4 Cool Beacon Use Cases to Inspire Your Next Event
Bluetooth low energy beacons are relatively new devices with the technology facilitating their development being released in 2010. Since then, they’ve proved to be useful in a variety of contexts, including retail, events, restaurants, museums and galleries, healthcare, logistics, and many others.
What’s great about beacons is that they’re affordable and can really help you spread the wings creatively. Get ready for the best beacon use cases that will inspire your next event.
To give you an idea of how beacons work, they transmit a continuous Bluetooth signal in order to connect and interact with any mobile devices in their vicinity. The interaction is facilitated by a dedicated app which allows for tracking and collecting data, sending messages, notifications, and otherwise engaging with the customer.
They are to the physical world what Google Analytics is to a website.
Beacons steadily monitor a certain area to determine the location of a person and trigger the app preinstalled on their mobile device. User can then receive a relevant message, or other type of content, depending on the exact context.
I bet ideas of how you’re going to use this at your next event are already bubbling in your head…
Good, you also may want to sit through this presentation for a look at beacon use at events.
Bluetooth beacons in public setting
BLE beacons are a part of the nearables, which in turn constitute the Internet of Things. The devices are often used in public environment to gain insights and influence customer behavior.
In this post, I’ll look at several different use cases going beyond just events. All of them do share the social context though, so they should be inspirational to any event planner trying to engage visitors at his show or conference.
Take a look at these real-world Bluetooth beacon applications to get your creative juices flowing…
1. Gamification of networking
iCON Prague is a series of events devoted to creativity, smart tech, and life hacking. As per kontakt.io, the 2015 edition saw proximity added to the existing event app.
The idea was to facilitate interaction between the 3,000 attendees and exhibitors. Getting everybody involved in networking was achieved through context-driven gamification. The venue was fitted with multiple beacons and proximity-activated features were enabled in the app. The beacons then set off invitations to stands, made contact exchange seamless, and pointed people to important places.
The attendees would collect points for visiting stands, swapping contact details, checking in, or discovering places. The points could then be exchanged for gadgets and souvenirs.
Despite negligible promotion of the new feature, the organizers saw 3,000 check-ins. A decent 60% of the app users swapped contact details with at least 5 other individuals AND visited ALL premium exhibitor booths (around 40 of them).
2. Improved public transport accessibility
The city of Austin, Texas, has decided to test bus status beacons for blind and vision-impaired residents. If the trial will prove to be successful, a wider deployment will be considered to improve service accessibility.
A union of local businesses and organizations aims to provide real-time bus updates for blind and visually impaired commuters and thus improve the quality of their lives.
Sixteen bus stops in central Austin will have Bluetooth low energy beacons installed. The devices will be integrated with BlindSquare, a popular navigation app used by people having vision problems.
The updates passengers will receive will include bus routes and delays, as well as a schedule of local activities. A beta test rollout began this March. If feedback will be positive, a city-wide implementation will hopefully be only a matter of time.
3. Keeping tabs on concertgoers
The introduction of Bluetooth beacons has lead to multiple cases of major increase in app usage and engagement. Learning more about the attendees of your event through this technology is a great way to improve the future editions of the show.
Bonnaroo decided to deploy iBeacons at its 2014 festival, in connection with their preexisting app. The data collected by the organizers included the most popular stage, the average length of user stay at particular areas, the number of VIP entrances, and the average number of notifications per device, among other things.
The company that provided iBeacons for the festival also planned to develop new features available to the attendees based on the anonymously collected information.
4. No more class skipping!
Yun Huang, an assistant professor in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, has developed a BLE beacon technology which allows for tracking the movements of subjects across campus and in the classroom.
A mobile app used by professors was developed to verify and keep track of student attendance. Downloading it is expected of individuals enrolling in a course.
An important aspect of the technology is that it adds a layer of accountability, especially during a semester’s final months. This, in turn, translates into greater academic success. In corporate event context, this could help make sure that a company’s representatives have visited all the key spots in the venue.
Bluetooth low energy beacons are unobtrusive yet powerful tools for collecting valuable data. Any business meeting or a conference would be an excellent ground for putting them to test.
I wanted to give you a multi-angle view of how Bluetooth beacons are being used to stimulate creativity within you.
Encourage attendees to have fun and explore the venue, easily swap contacts, collect points, receive notifications, and lots of other things. The key is to develop or license a relevant, highly engaging app and get people to install it.
Keep in mind that great technology shouldn’t consume the user’s time, but drive actual interaction in the real world.