Nelson’s Column: Mobile App Revolutionises Exhibitor Engagement at Golf Event
Experiential or engagement marketing attempts to connect more strongly consumers with brands by “engaging” them in a dialogue and two-way, cooperative interaction. In today’s world CMOs are focused more than ever on returns on investment. This is putting pressure on Event & Exhibition organisers to deliver more value.
Golf Live (the worlds leading interactive Golf Event) & Ipsos pushed the boundaries of mobile technology, experimenting with key exhibitors and sponsors. What we found could be revolutionary….
“Flocking” The Dave Hicks Putting Story
Dave Hicks Putting was exhibiting at Golf live to promote their new putter “The Vibe”. Every day from 2pm – 2.30pm they held a putting clinic on the putting green. On the first day (Friday) their clinic was quite poorly attended with 10-15 visitors showing up. Confident that we would have about 180 visitors with the Golf Live App attending on Saturday we approached Dave Hicks putting with a proposal to test the concept of “Flocking”.
Step 1. We allowed Dave Hicks to post some information in the Live Chat function of the App. “Drive for Show Put for Dough!” Come to the Putting Green at 2pm! Below is the comment they posted on the last day of the event.
Step 2. Half an hour before the putting clinic we sent a notification reminder. Visitors phones buzzed when the notification arrived on their smartphone. The screen shot below shows how this appeared at the top of the screen:
Step 3. With just 8 minutes to go before the start of the putting clinic at 2pm we sent a full-screen notification. Phones vibrated when they received this final reminder. Picture below illustrates this, notice time at top.
What happened next is best explained by the Brand and Marketing Director of Dave Hicks Putting, Sean Cornell:
“The challenge we had on Friday was our clinic was quite poorly attended. In the Golf Live brochure and on the website you have a schedule, but not everyone has a schedule with them. Having a facility to tell people what they should be doing, where they should be going at specific times of the day is a really useful tool to have. The App worked really well for us. Just before 2pm we sent out some notifications via the App telling everyone in 10 minutes time the Dave Hicks Putting clinic will start soon on the putting green. We must have had 50-60 people compared to about 10 people yesterday so for us it was a great tool to get people to come here…The Apps fantastic, being able to live chat with some of the customers coming along, they can ask manufacturers questions and we can answer them straight away. I felt that some of the golfers felt a lot more engaged with some of the manufactures and exhibitors. It brought everything together, making it more of a rich experience overall. A massive thumbs up, this could really work at other events elsewhere” Sean Cornell, Brand and Marketing Director, Dave Hicks.
GPS data confirms “Flocking”
336 visitors who had the App (61%) had agreed to “share location”. This enabled post-event GPS analysis, to see if app users had indeed been “flocked” to the putting green.
The dark blue and light blue dots are GPS co-ordinates of visitors who had the Golf Live App and had agreed to “share location”. These GPS co-ordiantes were taken between 1.15pm & 2.30pm. It shows very few people around the putting green.
This had never been done before. We were not sure whether we were annoying visitors with all these notifications. As it turned out they loved the timely reminders. One visitor said,
“The App has helped me get round, giving me prompts of things to go to, using the map, getting information as things are happening.”
Another visitor would have missed seeing Joe Miller (world’s longest driver) but the App prompted him with a quick reminder,
“The App gave us regular updates on what’s going on. I wanted to see Joe Miller and got a reminder which was really useful because I didn’t want to miss him. It was great value.”
During the course of the event more exhibitors came on board posting comments in Live Chat.
“We posted several messages into the Live Chat which have all brought people to our stand. It’s helped us communicate with the visitors and let us know what other exhibitors are doing. It’s a fun new feature and we would definitely use it again.”
The Golf Live Event Director and Marketing Manager had never seen anything like this before.
“The app has enabled us to see the positive affect and hence trends from visitor’s onsite when given notifications versus no stimuli. This ‘flocking’ outcome can aid event flow mechanics keeping exhibitors and sponsors happy with constant footfall. As an event organiser this could be the future”. James Goode, Event Director.
In the final installment of the Golf Live story we will share some other functions we tested to illustrate how the App can deliver even more value for CMOs and Sponsors.
You don’t know unless you try!
I see no ships