iBeacons to transform visitor experiences - Smile Machine
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iBeacons to transform visitor experiences

iBeacons to transform visitor experiences

We think beacon technology could transform the visitor experience – promoting engagement at events by providing visitors with the tools they need to access rich interpretive content. But how can businesses design an event with beacons and host something truly spectacular? And what are the challenges?

What are beacons?

Beacons are low energy Bluetooth™ transmitters – commonly known as iBeacons – that can sync with any app to deliver timely, location-based content. They’ve made a huge impact in the retail space – House of Fraser has led the way by installing beacon technology in mannequins – triggering the delivery of content to customers mobiles – including the price and location of products in their Aberdeen branch.

But it is in the context of events, exhibition and galleries that beacons have the greatest potential to transform the visitor experience – turning an ordinary event into something truly world-class.

Events and exhibition spaces often rely upon audio tours, information plaques and speakers as a means to engage visitors by delivering additional content and interpretation. Beacons offer a more sophisticated – and ubiquitous – alternative, namely in their ability to deliver various types of content to a visitors smartphone – be it audio, video, text or imagery. With additional interactivity, a user could save their visitor-journey and access what they have seen at an event on their return home – and share with others. And that’s not it…

Introduce Wearables and Augmented Reality to the visitor-experience and create exhibitions that are interactive, visually-rich and spectacular to see and share

What are the challenges?

But, implementing this level of technology does require a higher level of commitment to their success. Both staff and visitors must be made aware of the capabilities of beacon technology – especially when it comes to data and security. Yes – beacons are useful for tracking things like visitor traffic flow through a building – or delivering personalised content – but visitors must be aware that this comes in return for aspects of their personal data – whether that be their age, gender, interests, or even credit card details. In response to visitor concerns, developers and businesses will need to think about security – and keep aware of any potential liability in cases of data theft.

Ultimately – businesses need to take bold steps with beacons – which means factoring in technical training, content updates and a level of security before full-scale implementation. It is only with these measures that businesses will really reap the benefits of beacons -and create a truly engaging visitor experience.

Need some inspiration?

Beacons are not limited to large-scale events – brands are hosting pretty innovative PR events and exclusive parties – using beacons to engage and delight their guests.