Marketers are turning to more personalized advertising because consumers are demanding it. Studies show again and again that people prefer personalized advertising. In fact, 81 percent of Gen Z, 57 percent of Millennials, 52 percent of Gen Xers, and 43 percent of Baby Boomers like personalized ads.

One of the most personalized forms of reaching people is through geofencing. If you’re considering implementing this strategy for your next industry event, there are some smart ways to capitalize on its benefits. Geofencing can transform an industry event into a highly interactive, engaged and memorable experience for attendees. Let’s take a closer look.

How Geofencing Advertising Works

Geofencing Benefits and Strategies

Elevate Your Event With Geofencing

How Geofencing Advertising Works

When a marketer uses geofencing advertising, they are essentially targeting captured prospects or customers within a specific geographic area that is either their retail location itself or in a designated area that encompasses it. They can utilize three different types of geofencing:

  1. Centroid Radius: Here, a marketer simply finds the center point of their establishment, defines a radius they’d like to cover, and calculates a circular zone based on this radius. When a prospect’s mobile device is detected within this zone, they will receive an ad specifically tailored just to them.
  1. Isochrone: Marketers can also target those outside this zone who have a high likelihood of coming to their establishment by setting up an isochrone, or an area mapped out according to the amount of time it would take for someone to get to their location using available transportation. For instance, a restaurant might target someone on the highway that is close to their next exit. This lets them reach people further away, and also eliminates the variable of nearness, since those close by might still have trouble reaching a business due to obstacles or lack of available transport options. Marketers can send out highly personalized communications this way.
  1. Building Footprints: Using polygons, a business can define specific boundaries, including a building, a park, or even their specific location within a mall. Ads will go out to those who enter this zone, so marketers can focus on prospects with a high purchase intent—or they can deploy remarketing tactics to reach those who have looked at specific items earlier in the store. Now that’s personalization!

Using these guidelines, marketers can get very specific with their geofencing. For an industry event, you can start to see how the possibilities expand even further!

Geofencing Benefits and Strategies for Events

You can realize instant benefits like the following by implementing geofencing for your next event:

1. Targeted Audience Engagement: Since geofencing lets you build virtual boundaries around the event venue or specific locations within it, you can speak directly with attendees at the moments when they’re most engaged with the event. For instance, it’s the perfect time to send personalized notifications, offers, or updates directly to their mobile devices, enhancing their overall experience and keeping them informed in real time. 

Related: How to Elevate Your Next Event with Social Media.

2. Promotion of Event Activities: Further, geofencing is an effective tool for promoting current event activities, sessions, or exhibitor booths. You can even use remarketing to send reminders to those who are signed up for events. By sending targeted notifications to attendees based on their location within the event venue, you can drive traffic to specific areas of interest at the exact right time. You might let attendees know an important talk is starting soon. This not only increases participation in key event activities but also maximizes exposure for exhibitors and sponsors.

3. Geofenced Offers and Discounts: Encourage attendee engagement and participation by offering exclusive deals, discounts, or incentives within the geofenced area. This could include special promotions at exhibitor booths, discounts on event merchandise, or access to VIP experiences for attendees who visit certain locations. You might tell attendees to stop by your booth for a prize or announcement, as these offers create a sense of exclusivity and incentivize attendees to explore more within the event space. You are essentially remarketing to attendees to keep them coming back.

4. Enhanced Networking Opportunities: Since geofencing integrates demographic, geographic, and psychographic information, it can facilitate networking among attendees by providing location-based networking suggestions or alerts. For example, attendees within the same geofenced area can receive suggestions to connect based on shared interests or professional backgrounds. This fosters meaningful connections and networking. Events are often packed with activity and meetings, and qualified networking time is very valuable.

5. Real-Time Feedback and Surveys: Geofencing can be leveraged to gather real-time feedback from attendees during the event. By prompting attendees within specific locations to participate in surveys or provide feedback on sessions or exhibitor interactions, you can gather valuable insights to improve future events. It’s important to gather this information while it’s fresh in their minds and they’re excited about the event. Sending surveys later usually results in them being buried in an inbox and ignored. This immediate feedback loop enhances attendee satisfaction and helps fine-tune event offerings on the go.

6. Data-Driven Insights: Going beyond real-time feedback, geofencing provides valuable real-time data and analytics that can inform event planning and decision-making. By analyzing attendee movement patterns, dwell times, and interaction levels within different geofenced areas, you can gain insight into attendee behavior and preferences, right during the event. If you’re finding that there’s a roadblock in one spot, you might be able to eliminate it for better flow, or direct people to an area that hasn’t seen much traffic. This data can be used to optimize event layouts, session schedules, and overall attendee experience for both current and future events.

7. Brand Visibility and Awareness: Of course geofencing can also significantly boost brand visibility and awareness among event attendees. By strategically deploying geofenced notifications, ads, or branded content, you can ensure your brand remains top-of-mind throughout the event. This targeted approach helps reinforce brand messaging and drive attendee engagement. You’ll want to be careful deploying this tool so as not to overwhelm attendees, but used judiciously, it’s an intriguing and useful messenger for all.

Related: Your 2024 Trade Show Booth Checklist: Extreme Makeover Edition.

Elevate Your Event with Geofencing

You can see how incorporating geofencing into your event strategy offers a myriad of benefits that enhance attendee engagement, promote your presence, provide offers, create networking opportunities, garner feedback, power analytics, strengthen branding, and deliver event success.

By tapping the power of location-based technology, you can create a highly personalized and interactive experience that leaves a lasting impression on attendees and sets your event squarely apart in the industry landscape—no matter where it’s located.

Ironmark has seen how geofencing and remarketing transform the user experience for attendees and build excitement, foot traffic, and better branding for marketers. We can help you craft a customized strategy to elevate your event game now.

Level Up Your Next Event

Written by Reid Broendel

When you need something done for your digital marketing campaigns, you can count on Reid Broendel to find a way. Reid has been on the Ironmark digital marketing client services team since May of 2019. Reid holds the position of Lead Digital Marketing Specialist and brings with him a knack for content management, as well as an enthusiasm for client support, able to jump in at a moment’s notice to help clients and team members on any and all digital marketing needs. From installing tracking codes, to building out emails, to planning out content calendars, Reid is always happy to help. Reid is a graduate of Penn State University, with a B.A. in Advertising. He runs on coffee and spends all his days not in the office working next to his cats.

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