2013 is the year smartphones significantly changed how events function. From social networking apps to innovative ways badges and smart phones can change session tracking, check-ins and lead retrieval, the mobile platform offers exciting possibilities that weren’t even considered a few years ago.
One new such technology is called “geofencing.” As you probably already know, the GPS (“Global Positioning System”) in your smartphone interacts with location-based apps – like Google Maps and Foursquare – to use your location for your benefit. A geo-fence takes this a step further. An establishment – like a store or a booth at a trade show – can create a virtual “perimeter” around their area (almost like a virtual building) so they can detect when someone with the appropriate app enters their zone.
Stores like Starbucks are already using Geofencing. If you download their app the store may actually offer your coupons when you enter. Consequently, the app can become an easy way for the retail establishment to recognize loyal customers.
Likewise, apps can use Geofencing at conferences for a number of interesting purposes. This includes:
- Exhibitors recognizing their patrons when they enter the floor and pointing them to the booth.
- Social networking.
- Linking together multiple events in the same general area.
- Create virtual meeting spaces, such as attendees from your city meeting spontaneously at a bar.
- Tracking secure items and children.
- Generating incredible analytics of attendee behavior at the event – you can know what truly interests them.
Geofencing is still in its infancy, but like many smartphone technologies it points to a new and exciting world of possibilities for your meeting.