How to Enhance a Festival Experience for Both Event Organizers and Attendees by Aloompa has partnered with dozens of innovative companies, to create and deliver unique customer experiences with our beacon / iBeacon platform. In this Partner Spotlight, we’re featuring Aloompa – an American app development company that provides best-in-class mobile applications for festivals, sports venues, conferences, and community-focused events.

Creating real-time mobile event guides using beacons

Large festivals like Bonnaroo are exciting for event organizers and attendees, but planning and navigating huge festivals isn’t always easy. When Aloompa was founded in 2009, their vision was to eliminate the complications associated with large events, by developing a real-time mobile event guide using the best available technologies (now including iBeacon).
Aloompa’s beaconized FestApp applications allow attendees to receive proximity-based notifications that help with navigation throughout the festival site. Event organizers can also gather anonymous data about attendee behavior, which can be used to improve and enhance future events.
Organizers face a variety of challenges when planning events
Growing attendance is a great problem to have for festival organizers, and it can also introduce new logistics issues that can have a negative impact on future attendance. Event organizers are also facing stiff competition, since the success and popularity of festivals like Bonnaroo this means that new events are popping up every year.
To stay ahead of the competition, and ensure the best possible experience for attendees – event organizers are always seeking new ways to enhance and personalize attendee experience so that people come back year after year.
Navigating large events can be difficult for attendees
From locating their favorite performers to finding a water station, navigating a festival site can be overwhelming for attendees. Before FestApp’s beacon features hit the scene, attendees had to rely on generalized push notifications for up-to-date event information and announcements. These mass messages, usually sent to everyone at the event, lacked the personalization and relevance attendees need to enhance their experience.
“Since push notifications typically go to a larger group of people, they need to be very general in nature.” – Drew Burchfield, Co-Founder of Aloompa

How FestApp and iBeacon enhance the Bonnaroo Festival

Aloompa used FestApp and iBeacon hardware, to deliver groundbreaking features to event organizers and attendees at Bonnaroo. Organizers collected key information about attendee behavior including:

  • Time spent in specific areas throughout the festival.
  • How many attendees utilized the VIP area.
  • The most popular stage at the festival.
  • The Average number of notifications per device.

Attendees benefited from non-intrusive proximity-based messages that delivered personalized event information – such as notifying attendees about nearby parking, performance locations, and water stations.
“The biggest areas of enhancement are the relevancy factors that beacons bring to the table, as well as giving insight to festivals about specific locations around the event.” – Drew Burchfield, Founder of Aloompa

How helped Aloompa make Bonnaroo 2014 a successful event supplied Aloompa with everything they needed to “beaconize” the 2014 Bonnaroo Festival, including:

  • iBeacon hardware – incorporating 175 beacons.
  • Open RESTful API to support their app and tool development.
  • Mobile Admin Apps

The Results

Bonnaroo 2014 was a huge success, and this solution has already been deployed to several more festivals with similar results. The most important thing event organizers learned, was that proximity-based messaging is much more efficient than the traditional broadcast push notifications used in the past.
Here’s a sample of the information collected by event organizers using FestApp:

  • “What Stage” was the most popular performance location.
  • 1,980 people ventured into the VIP area.
  • The average person spent 102.15 minutes in the VIP area.
  • The average device received 12.6 notifications.
  • About 20% of app installs “saw” a deployed beacon.
  • Over 4 days, FestApp delivered 97,270 proximity messages.
  • These messages were based on 811,961 user events.

Event organizers are analyzing this data to improve Bonnaroo 2015. Drew talks about the company’s vision for future events:
“We see a blend of hardware on various devices that you own, or receive simply for the day, interacting with each other to give you a better experience at an event and give the festival insight on how to make you happier while you are there.” – Drew Burchfield, Founder of Aloompa
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