Case Study: Don’t loose your compass at events

Florian Freitag, 

Do you remeber our previous case study on the meeting room finder for complex office buildings? If not, it’s probably because it has been quite a while ago – and this is exactly the reason why we’re back at allowing free play to our creativity for a new indoor positioning use case: Event Apps.

The idea came into being while we visited Überall App Congress in Vienna two weeks ago. First of all, we thought that their official event app could be spiced up by showing the user’s position on the already integrated but inanimate map. Yes, this is basic and gives not much free play to imagination – but again, making users’ lives a tiny bit easier often is everything it takes to deliver value.

So, we’ve been talking to companies who actually develop apps for events and they made a pretty good point: the size of the Überall App Congress was manageable right from the moment one walked into the venue – only about 5.000m², no biggie. Now take that number and multiply it with a factor of  100 and the result is the area of the world’s largest fair ground in Hannover, Germany – enough space to accommodate all group stage games of this year’s football world cup (after all 48 match-ups) side by side and at the same time.

One can assume that visitors of a fair are capable of making the best of a printed or digital – yet inanimate – map to position and orientate themselves. Now, imagine a situation where you walk into an area this vast for the first time and – thanks to your mobile companion – you feel like walking into your own living room: you exactly know in which places things are and which ways to take in order to walk the shortest routes possible to get to them. Honestly, we think that the use navigation systems won’t make us dependent on them and disable our ability to orientate ourselves without them – but by using them, we can pay attention to other, more relevant things around us when being at an event.

We surely can go way further and be more creative with our ideas than that. As of now in our scenario, we are able to position ourselves and navigate to point-of-interests (booths, food, lounges, and we are sure there’s more). Besides the persons you meet at their booths directly, there might be more interesting – or even useful – people around with whom you should trade business cards. One way to find them is to start talking to a lot of people and then –  by going through a lot of time consuming and recurring small talk – you might eventually bump into those right people you were hoping to meet. Or you could start staring at visitor badges for information that discloses value to you.

But there could be a third and probably more simple way.

Since we already have the positioning feature enabled, simple location-sharing and indication of interests could match just the right people. Now you get information, if there is someone near you who matches your professional interests and is willing to have a conversation with you. Both participants have uploaded a picture of themselves and they are good to find each other in a radius of, let’s say, 10 metres. This would be like Tinder for professional networking.

It seems obvious that indoor positioning and navigation can make a vistor’s experience more intuitive. Instead of putting a focus on ‘how do i get there?’, there can be more thoughts on ‘what will I do, once I’m there?’.