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How Beacon Technology Personalizes Brand Experience in Real Time

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Richard Reid
Richard Reid

VP, Business Development

Freeman AV

Customized journeys, better data, more qualified leads

You’re enjoying an exhibition, briskly navigating the show floor to visit as many exhibitors as the day allows. Suddenly, your smartphone alerts you about a nearby booth that relates to your interests and asks if you would like to share your digital profile via the event app. You share your information and make your way to the booth. By the time you get there, the exhibitor has prepared a packet of information personalized to your needs and is ready to talk about your specific challenges and opportunities.

That’s efficient. That’s personalizing an experience. That’s just one feature of an attendee engagement platform utilizing beacon technology.

Here are three other ways beacon technology can benefit show organizers and marketers looking to create engaging, memorable brand experiences.

Sophisticated, nonintrusive tracking

Beacon technology is a wireless, proximity-based network in the form of cost-effective hardware that can be inserted into items like a visitor badge. Powered by Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), it communicates with other sources using the same technology, like a vendor booth, and is typically mediated by an event app. In short, it’s a location-based technology with many expandable features, depending on the software behind it.

Concerned about privacy for your attendees? You shouldn’t be — beacon-enabled attendee engagement platforms, when implanted properly, are entirely voluntary. Attendees may accept or reject exhibit requests and share information based on their personal preferences. In essence, it’s an opt-in process in which they can share as much or as little as they choose.

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Making it work during brand experiences

Beyond connecting attendees to exhibitors — who receive more qualified leads and see increased attendee engagement — this use of beacon technology can also connect likeminded attendees wishing to make new connections. Attendees can be notified of other attendees with similar interests during sessions or social events, and they can exchange information digitally in seconds.

But perhaps beacon technology’s biggest potential — when paired with the appropriate third-party software — is that it can also be predictive. By using behavioral intelligence tools, these applications can offer personalized and contextualized information based on the type of sessions or other activities a person attends. If an attendee participates in sessions for a topic that isn’t in his or her digital profile, this exciting technology can analyze and send alerts to relevant sessions or exhibitors. These advanced analytics use the same type of behavioral intelligence algorithms as Google Maps when it predicts that you are about to leave home or work — and notifies you of accidents or traffic jams along your route.

Making it work beyond brand experiences

At the end of the event, beacon-enabled attendee engagement platforms can record the entire exhibit journey including exhibit booths visited and sessions attended. An attendee can access this information via a mobile app or website portal — even getting collateral, product links, or offers from exhibitors they visited. Additionally, attendees can access the profiles of others they networked with at the event. All these benefits for attendees mean happier, more engaged participants.

For organizers, these platforms provide the opportunity to gain valuable insights like booth or session visits, average time spent at a booth, exhibition hotspots, and other marketing data. By learning from this data, marketers can better understand the behavior of their participants so they can create better brand experiences going forward.

Taking advantage of beacon technology in this way couldn’t come to the event industry at a better time. After all, research shows that 86 percent of consumers claim personalization plays a role in their buying decisions, while 73 percent of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their experiences more significant. If Amazon can personalize the shopping experience with targeted ads, then so should brand experiences.

For more on this topic, download The Next Big Opportunity: Mass Personalization and the Art of Brand Experience

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