One of the main sources of irritation when attending an event can be the entree waiting lines (occasionally quite long) before performing the check-in to the venue: in case of an exceptionally large event, the delay can exceed one hour!
The waiting times can become not only tiresome but, depending on what we happen to carry, perhaps a hefty laptop, and environmental factors such as heat – or coldness – it can turn into a distressing experience…
One of the recent solutions to this issue is pre-registration: prior to the event we input our personal data in a dedicated webpage which generates a unique QR code. We can either print the code on paper, or simply present the code using our smartphone at the registration desk to be scanned and have granted access.
The smartphone use is pervasive in our current times: we carry it with us everywhere, so with that in mind, it can become an easy and quick way to directly perform the check-in to the event (even without pre-registration) and show the QR code without need of printing, meanwhile showing care for the environment and limiting paper consumption.
The pre-registration solution helps reduce delay times for check-in significantly while trimming down long lines at the reception: but is there still margin for improvement? You bet – introducing Beacons!
So what are they? Beacons are bluetooth devices (technically radio transmitters) capable of pulsing radio signals that smartphones can capture at distances up to 50/70 meters; smartphones with Bluetooth 4.0 – thanks to an app – are able to recognize and interpret the Beacon signal, enabling users to receive short messages or communications via the app.
Among other uses, Beacons exist primarily to send users customized notifications in the event of promotions and special offers: think of a person who enters a clothing store and imagine that their smartphone recognizes the presence of the Beacon; the person could receive personalized offers directly while in the shop, of which they could take advantage immediately, perhaps based on their previous browsing experience in the the same chain stores.
The Beacon technology is becoming increasingly popular, but how can it become useful in the world of events and, specifically, how can it facilitate and expedite the accreditation process?
We talked about this a few months ago in our blog, recounting our experience collaborating with Cisco, during the “Cisco Partner Club”: the use of Beacons – synergised with our apps – has improved the check-in process by 65%, ensuring that the waiting time for admission to the event would curve from over one hour to just a few minutes!
Users who had downloaded the specific event app and turned on their Bluetooth systems could access it and, when in range of the Beacon postioned in the lobby, a red traffic light within the app would instantly turn green – that meant they were allowed access to the event.
The same Flavio Ventre, Digivents partner, said: “The success of this method of check-in was a surprise; we were counting on positive results but did not expect such a success! The accreditation time for those who had downloaded the Digivents app was only a few seconds, and all guests have been enthusiastic of this technology. “
But the benefits of this technology do not end here: once we have accustomed users to deal with the Beacon, we can apply them to many other purposes!
For example, counting the number of accesses to a conference or an event becomes an easy task thanks to them, but not only: they are also useful to monitor the visits at booths of potential sponsors.
Or, if we want to encourage our attendees to transit through a specific point of the fair, we can make available a certain content of interest via a link that can only be retreived at that point, thanks again to our Beacons; guests who are in a certain position may be invited to perform an action, while people in another area may be assigned a different action.
Furthermore, instead of a piece of content you can even create a path around the venue, with a prize or other benefit at the end, which you can only get by performing a check in at the intermediate steps (specific points where you may give product related news, particular services, or sponsor communications etc.).
Beacons are also useful for the distribution of gadgets (even the more expensive ones), because with this technology we can ensure that the user is withdrawing only the gift he was entitled to, under similar rules to those for accreditation or, even for game logic purposes.
It is not to be underestimated how the Beacons can be used to expand the experience associated to facilities such as hotels, restaurants and many other realities within the outline of the event: in this way, we can further improve the overall experience of the participants in ‘event.
Finally, thanks to the interaction with the Beacons, a wide spectrum of data and statistics can be derived, making it a valuable asset in improving your events.
The Beacons, apparenty useful only to solve the problem of long waits during the accreditation, in reality can become a key that opens the doors for more complete and satisfying digital experiences, with many benefits for everyone involved and limited only by creativity.
For those wishing to learn more about integrating Beacons in their events, you can tell us more about your upcoming event through the contact card: you and our experts will be able to reason together on the usefulness of employing this technology and its opportunities for your specific case!