Beacons. Enhance experiences and track.
Ok so your first question might be what is a beacon? Essentially it is a positioning technology where a ‘beacon’ is placed in a room and it can determine the position and orientation of objects or persons in the room. For example this is the technology that will be used at the point of sale so consumers wont have to actually open their wallets to pay at a checkout. A ‘beacon’ will enable smartphones or other devices to perform certain actions at certain times depending on the device’s proximity to the ‘beacon’. This is done with a low energy bluetooth network of sensors talking to the app or device when the person passes a sensor.
Got that but how does it work in experiential events? A great example was used recently by Rolls Royce at their Inside Rolls Royce exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery.
When you entered the exhibition you were asked to download an app over a very fast wifi connection. As you walk around the event the app was able to recognize where you were and adapt: move you to that section of the app and greatly enhance your experience. The app encourages photos and provides easy links for social media sharing, essential for any successful experiential event. A pre populated tweet is also embedded with #insiderollsroyce as the tag. This populates a live twitter image feed later in the exhibition.
The power of the brain.
No this isn’t futuristic science fiction. Right now you can move objects simply using your brainwaves and a headset. These special headsets have sensors that measure your brainwaves. This technology has been around for some years, it was originally developed in the study of autistic children and how their brain waves are different. Now companies such as Emotiv and Puzzlebox have brought that technology to the consumer market and it will blow your mind. Having tried out Puzzlebox a year ago myself I can assure you it is real, as crazy as it sounds. Wearing headsets you can fly a toy helicopter, race a car and cause a flower to bloom all with nothing more than the power of your mind. This kind of technology is obviously fresh and exciting and can easily engage consumers. Whether it is used in stunts or ‘game’ events where people compete to race cars along a track, it certainly has many experiential marketing possibilities.
Augmented reality. Your brand, enhanced.
Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality does not completely immerse you in another world. It allows the consumer to interact with both real world elements and virtual elements simultaneously. An example of augmented reality is Google Glass. Google Glass recently partnered with YSL in a terrific series of experiential events. They did experiential makeovers where makeup artists wore Google Glasses. You can read more about it here.
Another terrific example of augmented reality was also at The Inside Rolls Royce exhibit in the Spirit of Ecstasy room. That is name for the icon that sits on the front hood of every Rolls Royce automobile. The consumer could stand in front of a giant 10ft screen that will react to their movement. When they move to create their own “spirit of ecstasy” pose the star filled screen moves in sync.
So as you can see there are many possibilities to embrace in the future of experiential marketing. Personally, I can’t wait to get to started.
Phil Provost is an experiential & event marketing expert, Integrated marketing consultant & President at PSP Media, an experiential marketing agency based in NYC. We have over 20 years experience in creating turnkey experiential marketing experiences nationwide. Whether you need help coming up with your next pop up shop idea or simply want someone to help take over the operations and management, our event experts are ready to help. NEED HELP WITH YOUR EVENT? Click here to get a Free Event Quote today.
Images: Puxxlebox/ http://www.toyology.co.uk/peter jenkinson, Inside rolls royc