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Tribeca Film Festival loads up on iBeacons for event information

New York?s Tribeca Film Festival is placing beacons around venues and in high-traffic areas of the city to keep film festival attendees up to date on event happenings this year.

The Tribeca Film Festival claims that hundreds of beacons are being used to support the event, which runs through April 27 in lower Manhattan. The film festival is leveraging iBeacon within its branded app to dole out alerts, surveys and general information about the event.

?It?s kind of a great, perfect storm of both beacons in market and that technology being able to be innovative inside the app this year,? said Matt Spangler, executive vice president of content and marketing at the Tribeca Film Festival, New York.

Joining the beacon party
One example of a beacon use case is with bus shelters and out-of-home ads. Consumers who walk by these ads with the mobile app open may receive an alert letting them know that they can buy tickets straight from the mobile app.

In addition to the hundreds of beacons that are scattered across the city, at least 50 beacons are placed directly around and inside event venues. 

For example, an attendee may receive a push notification when leaving a screening that asks for their feedback on a particular film.

The festival has also experimented with offering merchandise discounts via beacons that were placed around rush lines for tickets.

The Tribeca Film Festival is working with Titan and Qualcomm?s Gimbal to power the beacons.

Since iBeacon launched within Apple?s iOS7 last year, a number of use cases around beacons have popped up in the past few months.

For example, Faberge recently enabled 275 beacons within eggs around New York as part of a citywide scavenger hunt and fundraiser (see story). 

Additionally, the Orlando Magic became the first National Basketball Association team last week to roll out beacons within its branded app (see story). 

Year-round engagement
The mobile app also ties into the Tribeca Film?s Festival?s first foray into free tickets. The feature is supported by AT&T and will give out tickets to events on April 25.

Other new features this year include sections dedicated to online resources and schedules, which in many cases pulls in content from the event?s mobile site.

Additionally, there is a wish list feature that is tied to an account where consumers can save their favorite films and then buy them once they go on sale.

The Tribeca Film Festival is marketing the app through in-venue promotions, partner marketing, email and on its Web site.

This is the third year that the Tribeca Film Festival is including a mobile app into the event.

Going forward, the app will play a bigger role for Tribeca Film Festival for its year-long initiatives and efforts.

?We?re basically trying to evolve the app throughout the year to be a place where people can discover content or other activities that are part of the broader Tribeca brand,? Mr. Spangler said.

?We?ll be working on including things on the films we distribute, so you can discover pictures, trailers and other films that we put out all year long, both in theaters and on video on demand,? he said. ?Whether it?s special programs that we?re doing or specific events, we don?t have the exact roadmap for what?s going to be in the app, but we know that we?ll be pushing people to experience it and work with much more in a year-round way this year."

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York