The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) wanted to learn more about the attendee experience in the same way that Fortune 500 Companies use Customer Journey Maps to follow customer interactions with their company. With the help of technologies such as ExperienceGuru and iBeacon technology, ASAE has been able to track the attendee experience in real time and clean up any event-related mess almost as soon as it happens.
ASAE worked with Conferences.io, a Web-based audience-response system, to launch ExperienceGuru in time for its 2014 Great Ideas Conference. ASAE has since used it at its 2014 Annual Meeting and Exposition, 2014 Technology Conference and 2015 Annual Meeting and Exposition. The organization asked attendees to beta test the system and provide feedback on their event experience using smiley, neutral and frowny faces. Of the about 1,000 attendees who attended the 2015 conference, almost 250 signed up to use ExperienceGuru. Their real-time feedback allowed for event organizers to respond to any event issues in real time.
ASAE also experimented using iBeacon technology, which uses Bluetooth wireless technology to allow beacons located in various spots around a tradeshow floor to communicate with nearby mobile devices that have the iBeacon function set up. This allowed exhibitors to see who was at their booth without them checking in and to see who was nearby and may have been interested in that specific exhibitor’s message.
iBeacon technology is similar to radio-frequency identification (RFID) and near-field communication (NFD) technologies that have become helpful tools in the event world. Placed in convention nametags, the RFID and NFD technologies can track how many people came to the tradeshow floor and how long they stayed, which provides data for event organizers. However, iBeacon technology can track specific people and where they went throughout the tradeshow floor, making it easy to map out the attendee experience and, therefore, plan for a way to enhance that experience down the road.