attendees wherever they are, whenever they are there, using up-to-the-minute information that never gets old … because it’s always happening right now.
But what about attendees’ privacy?
At first glance, it might seem like a violation of privacy to track attendees’ movements through your space. But don’t worry; iBeacons are safe for privacy, too. The beacons only work when your meeting app is installed in an attendees’ phone, so no one is ever tracked against their will. (Unless of course, they’re tied up and forced to download the app. And then, let’s face it: you have other problems!)
So, let’s flip this privacy question on its head: Just imagine the data analytics possibilities with this kind of technology! As a consent-based tracking system, iBeacon offers you an unparalleled opportunity to gather data on traffic patterns, attendee preferences and user behavior. You can use this insight to share more useful messages at the show, modify floor plans and educational tracks, and also make better decisions about the content and contacts at your event. Just to name a few of the possibilities.
Basically, the sky is the limit when you add iBeacon technology to your event and tie it in to your meeting app.
So where does this go next?
So far, you love the idea of what iBeacon technology could do for your event communication. But you may also be thinking that it sounds terribly complicated, too. That’s where a great team comes in.
At LSAV POWERHOUSE, we love to champion the power of iBeacon technology and assemble the team it really takes to design and use iBeacon communication effectively through your meeting app. We believe this technology, like every technology you use, should be aligned with your strategic goals for the event. Check out our portfolio and then give us a call to find out more.