There are exciting new technologies to be aware of that provide huge opportunities for mobile devices at events, and their application to the Audio Visual world is increasingly poignant. Over the past year or so, large public establishments such as shopping malls, convention centers, airports and sports arenas have installed iBeacons.
The iBeacon is essentially a transmitter. It is Apple’s technology standard, which allows all Mobile Apps (including Android and IOS systems), to listen for signals using Low Energy Bluetooth (BLE) technology from beacons in the physical world and react accordingly. In essence, iBeacon technology allows Mobile Apps to understand their position on a micro-local scale, and deliver hyper-contextual content to users based on location.
Check-in: As attendees arrive at the venue they receive a greeting notification, or a QR code on their device and are prompted to check-in. In conjunction with the event’s app, attendees will have capability to avoid long lines.
Navigation: Assistance with location information and navigation, helping attendees by letting them know exactly where they are on a map of the venue and guiding them to their desired location. iBeacons provide devices with extremely hyper-accurate location services, even without a WiFi connection.
Networking: Attendees can network through an opt-in feature in the event’s app, allowing them to find and message other attendees. The ability to transmit contact information, social media profiles, booth information, specific meeting-room access information, expense tracking, food preferences, and much more is a reality. Linkedin integration is also possible, allowing attendees to take a detailed look at who is around them and decide with whom they would like to connect!
Promotions and marketing: Rather than distributing physical promotional materials (brochures, flyers etc.) exhibitors have the ability to send targeted digital promos to attract attendees to their booth. Certain apps also offer Attendee action metrics (the capability to measure “Exhibit booth dwell time measurement”) allowing you to ascertain the level of interest in your product based on the amount of time an attendee has spent at your booth. This technology provides endless possibilities for digital marketing of your company.
Loss Prevention: AV companies who are running the event or the venue itself has the capability of being notified of unauthorized equipment removal using an RFID tag linked to a geo-fence (Geo-fencing is a feature in a software program that uses GPS to define geographical boundaries. A geo-fence is a virtual barrier. Programs that incorporate geo-fencing allow an administrator to set up triggers so when a device enters or exits the boundaries defined by the administrator, a text message or email alert is sent.)
Although the possibilities are endless and exciting, event planners and event app developers have to use very good judgment in their use of iBeacons in order to provide value to event and not make attendees feel that this technology is an invasion of privacy. Nonetheless, iBeacon is a technology that will assist in creating successful business events for the digitally driven millennial generation.
Ask your audio visual company about incorporating iBeacons and mobile apps at your next business event!