Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Creating the Ultimate Event Experience with Indoor Positioning

One of the many reasons I love living in Indianapolis is our awesome sports teams. From hanging out on the lawn to catch our Minor League Baseball team, the Indianapolis Indians, to enjoying a Fall afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium to watch The Colts, my family and I love coming out to support our Hoosier teams. While there are a million things to love about having so many sporting events at our fingertips, there’s one scenario that manages to play out almost every time we come to root for the home team; It’s the dreaded moment that I’m waiting in line for a “quick” hot dog, and I hear the crowd go wild. Now I love my stadium food, but no hot dog is worth missing the moment of the game! Which is why I think what the Detroit Lions just did is plain genius. Let me explain:

Here’s What They’re Doing
The Detroit Lions mobile app is already pretty sweet, with live replays during the game, augmented reality features, real-time stats and more. But just a few months ago, when Apple’s iOS 11 added Indoor Positioning functionality to Apple Maps,the Detroit Lions decided to up their stadium map game. Now, not only can you see exactly where you are within the stadium, but you can also order food based on your location, get a push notification when your food is ready, and get live, location-based directions to show you where to pick up your food. This is HUGE! No more missing out on that big moment while waiting in crazy lines for food. But, there’s even more potential for indoor navigation than just stadiums.

Here’s Why It’s Cool
While we’re used to our phones telling us where the closest gas station is, or even where I parked my car, the location services have never reached indoor spaces. But think of the potential for event venues to utilize this amazing technology to create personalized experiences! I’m sure you, much like myself, have walked into a convention center for a conference and found yourself staring at one of those big maps on the wall. The “You Are Here!” sticker helps you see where you are, but what I really need is a “How Do I Get There?!” sticker. With Indoor Positioning, convention centers can provide mobile access to location-based directions that will get you where you need to be on time (and even help you find some coffee along the way)! This is the perfect example of brands already doing mobile really, really well…but taking it to the next level when new technology is released? Talk about building up your fan base!

While the Lions are definitely at the front of the pack, I wouldn’t be surprised if more event locations join them soon. Think of not only the engagement opportunities, but also the revenue opportunities that stadiums, large convention centers, and theaters could have when they provide a way for their attendees to quickly locate restaurants, merchandise stores, and more…and all on the device they’ve already got in their pocket!