Event technology has made networking at events easier than ever before. With 82% of event organizers reporting to Event Manager Blog that their attendees’ key goal at an event is to network, it’s critical for event organizers to help attendees do just this.
It can be intimidating for attendees to make the first move and introduce themselves to a stranger, especially at events with thousands of attendees. Attendees might be concerned about meeting people who are relevant to their interests and careers, talking to competitors, or simply finding the time during your event to meet others.
Using beacons, or wearable beacons, at your event in conjunction with your event app, can elevate networking and ensure attendees are connecting with the people they want to meet at your event.
What are beacons?
Beacons are small, bluetooth devices that send signals to bluetooth-enabled mobile phones. These signals locate where an attendee is in your event space and can personalize experiences with location based services, like wayfinding, push notifications and location-based offers.
When it comes to networking, here are ways event organizers can use beacons with their event app to boost attendee connections.
Create networking areas
To help attendees meet one another in key event spaces, like a keynote auditorium or dining areas, you can place beacons throughout them to create digital rooms. Attendees who are looking to meet others can use the ‘Around Me’ networking feature in their Enterprise Event App to see who else is in the same room and spark conversation by sending them a message. Using beacons in conference dining areas gives attendees a perfect opportunity to send an introductory message, meet someone new and build rapport over a meal – especially when the event schedule is jam packed.
For your keynote sessions or deep-dive workshops, using the ‘Around Me’ feature lets attendees see who else is interested in the same topic and lets attendees arrange time to dive deeper into the topic with someone who shares their passions.
You can also create designated networking areas with comfy seating or refreshments. Using beacons in these areas lets attendees see who is around them and start conversations in the networking event app and quickly transform this to a real world connection. Designated networking spaces also present a great sponsorship opportunity.
Use wearable beacon technology
New wearable beacon technology, like beacon-in-a-badge, places a small beacon in every attendee badge, making it easy for event organizers to see where each attendee is on the event campus. It also lets organizers take advantage of location-based services without attendees needing to enable bluetooth on their phones.
Wearable beacon technology from providers, like TurnoutNow, can be used to provide networking recommendations that are surfaced within your event app. Intelligent recommendation engines can use proximity and interests to let attendees know who’s around them that they may have common interests with, like favoriting the same sessions or similar job titles.
Beacon-in-a-badge technology can also make it less awkward for attendees to find one another at massive event campuses with thousands of attendees. Seeing where another attendee is on a map can make it easier to find and say hi to a new person.
To learn more tips to boost networking at your event with technology, download the quick-read guide, ‘Networking at Events’