SCVNGR, Foursquare, and QR codes were all the rage when we first wrote about them. How useful are they to meeting professionals a few years later?
ver the last few years, we’ve reported on a variety of geo- social and other mobile apps
and their implications for meetings and other live events. Now that the gee- whiz luster has worn off and the apps have been field tested, how are they holding up?
SCVNGR When we first covered SCVNGR in November 2010, the app’s presence at the 2010 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) was a huge success. (Read our article at convn.org/SCVNGRimts.) Since then, SCVNGR has helped make
“gamification” a meetings buzzword; and recently, the company raised $12 million to take LevelUp, its new mobile- payment app, national. (LevelUp shows potential for trade-show exhibitors
— consumers can pay for products and services directly from their smart- phones by linking the app with their credit or debit card.) Throughout the industry, planners are using SCVNGR to create “treks” — mapped-out routes that lead attendees from one challenge to the next. Similarly, the Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau launched three SCVNGR treks this past May that offer an interactive way for visitors to explore the area. But SCVNGR’s growing popularity has a downside — at least for IMTS.
“When we featured SCVNGR at the 2010 IMTS, we were used as a free beta tester,” said Lee Anne Orange, special projects manager at the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).
“SVNGR was out of our price range this year.” So for the 2012 IMTS, which is being held this month in Chicago, AMT is making the jump to another
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geo-social app: Foursquare. “We’re a nonprofit,” Orange said. “We try to do what our members can manage, and Foursquare for IMTS was only $10” — that is, in order to “claim” the venue in Foursquare’s system.
Foursquare Speaking of Foursquare, Convene first looked at that in July 2010. (Read our article at convn.org/ foursquare-2010.) The app has evolved since then. As opposed to making an entire venue a “check-in,” Foursquare now allows exhibitors to create check- ins at their individual booths and alert attendees to their location on the show floor. The app has also added features including picture-taking capability and tip lists, which provide information about particular booths, businesses, or venues. “I already have several exhibitors who are planning on making check-ins for their booths,” Orange said.
QR codes QR codes — two-dimensional barcodes containing links to URLs — have come the longest way. (Read one of our articles about them, from Decem- ber 2010, at convn.org/qr-codes-2010.) The Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) has used a con- tinuously updated QR code for the last two years to communicate with the dis- persed crowd at its annual meeting, and next year will take it one step further.
“We’re planning on using [QR codes] on an individual basis,” said Adam Sanders, CACDS’s communications specialist,
“putting one on each booth with infor- mation about each company, making it a more interactive experience.”
Sarah Beauchamp is an assistant editor of Convene.
Squared Away SCVNGR is out at IMTS 2012; Foursquare is in.
The Next ‘It’ App? Localmind, a location-based question-and-answer platform, allows users to ask questions related to specific locations; other users who are actually at those locations can respond. At South by Southwest (SXSW) 2012, Localmind helped make communication between attendees at the film, interactive, and music conference and festival seamless, allowing them to ask one another questions about line length and how good a particular event was. To learn more about the apps at SXSW 2012, visit mashable.com/2012/03/06/ apps-sxsw-2012.