Beacons are becoming fixtures at major events. Several events have been using them successfully for years. They can be used to help internal staff communication, facilitate networking, indoor mapping, collecting data, sending marketing messages, etc. Beacons help apps engage its users. So for events, where people use the event app very heavily for a short period of time, they can add a lot of value.
1. Concerts and festivals
Beacons can do a phenomenal job of connecting with an audience in real time. You can guide them to an artist signing session, send them a discount during song breaks or send a message for them to turn on their flashlight app when a certain sound comes on, etc. The Aloompa app has been used by events such as the music and art festival Bonnaroo in Tenessee to deliver beacon messages and collect insights on attendees. The South by Southwest mobile app made personalized suggestions for events based on your tagged profile and other sessions you have selected. Last year, they launched 1000 iBeacons (the largest beacon installation at an event). You could see who was around you and opted in to be recognized by their network. The Cannes Lion Film Festival used beacons to let people check in and see who was ‘Around Me’.
2. Sporting events
Beacons are very popular for a broad range sporting events. They have been a part of the Wimbledon, all Major League Baseball stadiums have beacons installed, at the NFL draft night and they have been used for the SuperBowl. Recently, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR fans can now be pinged by iBeacon messages. On
On Real Madrid’s visit to China last July, they used Beacons. Fans could enter contests and access premium content if they shared info on WeChat or Weibo at parties or before games. Not to be outdone, they are now at the FC Barcelona stadium. The beacons help greet fans who have the club’s app them with a welcoming message. Oftentimes, sporting event organizers can see a heatmap with real-time information on the beacon interactions with fans to help with the large crowds.
3. Community events
If you are a city event planner, beacons can offer you valuable insights into traffic flow for your events. For example, they can be used indoors to know how long the wait time at a certain area is. If your city runs an app and there are special events that day, send visitors a message with enticing info and a map on how to get there. It can also help you engage the event-goers on an city-run event app itself. Send them a welcome message. Guide them around the event. End the event with an exit survey to see how you can improve. Invite them to your next event. You can even use beacons to send out important city alerts.
If you are interested in using beacons for your city, can learn more about other ideas for beacons with smart cities.
4. Conferences and festivals
Beacons are a great way to make your conference stand out as innovative. In addition to the analytics that beacons provide all event planners with, conferences are a great place to help people network with beacons, see what events are happening and send them valuable content. You can send a number of helpful messages, such as a welcome message with maps and a schedule, could send a beacon message for people to upgrade their pass or even when leaving, you send attendees the a video recap of the conference or a chance to stay connected with you on social media or via a mailing list.
You could also add a scavenger hunt. One of the best examples of gamifying events is the iBeacon powered Scavenger Hunt at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014. Oftentimes they are also used to simulate check-ins at the entrance of the conference venue. Beacons could recognize attendees at the session and bring up content such as slideshows.
The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona attracts all the biggest names in mobile. This year, there was not only some exciting news in the proximity space, but beacons were used at the conference itself. Beacons around the venue helped the 100,000 plus people navigate indoors.
Beacons for events are very popular. There are a number of other ideas only limited by your imagination. They can improve the conference from the planning stages to the final stages. Especially for events with large venues and a high number of attendees, they can be very helpful for automating some of your planning and engagement.
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