So firstly – what is a Beacon?
Answer: A small object attached to a wall – or similar – which uses Bluetooth technology to transmit information to compatible smart devices within a certain vicinity.
…and how can this technology benefit the trade show?
Marketing strategies for trade shows are becoming more and more comprehensive, and innovative exhibitors are embracing new technology to seduce, engage & monitor their visitors. Exhibition organisers particularly are finding great success with Beacon technology, allowing them to geo-locate attendees and track their movements. No guess work needed – real time data can now show exactly where the hot-spots are at any given time and where most pedestrian traffic is flowing throughout the exhibition venue. The more tech savvy organisers are also using it as a directional device guiding attendees to restrooms, food areas, presentations and demonstrations.
In Sydney, the technology is being trialled at such venues as the airport, with an outlook to be able to notify passengers of boarding times and even guide them to their gate. They can also observe bottlenecks in foot traffic, as well as offering incentives at shops and outlets as prospective customers pass by.
Sydney Museum is also using the technology. They have developed their own App, specifically aimed at children, to guide them around their environment whilst adding an extra dimension to their museum experience by engaging each child individually via their smart phone, encouraging them to ‘find’ various places or exhibits of interest throughout the museum.
It’s this kind of application of the technology which can be used to great effect on the trade show floor. You can literally ‘guide’ people in to your stand by sending targeted notifications alerting your visitors that you are close by. You can also transmit ‘flash ads’ to promote your brand or products and even offer an incentive to visit your stand.
Technology such as this allows for a much more targeted form of marketing. How it works is that you would send out invitations before the event inviting prospective visitors to download an App and essentially ‘opt in’. (You would also gather some basic information at this stage as to the person/company you are targeting.) When they attend the show and enter your vicinity, the Beacon will connect with the downloaded App which, in turn will send a message to the Beacon’s data centre that this individual has entered the area. It can then send a pre-determined, personalised message to the individual’s smart device.
Beacon technology is one of the most exciting developments in one-to-one marketing. Being that beacons will generally be authenticated with the end user permission, the exhibitor is able to personalise specific messages to individuals. This creates an immediate intimate relationship not achievable using traditional ‘baiting’ methods. It will also free up your staff to concentrate on genuine leads. To be able to cut through the throng of people at a trade show and essentially pick out pre-selected individuals from the crowd is such a huge leap forward from the old ‘spruiking’ method of attracting as many visitors to your stand as possible.
Call us today to get some more great tips and tricks on how to make the most of your exhibiting dollar.