Attendee Tracking That Enhances the Event Experience

The newest tracking technology for trade shows is an engagement tool that individuals can opt out of—or use to improve their own show experience.

A show application downloaded to a device that is Bluetooth Low Energy enabled—in other words, able to receive Bluetooth signals—allows attendees to navigate the showfloor, much like GPS does. But this is actually better because it gives attendees the ability to access more of the information they want about the show, says David Haas, director of technology solutions for Freeman XP.

How it works

Small beacons transmitting digital information to mobile devices can be placed on tabletops or mounted to a wall. An application programmed to pick up and use that information must be on the device—the show app.

“You can use Bluetooth to transmit information to a mobile device with (hardware) that requires very little power,” Haas says. “You don’t have to plug it into a wall, so it becomes something you could put all over the place. A trade showfloor is a good example. Bluetooth is just another way to transfer information from one device to another device.”

The most recent buzz around this innovation was generated by the latest release of Apple’s iOS software, which includes support for the iBeacon, according to Haas. This technology is also compatible with Android devices.

“We’re working with a couple of developers that claim to have some really cool apps that take this information that a Bluetooth Low Energy device can push out and then can turn it into mapping, tracking attendees, all kind of neat things,” Haas says.

(Monday: How attendees and exhibitors can use the Bluetooth devices, and how secure they are.)

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