by Shawna Suckow, CMP
I have a dirty little secret…I am addicted to Pokemon Go. Shhh, don’t tell anyone, because for this…ahem…woman nearing a certain age, it’s a little embarrassing. I end up at the local park during my walks, hunting Pokemon with nobody in sight but other teenage boys. It’s a little strange, I admit.
The funny thing is that there are a growing number of adults getting on the Pokemon bandwagon – usually pushed onto that bandwagon by one of their teenagers, as I was. I’m fascinated by how this game can track me down to my front door using GPS, and superimpose little creatures right in front of me. It got me thinking about how we can use tracking technology at meetings.
I recently attended the ASAE national meeting in Salt Lake City, and an exhibitor there provided optional foam stickers on the back of our badges, which were embedded with tracking capabilities. Sign me up!!
Each individual’s unique sticker was integrated into the event app. At any given time, I could log in and see where I had been – all the exhibitors I had visited, how long I had visited with each one, and also the educational sessions I had attended. Not only that, but each exhibitor had a handy record of visitors at the end. Furthermore, the planner could capture attendance at each session – great for tracking credit hours. Also great as an upsell to exhibitors as a replacement of the clunky hand scanners. Very cool!
Think of how you might integrate tracking technology into your meetings, and for what strategic purpose. You could combine the tracking technology with a Pokemon-type game, giving points for how engaged your participants are. They would accrue points for how many exhibitors they visit, how many sessions they attend, etc.
Using beacons that are quite affordable, you could send signals to participants’ phones when they walk by a certain location. Greet them by name when they arrive at breakfast in the morning, and let them know the omelet station is on the right. Remind them of the bus departure time when they leave the final session of the day. Welcome them to a particular educational session and give them the log-in code for the speaker’s materials, or share the twitter hashtag for the event.
As accurate as this new tracking technology is, you could even integrate the tracking technology to ensure the right meals are delivered to participants with special requests. I’m not sure how exactly this would work, but somebody out there needs to be creating an app for it!
The applications for this cool technology are endless.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you’re trying out one of these strategies. And hey, if you want to go Pokemon hunting at SPINCon, we can keep it between us.
Shawna Suckow, CMP is the founder of SPIN. After more than 20 years as a planner, her new role with SPIN forced her into public speaking – a spotlight she always dreaded to the point of nausea! After a year launching new SPIN branches, she decided speaking wasn’t so bad, and she began to enjoy it. Today, she now spends her time speaking to audiences all over the world about buyer behavior and consumer trends. If you ever think your career can’t do a complete 180, think again! (p.s. hire her to speak at your business conferences!). www.shawnasuckow.com.
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