Location, location, location! What’s true for the real estate market is also true for businesses. With a mobile phone in nearly every attendee’s pocket, Event Planners are wise to tap into this unique technological opportunity—the chance to connect guests with content that is tailored specifically to their exact time and place.

Location-based Content Boosts Conversions

Real-time contextual marketing is becoming more mainstream and accepted each day, and for good reason. We’ve all had moments where advertising offended us by completely misjudging our situation—offering us something that is the exact opposite of our life’s circumstances. Conversely, advertising and marketing that offers us exactly what we need (when we need it!) becomes a nearly immediate conversion. Location-based marketing works on the idiom, “in the right place at the right time”—being in the position to offer uniquely customized services to your customer.

Location-based advertising works hand-in-hand (or phone-in-hand, if you prefer) with mobile advertising—mostly since the majority of location-based services are tied in with the GPS, RFID, NFC, and beacon capacities of our mobile phones. Here is a brief overview:

  • GPS – global positioning establishes the geographic location of a person’s device.
  • Geotagging – adds geographical identification to media, such as video, websites, SMS messages, QR codes, or RSS feeds.
  • RFID – (Radio-Frequency Identification) wireless method of transferring data through tracking tags containing electronically stored information.
  • NFC – (Near Field Communication) similar to RFID but with a shorter range of transmission.
  • Beacons – hardware transmitters which allow smartphones, tablets and devices to perform certain actions dictated by the beacon.

Location-based advertising can either “push” information to the user or wait for a user to “pull” relevant info before making an offer. Either way, the most popular location-based methods often use the following techniques:

  • Messaging that contacts the user directly
  • Display that is customized to the location
  • Search that is customized to the location
  • Product placement based on search

For business gatherings, Event Planners are working to harness the possibilities of convenience, information gathering, data sharing, and personalization that immediate close-contact device communication can offer to attendees! Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Instant, contactless payments
  2. Effortless registration
  3. Instant scanning
  4. Paperless ticketing
  5. Enhanced security
  6. Fast file transfers
  7. Immediate document sharing
  8. Precise tracking
  9. Expansive data collection
  10. Interactive Geofencing

Hyper-Local—A Focus on Exactly Where You Are

“Hyper-local” is a method of treating your event, conference, training session, product launch—ANY business event—as a close-knit (albeit temporary) local community. Event Planners can use the techniques of location-based advertising as a fresh way of getting attendees to check in at exhibit booths, visit networking lounges, attend sessions, participate in activities, and make contacts—both online and in-person—allowing the digital “footprint” of each guest to cast a wider spell of influence, encouraging deeper networking.

Peer Power

As the Internet continues to explode with content, individuals are increasingly turning to reviews and suggestions from within their social circles as a method of cutting through “the noise” of our busy experiences. With this growing power of peer suggestion and reviews, check-ins and Geotagging help connect people to places (aka: businesses, sponsors, and exhibitors) as they also connect with individuals in their own social networks.

With “local” becoming a popular buzzword for events and businesses, location-centric mobile apps and technology will continue to evolve, and businesses will be looking for ways to reach their ever more dispersed and distracted audiences. Location-based apps and social networks are an excellent way to connect directly to current and prospective customers alike!