How Beacon Technology Is Changing the Event Industry

How Beacon Technology Is Changing the Event Industry


There’s no argument about the tremendous value of truly understanding your customers, and the time is now for the event space to start taking advantage. Today, most people are familiar with the concept of web analytics, at least at a very basic level. The idea that websites can track which pages are visited most frequently, how much time is spent on each of them, as well as where traffic came from prior and went to after their visit, is an understood and scientific way to measure visitors’ engagement. With this kind of data, marketers can assess website performance and address any issues on the pages that are not achieving their desired goals, thereby improving the overall experience for their customers and, ultimately, making better business decisions. So what about events, conferences and tradeshows? Wouldn’t it be great to have the ability to apply the same kind of scientific approach to measure engagement at your event without resorting to guesswork and less-than-perfect data that has been cobbled together from grabbing people’s badges and scanning them? Well, now you can with beacon technology.

Tradeshow Analytics – How Does The Beacon Technology Work?

Event attendees receive a beacon, usually clipped to their badge, that they carry with them throughout the event as they visit workshops, exhibitor booths, or even the food court. Beacons are small, battery-powered wireless devices that communicate with sensors placed throughout a show space. The most efficient way for beacons to achieve this is by sending signals over a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connection. These beacons are then used to monitor attendees’ movements throughout the event and provide aggregated analysis in the form of traffic flow trends, heat maps and other useful stats.

Measure Attendee Engagement With Beacons

By tracking attendee traffic, we can get information about the time they arrived at a given booth and how long they stayed there. Analyzing attendee behavior allows for accurate assessment of their engagement, clearly identifying what works and what doesn’t. Event organizers employing a beacon system enjoy precise data on attendance, average length-of-stay per visitor, traffic information by booth, aisle and cross-section, as well as time spent in sponsored or trade areas. This kind of proof-of-engagement helps event organizers reduce exhibitor churn, boost sales and improve sponsorship revenues. Additionally, this data is often analyzed for improved operational insight such as identifying high traffic areas or traffic flow issues. As far as exhibitors are concerned, the benefits are even greater. Without the need to intrusively gather business cards or scan badges, depending on the nature of the event, exhibitors can receive contact information of qualified leads, as well as any other data attendees choose to provide. In terms of aggregated booth traffic analysis, exhibitors effortlessly gain access to accurate and insightful information that includes:

  • The number of visitors that came to their booth
  • The number of times visitors returned to their booth
  • The amount of time visitors spent at their booth
  • Overall booth traffic trends by time-of-day and over the course of the event

Event Speaker

A Time Before Beacons

Up until this point, the most common attendee behavior measurement tool was the use of barcode scanners. The manual practice of scanning a barcode found on each visitor’s badge at every booth they visit can be quite a cumbersome process. This normally results in partial data, as not all visitors get scanned, not to mention the even-less-likely scan of returning visitors. When it comes to more specific data, such as exact time of visit or the duration of their stay, these, in most cases, are obviously not recorded. Besides, who really likes having their badge manually scanned anyway?

Event Registration

Make Your Event Better

If you, like all event organizers, are looking for innovative ways to take your event to the next level, there is no better way to start than by implementing beacon technology to help you understand your clients better. Not only will you and your exhibitors get unbeatable analytics about the physical behavior of attendees, you will also enjoy the valuable insights that it brings, helping you make better decisions, improve your event, and making it more profitable.