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New York bars gamify traditional pub crawling using beacon technology

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The BeaconCrawl integrates sociality with advertising

BeaconCrawl, an interactive bar crawl event supporting bars in lower New York that were hit by 2012's Superstorm Sandy, will integrate beacons with a mobile application to drum up business.

Beacons will be installed in the sponsor venues and various locations along the way, guiding crawlers to secret locations via on-screen instructions, where they will enjoy special drinks, perks and be presented challenges and information, thereby enhancing social interaction. BeaconCrawl will take place on May 20 in New York, and the event was created by Aurnhammer.

“Pub crawls and pop-up parties are popular all over the world,” said Bill Aurnhammer, CEO and founder of Aurnhammer, New York. “Using beacons, we’ve turned the traditional crawl into a scavenger hunt by combining the two ideas.”

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“People have become more sophisticated and don’t always respond to traditional marketing,” he said. “By integrating mobile technology and gamifying the experience, we are creating an event people want to be a part of.”

Scrapping tradition
Mr. Aurnhammer’s inspiration for the BeaconCrawl was generated from a current client project. He wanted to showcase the technology to other partners to demonstrate how beacons can re-define the retail experience.

The company has partnered with several business and community partners such as Uber, and Downtown Alliance to help promote the event.

The event's app will be available for download in Apple's App Store on May 2 and will send clues, updates, and previews of special offers to downloaders leading up to the event.

During the event, participants will be encouraged to document and share the experience through social media. An interactive map of lower New York will guide users to each location, where they will be greeted by digital welcome notifications, new information and clues that unlock special offers and deals via Beacons.

Crawlers will also be awarded points for completing tasks, such as ordering food, sharing content via social media and meeting fellow crawlers.


Proposed BeaconCrawl venue locations

Instant information
Beacons are an innovative way to engage consumers through an real-world experience.

Utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy — or BLE — beacons use mobile location to market directly to consumer’s mobile devices.

Beacons allow retailers or brands to introduce micro location-based messaging, and personalized content to indoor locations. Instant information related to products and promotions enriches and empowers consumer experience, and also allows brands or retailers a 360-degree view of consumers.

Leveraging technology
As beacons gain in popularity, a number of different merchants are experimenting with them.

New York bar, The Royal, has been testing Dash, a new mobile payment application that drives consumers into venues through location-based offers via beacons.

Dash requires bar or restaurant patrons to check –in and link a bank account to the app. They can see their tab in real-time, add tips and checkout by themselves when they leave the venue (see story).


No more waiting for a waiter or waitress with Dash

Additionally the app links directly with the point-of-sale system and gives restaurant owners information on consumers including date of birth and how frequently they have been to the restaurant.

“We wouldn’t think of doing our first BeaconCrawl anywhere else,” Mr. Aurnhammer said.

“After Hurricane Sandy, many of our favorite places were devastated and remained closed for quite some time, and although the complexion of downtown New York is changing to include more residential and attracting more tourists, most New Yorkers have never experienced the old world charm of Stone Street or the historic allure of Delmonico’s or Fraunces Tavern,” he said.

Final Take
Michelle Saettler is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

Michelle Saettler is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at michelle@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Advertising, mobile, mobile marketing, BeaconCrawl, beacons, applications, Aurnhammer

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