April 24, 2015 - Marketers, particularly ones that specialize in events, face the ongoing challenge of deepening audience engagement and retaining attendees year after year. There’s a growing expectation for events to create memorable moments and exhibit some element of wow factor.
With all the work we’ve been doing with iBeacons, we recently had an opportunity to test our product on Apple Watch. Leading up to today’s Apple Watch release, it was clear from the anticipation in Cupertino that the Apple Watch is slated to deliver more than wow factor - it will reinvent the way mobile users interact.
Designed to enhance the iPhone and iPad, there are a myriad of unique features that expand the experience of using Apple’s devices. So how does this impact events and organizers? And how can innovate brands expect to transform their events and tap into the mob of users expected to pick up an Apple Watch? As one of the forces driving innovation at Eventbase, I can think of a number of ways where the Apple Watch has the potential to reshape the event experience and to make it more personal. I imagine a new reality where attendee engagement and interactions are more immediate, and needlessly pulling out a phone will be a thing of the past.
With Apple Watch and the help of beacon notifications, the registration information required to check in will come right to attendees’ wrists as they enter the registration area. They’ll be able to use their watch to check in instantly, without having to pull out their phone.
What’s On & Who’s Around
The built-in Bluetooth Low Energy support will encourage Apple Watch user’s to adopt other BLE technologies, including iBeacons, enabling an at-a-glance view of what is happening in the vicinity and who is around in a particular iBeacon zone. The immediacy of these location-based interactions will individualize the attendee experience on another level.
Attendees will have ready access to the most important part of the agenda or schedule - their favorites. Integration with their calendars will ensure that timely updates and content appear and alert them (with a tap) when they need it.
Push & Beacon Notifications
Working with attendees’ personalized schedules and preferences, beacons would enable relevant updates or content based on their locations. Notifications delivered on their wrists would ensure they could act on these messages.
Event maps will be easier and more convenient to use on the Apple Watch. In addition to Its taptic engine will be used to streamline navigation and prompt turn-by-turn directions with physical cues.
The tools are all there. From the physical cues and messages of its taptic engine, to its activity tracking sensors and built-in bluetooth support, the Apple Watch is not only the next groundbreaking device, it’s a powerful platform to build upon. Once developers and technologists get up to speed on the platform within the next year or two, there are will countless ways for brands to engage and interact with its users - ways that haven’t even been thought up yet.
Apple Watch is another step towards the miniaturization and virtualization of our online and computing experiences. We can envision a future where phones disappear and wearables become the brains while the Cloud provides all the data our information-hungry experiences necessitate. Input will remain a challenge without a keyboard as voice recognition is not practical in public surroundings. The Apple Watch is a big step towards that future, demonstrating that in many cases, a 42 mm device is sufficient to interact deeply with the digital world. The question is are you ready?