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

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:

IX. Create a detailed content time plan for the content team well in advance!

X. Customer value is king!

XI. 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:

XII. Video works best for onboarding

XIII. Providing a customer value is a dealbreaker issue (links back to planning the customer value)

XIV. 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:

XV. Onboarding messages and brick & mortar signage is essential to early physical web success!

XVI. If you want results, offer the customer value! Interaction rules as that’s mobile exclusive!

XVII. 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! 

6 lessons learnt from using beacons at the European Table Tennis Championships Part 1

European Table Tennis Championships logo

In this post, we’ll give a detailed analysis of Beeem content & interaction services using Sensoro’s physical web beacons used at the 2016 ITTF European Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The event was a massive success with significant mobile engagement numbers during the event.


1. Preparations

SENSORO SmartbeaconBeeem logoAfter the selection procedure the Beeem task force conducted two walkthroughs of the event venue Tüske hall. The stadium is a relatively small one (2 500 sq meters, maximum of 3908 seats) with very unique architectural features that make traveling radio signals very difficult. This presents a great challenge: providing beacon coverage in some remote areas of the venue requires dedicated beacons and makes Wi-Fi coverage a must for any physical web deployment.

Key takeaways:

I. Measure Wi-Fi RSSI before the event!

II. Measure beacon RSSI values across the venue!

2. Wi-Fi: the mother of all successful physical web deployments!

The key to the success of the physical web experience was good all-round Wi-Fi coverage. This was achieved with Ruckus ZoneFlex Indoor Access Points that handle up to 500 unique connections and are easily capable of supporting large volumes of users. This will get your event Wi-Fi costs down to a 0.8 euros (around 0.9 usd)/seat!

Key takeaways:

III. Wi-Fi is an enabler!

IV. Don’t take the available infrastructure for granted!

V. New technology makes Wi-Fi very affordable for live events!


3. Hardware deployment

Deploying beacon hardware should not be hard: with the pre-set zero-configuration URLs, the beacons were programmable from the cloud without any technical setup. Power levels were somewhat reduced from SENSORO’S factory settings as the default ranges were too high. This was tested out way ahead of the event. A total of 8 beacons were deployed for the 8 tables in the main hall of the stadium to give full match coverage for all of the events. Beeem’s cloud on-off switch for physical web beacons was a great asset during the event as some beacons were lost during changes to the floor layout but were still present and in-range.

Key takeaways:

VI. ON-OFF switch on a beacon is a big help

VII. Don’t be afraid to deploy discreetly

VIII. Range will not be greatly affected by wiring and metal objects nearby

In Part 2, we’ll continue discussing the content & interaction tools, look at brick & mortar signage for onboarding and dig into the usage data!

TOP 4 things to watch out for on Chrome for Android with beacons!

TOP 4 things to watch out-for on Chrome for Android with beacons

As all of you know, Google has finally launched the new Chrome for Android (version 49) to push physical web capabilities to some 5 million users. Here are the key takeaways from the experience of our users:

1. Use HTTPS! 

Chrome for Android does not let any HTTP URLs through! Even though Chrome for iOS works with HTTP URLs, it seems that Chrome for Android does not let them pass at all! Last week we added full HTTPS support to Beeem to enable anyone to create a landing page with the physical web fully compliant with Google’s high security standards! This will add an extra layer of secutiry to users that will ensure that the physical web is going to be even more secure than the web itself!

2. Watch out for your OEM Android! 

With dozens of big Android vendors, everyone tries to get the maximum out of their phones. Several manufacturers use some sort of battery/performance optimization tools that tweak several things that might prevent from Chrome for Android in locating physical web beacons. The usual suspects are: Battery/performance profiles turning Bluetooth off (even if they are turned on in Android settings!) and preventing Chrome for Android launching on Boot. In our direct experience there is no single cure you should tweak around and wait as Google’s services may not locate physical web beacons on the fly (like on Chrome for iOS). Let’s hope this improves later on.

3. Turn it ON! 🙂

No matter how simple it seems, as Chrome does not prompt you to turn Bluetooth or the Physical web on, you might want to start with checking Bluetooth in your Android Settings and Enabling the Physical Web on Chrome @ Settings/Privacy/Physical Web! If you’re still stuck, you can take a look at Google’s help.

4. Make sure your URL makes sense to the visitor!

If you followed these key steps all you have to do is make sure you have a meaningful landing page for your Beacon: beacon URLs only make sense if the provide real value to users! Keep in mind that the key to the physical web is interaction on demand. We’ve created the simplest and most powerful landing page editor for the physical web. You should try it out @ https://beeem.co now!

With these key steps, you should be good to go with the physical web on Chrome for Android! Enjoy!