Put simply, iBeacons can tell when your phone is in close proximity and react by sending a message to it (or performing another pre-determined action).
‘iBeacon’ is actually Apple’s brand name for a new type of generic technology known as an ‘indoor proximity system’ which uses the latest version of Bluetooth (Bluetooth Low Energy – BLE) to enable smart phones or similar devices to receive messages or perform actions when in close proximity of an anchor device (an iBeacon). The same BLE technology is available on iPhone 4S and Android 4.3 and above.
A real world example of using the technology might be passing near to a beacon in a shop and receiving an in-store offer from the retailer on your phone (assuming you have the retailer’s app installed on your phone). In a museum you might receive a map or information about an exhibition, which is where you can begin to see the potential for use at events and conferences.
1. Greetings Earthling
Greeting you at the exhibition or greeting people at and around your exhibition stand can be done with iBeacon. Tesco have trialled saying hello to people as they enter their Chelmsford store, though they’ve ruled out any harder marketing messages for the time being.
2. Pulling up your registration details
Pulling up certain docs on your screen can be a real timesaver and it’s how Virgin Atlantic have trialled the technology, as passengers boarding passes appear on their phone/tablet screen as they walk to check in.
3. Contactless Check-In
Instead of pulling up reg details you could just make your check-in completely contactless with iBeacon registering that an attendee has arrived and pushing any extra required content to their phone.
4. Help find your way around with iBeacon
Pushing maps or a choice of possible next destinations when in a certain situation could add either a functional element to your tech or gamify at your event and make things a little more ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’!
5. Encourage attendees to visit your stand
Incentivise visiting certain parts of your event, conference or trade show. “You’re really close to the Noodle Live stand, visit in the next 10 mins and we’ll make you a free coffee!”
6. Event literature without the paper
In a seminar space, iBeacon could be used to send seminar slides to your phone. Access to literature in specific areas as Bar Kick in Shoreditch did, granting free access to the digital version of football magazine When Saturday Comes and culture mag Dazed & Confused.
7. VIP area perks
Adding value to your premium spaces by only making the above available within the certain zone.
Are you planning on using some new technology at your event? Have you looked into RFID/NFC and how that could help? Check out our article 8 Awesome Uses of RFID at Events.
About Noodle Live
Noodle Live is an event technology company based in London. We provide easy to use mobile apps, audience response apps and RFID technology for events and conferences, as well as offering free Event Tech Clinic workshops to event professionals and organisers.
This post was written by Thom Feeney, Marketing Manager at Noodle Live