6 lessons learnt from using beacons at the European Table Tennis Championships Part 2

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European Table Tennis Championships logo

In this post, we’ll continue the  detailed analysis of Beeem‘s content & interaction services using Sensoro’s physical web beacons used at the 2016 ITTF European Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Part 1 can be read here covering preparation, Wi-Fi planning and hardware deployment. 


4. Content & interaction tools during the event & retargeting after the event

The essence of Beeem’s LIVE engagement services is the instant interaction with the surrounding environment: in the case of the Table Tennis European Championships, after weeks of preparation and consulting with all available parties, live scores, and player bios were selected by the Beeem task force to drive mobile engagement services during the event. A content group of 3 volunteers were selected to do round-the-clock content work required at such a sporting event. As the main draw of the tournament was less than 48 hours before the start, the team was working round-the-clock for most of the matches in the first 2 days as elimination rounds made preparing the bio content impossible in advance. During the main draw action, the live scores from the ITTF’s central servers were used to offer live scoring on mobile.

The organizers of the event used the Facebook Pixel for remarketing of the event visitors. Detailed information on the event spectators who opened up the live scoring & player bio pages during the event is available and can be extended based in the gathered dataset to target custom audiences with similar social profiles as the attendees.

Key takeaways:

  • Create a detailed content time plan for the content team well in advance!
  • Customer value is king!
  • Retarget with Facebook Pixel or Adwords Remarketing Tag!

5. Brick & mortar signage

Physical Web onboarding video for the Table Tennis European ChampionshipsBesides the Wi-Fi this is the most important aspect of planning a beacon-based mobile engagement service for any live event. We carefully orchestrated a led wall video that was onboarding to the Physical Web app on the App Store and Google Play as well as Nearby notifications were turned off while the event was taking place (between the 17th of October and the 17th of November, 2016). Besides this video the speaker was instructed to repeat an onboarding message at every opportunity. On top of this, a flyer was handed out to spectators to raise awareness of the opportunity.

Physical Web onboarding video for the Table Tennis European ChampionshipsKey takeaways:

  • Video works best for onboarding
  • Providing a customer value is a dealbreaker issue (links back to planning the customer value)
  • Repeat-repeat-repeat! There is no such thing as enough promotional content during a live event!

6. The data

The event was a huge success. The numbers show between 15-40% of smartphone users using the service during the event. The key thing we learnt that with the tournament advancing the focus was much more on the live action and not on mobile content. Thus interaction is the key driver in mobile engagement. Most of the traffic was during the first days of qualifications as keeping updated on the live action was much more important for the fans than later on as more known players were playing. The weighed average usage (discounting the raw usage data with the number of tables in action during the day) gives insight into the increase of interest in the mobile engagement service. This shows steady increase and is very encouraging.

Date Total use Weighed avg. No. of tables
2016.10.18 17,7% 7,1% 8
2016.10.19 30,6% 12,3% 8
2016.10.20 19,9% 15,9% 4
2016.10.21 7,9% 6,3% 4
2016.10.22 11,5% 18,5% 2
2016.10.23 12,4% 39,8% 1

All major mobile platforms are present. Interesting to note that iOS as a little underrepresented compared to international and EU mobile penetration numbers.

Mobile OS % of total pageviews
Android 6 (all versions) 56,1%
Android 5 (all versions) 29,2%
Android 4 (all versions) 7,4%
iOS (all versions) 6,9%
Android (other/misc) 0,1%
Windows 10 0,3%

Key takeaways:

  • Onboarding messages and brick & mortar signage is essential to early physical web success!
  • If you want results, offer the customer value! Interaction rules as that’s mobile exclusive!
  • You’re competing with the screen real-estate of the stadium!

7. Conclusions

Finally mobile engagement is quick and easy. A seamless mobile experience is possible with the physical web for close to 85% of Android (version 4.4+) and 20% of iOS users (who’ve already installed Chrome for iOS). Onboarding does not stop at the gates: the legwork to get to mobile screens is required but the benefits in retargeting options are a must for any business or event needing to re-connect with their fans, visitors or customers! 

  • David Hurdon

    Great to see real world information on beacon usage at a live event. What I’m unclear about in this specific case is who profits from the cost involved?

  • Ferenc Brachmann

    Dear David,
    Thanks for your question! The profit here is in re-engaging event visitors and building long-lasting relationships with them.