There are many ways to enhance the experience of event attendees—by providing great care, accessible information, or extraordinary attractions. But there’s one crucial factor that you have no impact on, and it can make or break your event. You can’t really influence on how people network with each other.
Or can you?
Today, we want to show you how the organizers of one event made 60% of attendees network like crazy with the power of proximity.
iCON Prague is a series of events dedicated to creativity, life hacking, and smart technologies, held annually in Prague, Czech Republic. For this year’s edition, its planners teamed up with Mavrik Media, a company that specializes in beacon-enabled apps, to add proximity to the existing event app.
The goal was to enable around 3000 attendees to network and connect with exhibitors and each others. The way to achieve it—a context-driven gamification. They beaconized the venue and introduced proximity-enabled features to the app. Beacons triggered invitations to a premium exhibitor stand nearby, enabled exchanging contact details between participants (either exhibitors or attendees), and marked some important places.
For each stand visited and contact passed, as well as for checking in or discovering the venue, attendees would get points, called iCOINs. Once an attendee collected enough iCOINs, he or she could exchange them for gadgets or souvenirs.
The new features weren’t broadly promoted. In fact, the entire promotion came down to one tweet, one blog post, three short announcements on stage, and some word of mouth at an information kiosk.
Despite that, event organizers observed 3000 check-ins during the event. 60% of app users exchanged their contacts with at least 5 other visitors and visited all (around 40) premium exhibitors’ stands. Apparently, the interest in beacon-triggered invitations was so immense, that on day two, exhibitors who didn’t have beacons were requesting for one, because people kept asking for them all the time.
Beacons proved to be incredibly useful. They enabled us to keep our visitors moving and bring potential customers to participating stands. We will certainly use iBeacons next year to continue to explore the potential of the technology.
Petr Mara, Co-founder of iCON
Thanks to proximity, technology enthusiasts gathered at iCON Prague could use their smartphones to discover places and built relationships with others. What really drove the app’s success was the fact that mobile interactions translated into real-world engagement.
That’s what proximity is all about. It doesn’t simply boost an app so users spend more time in it. It leverages the power of context to enable people to connect with brands, places, and other people where and when it matters the most.
Isn’t it a perfect use case for events?