Top Tips for getting the best out of proximity engagement at outdoor events, by Ian Malone, managing director at Geemo.

Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically over the past few years due to the advent of new technologies, especially all things mobile. To keep up with what consumers are taking for granted, marketers and event organisers need to include these new technologies into their promotion strategies – and this applies to outdoor attractions such as music festivals, theme parks or sports events just as much as indoor ones. 

Proximity engagement tools such as iBeacons and geo-fencing can enable personalisation and the building of a creative experience for attendees through understanding their needs and wants better. For example, as they approach the front gates of a stadium, customers can be automatically welcomed and registered with a personalised message. If they are pre-registered, they can be rewarded and if they are stuck in long queues you can flag the estimated waiting time and offer the chance to buy a shortcut pass. This technology can even be used to map or direct visitors to an exact location such as their seats and suggestions can be made along the way, such as ‘pick up a coffee’.

An outdoor event incorporating various sales locations lends itself to the release of rewards for visitors who come near to a specific area, or for remaining somewhere for a minimum period of time, such as a café or an attraction which is underperforming. As visitors walk around, proximity engagement technology captures their preferences triggering the creation of a tailored experience. For example, if visitors spend most time in locations designed for younger children then there is the opportunity to cross-promote with similar age-group products or services.  Similarly, visitors who display a preference for fashion, for example, could be treated to an exclusive digital experience in the form of a virtual catwalk.

Proximity engagement lets you create an experiential journey or virtual tour through an outdoor event. As each physical location is approached, digital content automatically shows on their screen without the need for navigation. Treasure hunts or competitions where questions and answers are revealed depending on location can easily be set up and iBeacons can be used to recognise and reward milestones reached.

Proximity marketing lets you engage customers using campaign ideas distributed via email, text and social media and these will reach the people most likely to respond – those who are attending.