SXSW roundup: Beacons, attendee match & propelling events into the mobile age


When it comes to technology events, South By Southwest (SXSW) has no shortage of innovative ideas and companies looking to become the influential conference and festival’s next breakout hit. The Eventbase team is back from Austin with some great insights and ideas for stepping up the attendee experience in 2015.

In our fifth year delivering the official SXSW GO app, we built on our experience with location-based interactions and deployed more than 1,000 iBeacons (the largest for an event) across official SXSW locations and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Taking attendee networking to another level
This year’s SXSW GO app connected festival-goers like never before with exciting new advancements aimed at improving attendee discovery. Around Me, a beacon-enabled social networking feature allows attendees to check into zones at official venues, and the app identifies what’s happening nearby and other users who have checked in. Eventbase worked closely with SXSW to pioneer the technology at scale with the goal of helping attendees navigate the complex event.

To deliver a more contextualized experience, the in-app social networking tool is enhanced by a new Attendee Matchfeature that suggests attendees with similar interests. The feature inspires more meaningful connections and enables seamless networking.

Industry Meet Ups & Beacon Tours
The response and interest in iBeacons is a strong indication that the technology is emerging as a definitive tool for user engagement. Eventbase stepped through event use cases with a series of beacon tours, hosting groups of SXSW attendees and the likes of Mashable, ReadWrite, and the BBC.

Other industry events with a focus on hyper-local interactions included the SXSW-hosted Beacon Meet Up and Urban Airship's Mobile Saturday.

SXSW Interactive Session:
Beacon Technology & the Rise of Hyper Localization

Eventbase co-founder and VP Technology, Jeff Sinclair and Alex Ackermans, spoke to a packed house to amplify the buzz around iBeacons and to share insights, success stories, and best practices. Attendees across a spectrum of brands came out in droves and took away actionable advice for tapping into the technology.

Redefining the event experience
The period of experimenting with beacons appears to be over. Engagement on a hyper-local level is proving its value and relevance, especially with the success and hype around its presence at SXSW.

Read related articles:
BBC (TV):A new way to network: iBeacons connect SXSW festival-goers
Forbes: SXSW Wants To Help You Network More Efficiently With Their App
Mashable: Near Me is dead, long live iBeacons — at SXSW
USA Today: SXSW app will put you where the action is in Austin
Re/code: SXSW to Get (More) Social With the Help of iBeacons
AdAge:South by Southwest 2015: All About Beacons, Beacons, Beacons