SXSW Festival uses beacons in SXSW GO application

Austin’s annual event of film, music and startup culture, SXSW kicks off in 10 days and the festival has launched its new official app, which relies heavily on Apple’s iBeacon technology. That geolocation technology was first used by the event, last year, but to a much more limited degree. This year, though, the organizers have significantly boosted their use of location based tech.

South by Southwest and mobile event platform Eventbase have teamed up to offer SXSW GO, the festival’s official calendar, map, and social networking app. There are usual features you’d expect like videos and tracks from artists performing at the festival, a visual guide to the line up of speakers, performers and events, and maps to help you get around. The exciting part is beacons. This year’s app incorporates iBeacon technology to better contextualize user experience; over 1,000 beacons in the Austin Convention Center notify attendees when they approach an event, restaurant, or bar of interest.

This hyperlocal networking is a lot more efficient than trying to chat up everyone in the place you’re in. Meeting people at festivals and conferences like SXSW can be a great for your career, but with something as large as this event (this year there are over 250 participating venues, 6,000 events, and at least 50,000 people with official passes, to say nothing of those who simply show up for one or two shows), everybody could use a bit of help. With Around Me feature, when an attendee checks in with the app, the beacons will let them know what’s happening nearby and who else has arrived recently. The idea is make to networking at the massive event that little bit easier.

Session Live feature also uses iBeacon Technology to help you seeing who’s in the session with you and join the discussion with them.

You can find venues by list or map, get directions, and browse internal floor plans by Locations. Another feature Exhibitors help you to browse trade show exhibitors and find them on an interactive map.

Can you see all of these amazing features is all executed with the help of beacons? It seems we will see beacons in other events as well.

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